Financial assistance for disabled seniors can be cash, reduced fees for services or services at no cost. The funding agency sets the guidelines for which level of financial assistance you will qualify to receive. All of these types of financial assistance help you reduce your cash outlay, so they all provide budget benefits.
Financial assistance programs benefit seniors by helping them age in place, age with dignity and have opportunities for staying connected and active. Without these programs, many disabled seniors might need to live in an institution to get assistance with their activities of daily living. Some services target all seniors; others are only for disabled people whose disability qualifies them for financial assistance for meeting daily needs and managing health.
Home-delivered meals from the Meals on Wheels program are free for seniors. Seniors who substitute one free meal each weekday get a weekly budget boost. Free or reduced transportation services make it possible for disabled seniors to get to important medical appointments safely, often for much less than driving themselves. Many municipalities provide in-home care assistance with bathing, dressing, meal preparation and housework to disabled seniors. In most states, these services are free for anyone who is Medicaid-eligible. Most disabled seniors can qualify for a substantial reduction of the market cost of these services, even when they are not eligible for Medicaid. Medicare provides health coverage for seniors who are 65 and older; however, you may be eligible for it before you reach that age, if you are disabled. Seniors can get free assistance with reverse mortgages that provide a monthly income from home equity from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Some states also have foreclosure prevention funding specifically for senior citizens.
Typically, the federal government gives money to state and local governments to fund programs for disabled seniors. Large cities often have an office of aging that coordinates services in targeted areas. These agencies identify available services and distribute information to community access points. Senior citizen centers, libraries, churches and health-care providers often have the most up-to-information about programs and the application process.
Myths about grants for seniors abound, along with unscrupulous people who claim to be able to help you qualify, for a fee. Never pay for information about any assistance for disabled senior citizens. The federal Administration on Aging website describes government programs for disabled seniors, and it has links to state and local services. AARP also keeps track of legislation that affects seniors of all ages. You can get accurate information on their website or by calling one of their state offices.