The majority of seniors are currently relying on sources of limited income from one or a combination of several different common sources. The most common sources of income for senior citizens are social security, a small independent retirement account or a small pension. Unfortunately, there are even seniors forced to supplement their income with government assistance platforms like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps. Fortunately, there are a lot of lesser known special services available to seniors. Below, you will find some programs worth looking into as a senior or someone close to a senior like a family member or close friend.
Benefits counseling is a service available to seniors or their caregivers that can assist with advice well beyond what this article can provide. Also, benefit counselors often take it upon themselves to act as advocates for seniors or their caregivers. Unfortunately, this is a program unknown to many elderly people in bad financial situations. Fortunately though, it is an easy service to obtain with no special requirements. It can be found at the local or state Office for the Aging. Even if you need the three services below, different ones or more, you should get set up with this service right away.
Low Cost Prescription Drugs
Sometimes programs like Medicare Part D or the Elderly Pharmaceutical Assistance Program, also known as EPIC, is not enough, and EPIC is not even available in 27 states. Certain manufacturers of prescription drugs are aware of the problem, and they are not heartless. They provide help and free drugs in special cases to people and seniors who cannot afford their medicine. The Partnership for Prescription Assistance provides a list of participating programs and the steps to follow to get their help.
Free Cell Phones or Discounted Phone Service
According to the program LifeLine, it is for low-income seniors or consumers and provided by the federal government. LifeLine will provide a single discounted or free phone per household, and it can either be for a cellphone or landline. For seniors to qualify, they will already have to be on some kind of government program for assistance. You can go to the LifeLine support website to check qualification requirements and other information for the program.
Home Energy Assistance Program or HEAP
As a senior or caregiver, you can apply for help with this program through the Office for the Aging. When you apply, it can be for upgrades to make your home more energy efficient, or you can apply to be able to hire certain companies to, such as Glendale Heating & Air Conditioning, do repairs for you with less money out of your pocket, which can also improve energy efficiency and reduce bills. Also, HEAP can assist with bill payment based on your income level.
These programs are not well known to seniors who have probably been use to making their own way in life. Seniors entitled to help though, and if you apply for benefit counseling, you or your caregiver will be on the right path to receive the other program and many others.