As the cost of ordinary products continues to rise, seniors living on a fixed income are likely to feel the pinch the most acutely.
While the recent cost-of-living adjustment to Social Security benefits of almost 6 percent this year is a welcome relief for many, grocery and energy prices, especially gasoline, have seen their most significant increase in decades.
According to the Social Security Administration, many claimants get the majority or all of their income from the monthly payment, which was an average of $1,555 in June 2021, according to the most recent data available.
Fortunately, retirees who are concerned about keeping up with their bills in the face of inflation can turn to a variety of alternatives. Here are a few examples of them.
Assistance with health insurance and medicine costs
Health insurance and pharmaceutical prices can be prohibitively expensive for retirees, causing their salaries to suffer significantly.
Those who qualify for assistance with their monthly premiums under the Medicare Savings Program, according to Caitlin Donovan of the National Patient Advocate Foundation,
a non-profit that assists patients in accessing and paying for health care, may be eligible for financial support.
‘If you qualify for assistance, your premiums, deductibles, and copays will be paid, which would be a significant financial relief for everyone,’ Donovan explained.
Aside from that, those registered in Medicare Part D, which covers prescription drugs, should check to determine if they are eligible for Extra Assistance.
That program may be able to lower the expenses associated with your medications. According to Donovan, the benefit can be worth more than $5,000 per year.
Several philanthropic groups also exist to assist seniors in paying for their healthcare expenses. Examples include Copays.org, which offers grants for copays, premiums, deductibles, and over-the-counter drugs.
Among the resources available through the National Patient Advocate Foundation is a financial resource directory, where you may look for local assistance with everything from dental care to end-of-life services.
The advantages of food
According to experts, many elderly individuals are not making use of all of the food aid programs that are available to them. According to a survey conducted in 2015,
fewer than half of eligible seniors enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as SNAP.
In general, there is a great deal of misunderstanding about the program, as well as a great deal of stigma, which unfortunately prevents people from seeking assistance,” said Josh Protas, vice president of MAZON:
A Jewish Response to Hunger. “Unfortunately, this stands in the way of people seeking assistance.”
However, for retirees living on a limited income, the extra money can make a significant difference. In the case of a one-person household, the maximum monthly benefit is $250. Markets such as grocery stores, online sellers, and farmers’ markets are willing to accept the payments.
SNAP has regulations about how much you can own in assets and earn in income in order to qualify for assistance, and Social Security benefits are taken into consideration.
Nonetheless, certain expenses, such as your rent and child care fees, may be deductible, and experts advise anyone who believes they may be eligible to file a tax return to submit an application.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program, administered by the United States Department of Agriculture, provides low-income adults over the age of 60 with a monthly food package containing fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables as well as cheeses and other dairy products.
Before and after the 5.9 percent cost-of-living adjustment, the estimated average monthly Social Security benefits were calculated.
Payment is due in January 2022.
Before COLA and after COLA, a group
All of the retired employees
a couple in their eighties who are both collecting benefits
A mother and her two children have been widowed.
$1,467.00 $1,553.00 Aged widow(er) living alone
Worker with a disability, his or her spouse, and one or more children
Workers with disabilities in general
The Social Security Administration is the source of this information.
In the meanwhile, retirees who are covered by a Medicaid health plan benefit may be eligible for free food through Mom’s Meals, which is a nonprofit organization.
In addition, some Medicare Advantage health plans include meal benefits as part of the program for those who have recently been discharged from the hospital or who are struggling with a chronic illness.
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Every two to three weeks, the meals are normally delivered, and they include recipes such as Salisbury steak, pasta and meatballs, and sweet and sour chicken, among others.
People can inform the program of any allergies they may have, and they can adjust meals that are suitable for vegetarians as well as people who have certain medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes.
Seniors who believe they could be eligible for Mom’s Meals should speak with a representative from Medicaid or Medicare, according to a spokesperson for the organization.
There are other choices…
Some retirees may be qualified for the Supplemental Security Income program, which is a means-tested program for persons over the age of 65 or who have a handicap. However, you must have an extremely low income to qualify for this program.
In December 2021, more than 2.5 million people received both Social Security and supplemental payment, which can amount to as much as $841 per month for an individual in some circumstances.
You can apply for Social Security benefits online or by phoning the Social Security Administration at 1-800-325-0778.
In addition, the National Council on Aging offers a “benefits check-up” website where you may learn about more than 2,000 resources accessible to seniors who are experiencing financial difficulties by zip code.
You Gave, Now Save is another resource from the council that includes information on the most generous benefits available to assist older people with bills such as their phone bills and property taxes.