Elderly Government Programs: A List of Beneficial Programs for Seniors

Elderly programs are provided by both the government and the private sector. Discover great benefits and find out how they might be of use to you.

As you age, staying healthy and consuming a balanced diet becomes harder. Thankfully, many older people could benefit from government assistance.

For instance, seniors who have contributed to Social Security can choose to receive monthly benefits at 62 (or wait longer for higher amounts.)

Many government and nonprofit organizations provide service programs to help you financially make the most of your golden years.

Growing older does not always imply that things are getting better. If you need assistance, here is a list of support services for seniors.

Elderly Financial Assistance Programs

Retirement should be a relaxing time away from the stresses of employment.

Unfortunately, many retirees are concerned about how to seek assistance to pay bills, both for daily essentials and unexpected crises.

Fortunately, the government programs described below provide much-needed financial help to many seniors.

1. iCanConnect

iCanConnect, located in all 50 states, gives training and equipment to senior individuals with serious hearing and vision loss.

They assist in purchasing computers, braille displays, smartphones, tablets, and other items.

2. USDA Housing Repair Assistance

The USDA provides government benefits programs for seniors through single-family affordable housing repair loans and grants.

These grants have eligibility conditions, and the loans have a 1% fixed interest rate over a 20-year duration.

3. Programs for Housing and Urban Development

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development provides many programs for low-income elders who require assistance supplementing their income.

Homeowners aged 62 and over who have paid off their mortgage may be eligible for HUD’s reverse mortgage program or subsidized housing costs if they rent.

NOTE: Senior Living, a similar program, provides a database of senior living options, ranging from independent living to hospice-based care.

4. Home Energy Assistance Program for Low-Income Families

Families can receive government-sponsored aid through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

This program also provides support to low-income seniors who need free government help managing the expense of their home energy bills.

5. Medicaid

Medicaid covers all aspects of health care for the elderly, from nursing facilities to medical care, prescription drugs, inpatient and outpatient services, and medical appointments.

They also offer home and community-based attendant care services that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive to pay out of pocket.

6.  Medicare

Medicare beneficiaries with limited income may be eligible for this program, which gives up to $5,000 in pharmaceutical assistance each year.

Typically, the Medicare program covers roughly 50% of enrollees’ healthcare and medical bills.

They also provide financial assistance to senior citizens through Medicare Savings Programs, which can assist with paying Medicare premiums and deductibles.

NOTE: A comparable program that covers the health care of older adults, such as prescription drugs, is called Extra Help. To qualify, you must be on a tight budget.

7. Social Security Benefits

Social security beneficiaries at 62 years old can apply for personal or spousal retirement benefits.

Beneficiaries of Social Security are covered by comprehensive medical and hospital insurance, managed care plans, and optional prescription drug coverage.

8. IRS Tax Credit for the Elderly

If you fulfill certain eligibility requirements, the IRS Elderly Tax Credit may help you decrease the tax you owe each year.

Elderly Government Assistance Programs

Caring for an elderly loved one is a massive task.

Federal, state, and even local government agencies can offer income assistance, care during a respite, advocacy, and various other types of support.

1. SSI (Supplemental Security Income)

Let’s say the only source of income for your loved one is their Social Security payments, which were gained through low-paying employment.

In that case, they may be eligible for a higher monthly benefit from the Social Security Administration (SSA), known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The federal government runs the SSI program, which gives monthly payments to senior citizens and others who are blind or disabled to augment their meager income.

Because this federal program is needs-based, applicants must meet certain income and asset standards to be considered.

2. The Administration on Aging (AoA)

The AoA administers many national programs and services for elders.

It includes free health insurance counseling, legal support, elder abuse prevention, and assistance with long-term care planning.

The AoA also manages a network of community-based organizations known as Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs).

3. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

If your loved one is a military veteran or the surviving spouse of a veteran, they may be eligible for various benefits from the US Veterans Affairs Department.

The VA provides qualified veterans and their qualifying family members with health care, long-term care services, pensions, disability payments, burial benefits, and other benefits.

4. The Americans with Disabilities Act National Network

If your loved one has a disability, learning about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 may be beneficial.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that outlaws discrimination against disabled people in all sectors of public life.

It includes senior employment, state and federal government programs, transportation, public accommodations, telecommunications, and commercial facilities.

The Department of Health and Human Services established the ADA National Network to provide information and briefings.

