OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – While many communities across the country were financially impacted by COVID-19, older Americans with limited means are struggling.
How to Get Help
There are numerous financial assistance programs that can help struggling seniors and give relief to family members who provide financial support for loved ones.
To find out what assistance is available to you, visit the Benefits Check Up tool. The site helps you locate federal, state, and private benefits programs that can help pay for food, medications, utilities, health care, housing, and other needs.
You first fill out a questionnaire that asks questions like your date of birth, ZIP code, expenses, income, assets, veteran status, and medications you take. Once completed, you will receive a report detailing all the programs and services you may qualify for.
If you don’t have Internet access, you can get help in-person at 2 Benefit Enrollment Centers located in Oklahoma City. Call 888-268-6706 or visit this site to find a center in your area.
Types of Benefits
Depending on your income level and where you live, there are some benefits you might be eligible for:
Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can help pay for groceries. The average SNAP benefit for 60 and older households is around $125 per month.
Other programs that may be available include the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program.
Medicaid and Medicare Savings Programs can help or completely pay for out-of-pocket health care costs. There is also a special Medicaid waiver program that provides in-home care and assistance too.
There are hundreds of programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charitable organizations that help lower or eliminate prescription drug costs, including the Low-Income Subsidy known as ‘Extra Help’ that pays premiums, deductibles, and prescription copayments for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
There is a Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program as well as local utility companies and charitable organizations that provide assistance in lowering home heating and cooling costs.
Supplemental Security Income:
Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI provides monthly payments to low-income seniors, and the disabled.
In addition to these programs, there are numerous other benefits they can help you locate such as HUD housing, home weatherization assistance, tax relief, veteran’s benefits, senior transportation, respite care, free legal assistance, job training, and employment and debt counseling.