(WHTM) — Many have been saying how inflation is taking its toll on everyone, especially senior citizens. Many of them are on a fixed income and are struggling.
But, there is help out there if you know where to look.
One in four older adults depends on social security for 90% of their income. In fact, poverty among seniors is on the rise. But there are programs that could make a big difference.
The National Council on Aging states that many people are just not taking advantage of them.
“You may think ‘Oh, I don’t qualify for this’ but, you should always go and check and see because you never know. A lot of them have very generous income thresholds for older adults,” Brandy Bauer with the National Council on Aging said.
The National Council on Aging is a non-profit that connects older adults to health economic programs. These benefits include the SNAP program for food, and energy assistance programs which help pay for your heating and cooling costs.
“But there are a number of subsidy programs for people with Medicare that help to pay for their health care, bring down the price of prescription drugs. There’s tax relief, there are other discount programs that can help for all the necessities of living,” Bauer said.
Much of this money is going unused.
“The National Council on Aging estimates that about $30 billion in these programs are left on the table every single year. Some of these programs can be worth a couple of hundred dollars and some of them can be worth up to several thousand dollars, putting money back into your pocketbook,”
That is why these benefits are so important. For some, it could literally be a life-or-death decision.
“A lot of older adults make very dangerous tradeoffs, they may choose to cut their pills in half or forego eating in favor of being able to pay the electricity bill, and we don’t believe that should ever happen in this country,” Bauer said.
Before enrolling, you need to have an idea of your income and how much money you have in the bank. But, do not assume these programs are not for you.
“We always say it’s worth applying even if you think you may have income over the limits,” Bauer said.
Besides, it does not hurt to check – these benefits have proven to be crucial. The National Council on Aging can point you in the right direction.
“For some folks, it can mean the difference between being able to stay in your home and being able to help with a chronic condition like diabetes. It can mean getting food, healthy food on the table, and being able to save some money and spend it on things they enjoy, like playing with their grandchildren,” Bauer added.
These benefits can save you hundreds of dollars a month, which can really add up. To get connected with the programs, you can call 1-800-794-6559, or by clicking here.