Personal Finance Retirement

Financial Assistance Resources For The Elderly

To receive SNAP benefits, families and individuals must meet certain eligibility test. The test criteria range from household income, assets, employer, and other criteria. There are also special rules for the elderly over 60 years old or disabled. For more information and specifics on eligibility requirements, you should check the Food and Nutrition Service’s website.

To apply for SNAP, you must complete an online application and also visit your local State or County office for the FNS.

Home Delivered Meals
Many states and local communities have food programs, such as Meals on Wheels, which deliver food to your home every day. These programs are for the elderly and those who are disabled or homebound. Most charities do not require payment for the meals, but they often accept donations. While there are different eligibility requirements for each program, most require recipients to be shut-in, homebound due to a disability, and typically over the age of 60.

Home delivered or congregate meals vary by state and local location. There are no national organizations that run a nation-wide program. You should look for charities and programs in your area for home-delivered meals to the elderly and homebound.

Other Services

Legal Aid
Each state’s Department of Aging Services or similar government agency on aging have a legal assistance program for seniors. Governments typically administered at the state or local level. For example, the state of Georgia’s program is called the Elderly Legal Assistance Program (ELAP).

These programs typically offer attorneys who can answer legal questions from the elderly and provide legal advice at a reduced rate or pro bono. They can also prepare and review legal documents or represent elderly citizens in non-criminal court proceedings.

Applying for free or reduced rate legal services varies by location. You should contact your state’s Division for Aging or similar agency for more details. The agency, like in Georgia’s case, will refer you to a local or regional agency to coordinate the assistance.

Senior Companion and Friendly Visitor Programs
Many local charitable and faith-based organizations offer programs to senior citizens with companion and visitor services. These programs allow for the elderly to have social interactions with a volunteer who visits the senior. Often, these programs specialize in visits and companionship after a hospitalization of a senior.

Depending on the organization and its program, volunteers may also escort seniors away from their homes for recreational activities or help with chores around their home. These volunteers play an important role in preventing isolation for the elderly and can watch for warning signs of a developing or worsening health condition for the senior citizen.

The best way to find charitable and faith-based organizations in your location that offer these services is an online search through a search engine such as Google.

There are a lot of resources for the elderly and their families that need help and information on financial assistance programs for the elderly. Each state typically runs their programs for the elderly that cover a wide range of topics from housing, income, financial assistance, medical care, legal advice, and others. These programs are extremely location dependent, and for the best results, you should research programs in your specific location.

The information listed here is current as of April 28th, 2017. But, these programs are constantly changing. You should follow the links provided to find out about current eligibility, income guidelines, and contact information for these programs.

About the author

Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the publisher or the popular personal finance blog, Money Q&A. He’s also a freelance journalist specializing in retirement planning, investing, and personal finance. You can also find him on Twitter @MoneyQandA.

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