We have included all the guides below for your convenience. Select your guide below.

Food Stamps Guide

Seniors who need help paying for food and groceries may qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. Also known as Food Stamps, this program increases access to nutritious foods for low-income seniors, families and adults throughout the United States.

Those who qualify for food stamps receive an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card to use at participating stores to purchase SNAP-approved foods. The EBT card works like a debit card and is consistently loaded with money as long as the senior remains eligible for benefits. The total amount of money a senior can receive through SNAP depends on income, household size and other factors.

SNAP requirements for senior applicants are a bit different than they are for younger adults. For example, most applicants between the ages of 18 and 60 are required to work or search for work to continue receiving SNAP benefits. Senior applicants usually do not need to participate in work search activities. However, seniors must meet other SNAP qualification criteria, including having an income that falls below their state’s threshold.

Section 8 Guide

Finding affordable housing is a common struggle among seniors in the United States. Those who live on fixed incomes may be searching for low-income housing options, such as rental units. Section 8, also known as the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) Program, is one of the largest federal housing assistance programs in the country.

Through Section 8, seniors receive vouchers they can use to rent discounted homes, apartments and condos. They can choose a home based on preference as long as the home participates in the program. Due to the high demand for housing assistance and the limited availability of Section 8 homes, it is common for applicants to be placed on a waiting list within their local public housing authority (PHA).

To qualify for Section 8, seniors must meet the income requirements in their state. They may also qualify as an “elderly household” if they meet the age requirement, helping them access housing more quickly.

Unemployment Insurance Guide

Unemployment Insurance (UI) provides weekly payments to people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own. Each state provides these benefits based on different criteria. However, regardless of your state, you do not qualify for unemployment benefits if you quit your job voluntarily. This also applies to seniors who leave their jobs to retire.

Seniors who are laid off, furloughed or experience reduced hours may qualify for UI payments. They must not have been fired for misconduct; this disqualifies any applicant from getting unemployment benefits. The total amount of money a senior can receive through the UI program varies depending on his or her previous income. States may calculate this number differently.

To continue receiving unemployment benefits, seniors must typically be actively searching for a new job. Many states waived this requirement during periods of government shutdowns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, but have since reinstated it.

TANF Guide

Seniors who need help paying for essentials may qualify for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. This federal financial assistance program provides cash payments to help seniors pay for things like medical bills, housing, clothes, food and other necessary items.

To receive TANF payments, seniors must be responsible for a child or children younger than 18 years of age or have dependents or full-time students younger than 19 years of age. Seniors do not need to have custody of the child(ren) but must be able to prove that the child(ren) are living with them.

Because TANF is a financial-based aid program, seniors must be considered low-income and have limited resources. Generally, the more people living in the house, the higher the household income may be and still qualify. Most states also require seniors to be unemployed or underemployed, which means they do not earn a sufficient income to pay for essentials.

Medicaid Guide

The cost of health care in the United States is among the highest in the world. Millions of seniors rely on Medicaid, a federal health insurance program, to access comprehensive health care at an affordable price. Medicaid is available to seniors as well as low-income children, families and individuals who meet certain requirements.

Although it is a federal program, each state has the freedom to issue Medicaid benefits in a manner of their choosing. For example, some states extend Medicaid eligibility to seniors with higher incomes in an effort to provide health care coverage to more people.

You could qualify for free or low-cost health care through Medicaid depending on a few eligibility criteria. Program qualifications are based on where you live, your income, the size of your family and other health-related criteria. Some seniors may even qualify for Medicaid automatically based on their medical need, known as “medically-needy applicants.”

Medicare Guide

Medicare is one of the most common sources of health care among seniors and disabled adults. This federal health care program provides low-cost health insurance to millions of seniors throughout the United States. Those who qualify can significantly reduce their out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as copayments and premiums.

Medicare is primarily for seniors at least 65 years of age. However, certain disabled adults may receive Medicare coverage earlier, depending on their disability status.

There are four main parts of the Medicare health insurance program: Part A, Part B, Part C and Part D. Medicare Parts A and B are collectively known as “Original Medicare” and cover inpatient and outpatient services. Part C – also known as a Medicare Advantage Plan – is a supplemental coverage plan that seniors can purchase from private insurance companies. Part D plans are referred to as drug coverage plans because they help seniors pay for brand-name and generic prescriptions.