Financial Help Check-List for Your Golden Years
Retirement is all about options. It opens the door to exploring the world, catching up with your family, and possibly a new career path, too! The possibilities are endless, but as much as your retirement should be a well-deserved break, there are still financial responsibilities to consider.
According to BottomLine.com, more than 25 million Americans age 60 and older are living with limited assets and incomes below $30,000 per year. Many seniors with a low income need assistance paying for health care, medications and food.
Here are your options for financial help and the best benefits our state can offer you.
- Health Care
Medicare and Medicaid could offer you free health insurance or cover at least some of the costs. You must be 65 years of age or older to be considered. To apply, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213. Prefer to do it online? Visit www.socialsecurity.gov and click “Medicare”.
For assistance within Connecticut, call 1-800-994-9422 or go to: www.ct.gov/agingservices/cwp/view.asp?a=2511&q=313032.
Medicare Rx Extra Help is a special program that could lower the cost of your prescription drugs through the Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D). Drug companies, government agencies and other organizations can help in reducing the cost of your medications, too.
- Food Assistance
Despite the recent name-change, food stamps, (now known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-or SNAP) are still available! The program is very generous for citizens aged 60 and over. If you and your family are eligible, the state will send you a special debit card that will be refilled each month that will work at most grocery stores.
The average benefit per month is $126 per person.
Another program that you may look into is the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is a great option where you receive coupons to exchange for local produce at farmer’s markets.
To apply, contact the Connecticut Bureau of Agricultural Development and Resource Preservation at 860-713-2503, and visit their website at:
- Home and Utility Assistance
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is an amazing program that can lower heating and cooling costs. Try calling your utility company and ask for other senior benefits as well.
- Senior Roommates
The latest trend in home sharing for seniors not only helps with splitting the costs of living and utilities, but forms long-lasting friendships!
- Cash for Other Expenses
If you are a senior over 65 with a very low income, the SSI, or Supplemental Security Income provides you with monthly payments to pay for food, clothing and rent. SSI pays up to $733 per month and $1,100 for couples.
- Phone Service
Link Up and Lifeline are programs offered to qualified low-income older adults that help pay for basic telephone service.
You are automatically eligible if you are enrolled in the following programs:
Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Federal Housing Assistance/Section 8 Programs, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP; formerly food stamps), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Programs, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) General Assistance, and Tribally Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Visit the AARP Foundation website for a Guide to Public Benefits in each state: