A Helping Hand in a Time of Need
The retirement period can be quite sensitive. There is so much that comes with getting older, so needing help is inevitable. Senior citizens are likely to be slower and so cannot work as much, and sometimes, health issues take their toll.
Thankfully, several benefits are available for American seniors over 50, and knowing these benefits will help you have a more enjoyable retirement period. Here are some of the benefits most American seniors over 50 qualify for.
The United States recognizes people of all ages living with disability; they are provided with federal insurance with Medicare, which is a health insurance plan for citizens who are at least 65 or young people living with a disability. Apart from that, as a senior citizen living with a disability, you are also eligible for certain benefits.
Senior citizens with a disability may enjoy benefits under the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). PACE offers medical and social services to elderly residents of a community. The program requires you to be up to 55 though and live in a PACE organization's service area. PACE participants receive coordinated care that enables them to stay in the community instead of receiving care in a nursing home. It also lets providers provide all the needed care, not only those reimbursable under Medicare and Medicaid fee-for-service plans.
Other disability benefits are the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). SSDI pays benefits to participants and certain family members, and eligibility is based on age, disability, how long the applicant has worked and whether or not they paid social security taxes. SSI, on the other hand, is for people with a disability and older citizens above 65; they are provided with money to take care of their basic needs.
Suppose you are a veteran who got injured during active military service or as a result of active military service. In that case, you are also eligible for disability compensation, which is a tax-free income paid to the veteran or their surviving family member.
Food Assistance Programs
Depending on their income, American seniors who are 60 or older are also eligible for food assistance programs. One such program is the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP). The program provides coupons to low-income senior citizens to get fresh fruits, vegetables, honey and herbs. They also increase access to locally-grown food by aiding the development of additional farmers' markets, roadside stands and community support agricultural programs.
Another food assistance program is the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP). This program seeks to improve the health of low-income senior citizens by offering them nutritious foods. CSFP is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). It is in charge of getting the food and administrative funds to participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations, which in turn distribute them to local agencies and then to the people.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) also provides nutritional meals to children and adults at childcare and adult daycare centers.
Health Care Assistance
Medicare and Medicaid are the two most popular healthcare programs for American seniors. Medicare has been explained above; it is federal health insurance for older citizens of 65 and above aimed at helping them cover their medical requirements. Medicare can be applied for in either of the available four parts.
Part A covers inpatient hospital care, skilled nursing facility, hospice, lab tests, surgery and home health care. Part B covers doctor and other health care providers' services, outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health care and some preventive services. On the other hand, Part C lets patients choose health plans with at least the same service coverage as Parts A and B, while Part D is for self-administered prescription drugs.
Medicaid is partially funded by state governments; it is a health insurance program for low-income children and adults. Although it is not restricted to adult care, it offers benefits not covered by Medicare, such as nursing home care and personal care services.
Senior citizens also enjoy discounts from drug stores and other health services organizations, such as Costco, Walmart, Target and RxSaver.
Many institutions or organizations across the country offer older citizens discounts to buy goods or use their services. And with these discounts, you can save up to 10 to 80 percent of the original prices of the goods or services. Some senior discounts are public knowledge, while some would require you to ask if you don’t mind showing proof of age. So you should leverage it to spend less and save more.
For instance, companies like Banana Republic, Denny’s, Outback Steakhouse, British Airways, Trailways Transportation, Hertz, Avis and Audible offer discounts for American seniors as young as 50.
The discounts usually come with requirements, of course. For some, discounts are only given on certain days, and others require a membership card to offer discounts. And sometimes, the conditions vary based on the location.
Senior citizens in America also enjoy senior services from their community and other volunteers. For instance, some communities have senior centers that provide senior citizens with entertainment, food and educational classes. Some provide free or discounted transportation, and some people feel the need to lend a hand to a senior citizen.
Often, people don’t enjoy the benefits they have a right to because of a lack of information. Hopefully, with this information, you now understand the benefits you can claim as an American senior. Also, you should always speak to the organization in charge to find out more details.