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Many Americans enter their retirement years with little or no savings. As a result, most or all of the money they receive comes from their Social Security check.
About 12% of men and 15% of women depend on the benefit for 90% or more of their income, according to to the latest data from the Social Security Administration. It can be difficult for a household: the average monthly payment in June 2021 was only $ 1,555.
Despite a larger than normal cost of living regulation this year of almost 6%, rapidly rising prices for housing and groceries have only increased the fear among financially insecure pensioners to cope with their expenses and the future.
“People are really starting to feel the impact of inflation, especially on everyday things,” he said Kristen Holt, President and CEO of GreenPath Financial Wellness, a nonprofit debt counselor. “And it puts a lot of pressure on people who live on a fixed income.”
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Many seniors do not benefit from all the food aid they have available, experts say.
A 2015 examination found that less than half of eligible seniors participated in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP.
“For seniors, there tends to be a lot of misunderstandings about the program and a lot of stigma, and that unfortunately stands in the way of people seeking help,” he said. Josh ProtasVice President of MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.
The extra money can go a long way for retirees with a fixed income: The maximum benefit per month for a household of one is $ 250. Supermarket, online retailers and farmers’ markets receive the funds.
SNAP has rules around how much you can own in wealth and earn in income to get the help, and social security checks are included. Still, certain expenses, including your rent and childcare expenses, can be deducted, and experts say anyone who suspects they may qualify should apply.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has, too Commodity Supplemental Food Programunder which certain low-income people over the age of 60 are entitled to a monthly packed lunch, containing fruit, vegetables, cheeses and more.
In the meantime, retirees covered by a Medicaid health plan may be eligible for free food through Mother’s meals. And some Medicare Advantage health care plans offer meal benefits under the program for those who have recently been discharged from a hospital or have a chronic illness.
Meals are typically delivered every two to three weeks and include dishes such as Salisbury Steak, pasta and meatballs and sweet and sour chicken. People can tell the program about any allergies and they cater for diets that are suitable for vegetarians as well as for those with certain diseases like cancer or diabetes.
A spokesman for Mom’s Meals advised seniors who believe they could qualify for the free meals to contact a Medicaid or Medicare representative.
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Expensive health insurance and prescription expenses can take a big chunk of retirees’ income.
Fortunately, some may be eligible for help with their monthly premiums below Medicare savings programsaid Caitlin Donovana spokeswoman for the Patient Advocate Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps patients access and pay for health care.
“If you qualify, your premiums, deductions and deductibles will be covered, which would be a huge financial relief for anyone,” Donovan said.
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In addition, those who are registered with Medicare Part D, which covers prescriptions, should check to see if they qualify for Extra help. That program can reduce the cost of your medicines. The benefit could be worth more than $ 5,000 a year, Donovan said.
There are also a number of charities that help seniors with their health care expenses. For example, at Copays.org you can apply for self-payment funds, premiums, deductibles and over-the-counter medications.
While you must have extremely low income to qualify, some retirees will be eligible for the Supplemental Security Income program, an income-tested program for people over the age of 65 or with a disability.
In December 2021, more than 2.5 million people received both social security and the supplementary payment, which can be as high as $ 841 a month for an individual. You can apply to the Danish Social Insurance Agency website or by calling 1-800-325-0778.
For more help, the National Council of Aging has a “benefit checksite where you can learn about over 2,000 resources available for seniors struggling by zip code. The council also has a guide called You gave, save nowincluding information on the most generous benefits that help older people with expenses like their phone bill and property taxes.
Finally, some older people may be able to take on at least part-time work to increase their income. More than a third of Americans over the age of 65 do so at present, according to to Teresa Ghilarducci, director of The New School’s Retirement Equity Lab.
The Ministry of Labor has a program which helps the low-income elderly, the unemployed find work and get some education, Ghilarducci pointed out. Another resource is the national nonprofit SERand its network of community organizations offering job training.