5. The National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Senior citizens are more likely to have various medical issues and use a variety of over-the-counter and prescription drug coverage.

MedlinePlus is a service of the National Institutes of Health.

It is a comprehensive online library of information about health disorders, medical tests, and every prescription approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

6.  State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs

Every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam have an ombudsman program to assist long-term care individuals and their families in understanding their legal rights.

A full-time LTC ombudsman is in charge of each program, managing a staff of volunteers.

These individuals pay visits to people residing in long-term care facilities, look into and handle complaints, fight for the provision of high-quality care, and inform clients of their legal rights.

Elderly Medicare Savings Programs

Medicaid is a type of health insurance available to those with low earnings.

The Medicare Savings Programs may still be available to seniors and younger persons with disabilities who do not necessarily meet the requirements for full Medicaid coverage.

There are four distinct MSPs, each with a different eligibility threshold for resources and income.

It functions similarly to a free health insurance program by enabling seniors to access the complete medical and dental care they require.

Participants must have Medicare Part A and meet specific requirements for income and resources.

States have the discretion to increase or, in the case of the asset test, eliminate the financial qualifying standards defined by legislation (different names in some states may know MSPs).

Typically, local Medicaid agencies are used to submit applications for this program. Every year, eligibility is renewed.

The 4 Medicare Savings Programs

The following programs allow income and other resources to be accepted as eligible resources:

1. Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)

They are designed for those with resources under $8,400 for single individuals and $12,600 for married individuals who earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).

Medicare premiums (Part A and possibly Part B), deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance will all be covered by this program.

A $20 general income disregard is included in the monthly income restrictions; Alaska and Hawaii have marginally greater restrictions:

  • Single/married residents of the 48 states and the District of Columbia pay $1,153/$1,546.
  • Alaska: $1,436/$1,928 for single/married people.

Hawaii: single/married $1,323/$1,775

2. Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB)

They are designed for seniors and PWDs who earn between 100 and 120% of the FPL and have assets under $8,400 for single people and $12,600 for married people.

SLMB will, if qualified, pay the Medicare Part B monthly premium ($170.10 in 2022).

A $20 general income disregard is included in the monthly income restrictions; Alaska and Hawaii have marginally greater restrictions:

  • Residents of the 48 states and the District of Columbia, single/married, $1,379/$1,851
  • Alaska, single/married: $1,719/$2,309
  • Hawaii, single/married: $1,583/$2,126

3. Qualifying Individual (QI)

A constrained program is first-come, first-served, and funded by block grants to the states.

With an annual income between 120 and 135% FPL and resources under $8,400 for single people and $12,600 for married people, Medicare recipients may be eligible.

This program may also cover the Medicare Part B deductible.

A $20 general income disregard is included in the monthly income restrictions; Alaska and Hawaii have marginally greater restrictions:

  • Residents of the 48 states and the District of Columbia, single/married, $1,549/$2,080
  • Alaska, single/married: $1,931/$2,595
  • Hawaii, single/married, $1,778/$2,389

4. Qualified Disabled Working Individual (QDWI)

People may qualify with an annual income at or below 200% FPL with resources under $4,000 if single or $6,000 if married.

This program is for persons under 65 who are disabled and who have recently returned to work but are no longer eligible for premium-free Part A.

The income cap for QDWI is raised by extra earned income disregards, though. This scheme may also cover the Part A premium.

Alaska and Hawaii have slightly higher limitations; monthly income limits include a $20 general income disregard and other earned income disregards:

  • $4,615/$6,188 for residents of the 48 states plus the District of Columbia.
  • Alaska: Single/Married: $5,748/$7,715
  • Hawaii: single/married $5,295/$7,105

NOTE: The restrictions listed above are governed by federal law. The federal guideline levels may be raised, or the resource test eliminated in some areas. Check the eligibility requirements set forth by each state.

Elderly Food Assistance Programs

Look for food and nutrition programs that prioritize serving the needs of Americans 60 and older.

1. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps, gives eligible seniors monthly stipends to spend on food.

The amount provided each month is determined by the household’s income and the number of people.

Seniors 60 and above are subject to different, more liberal rules. Make careful to look into deductions for medical bills and excess medical charges.

SNAP is known differently in different states. California, for example, calls it CalFresh.

2. Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program

This program provides seniors with coupon booklets that they can use at farmers’ markets and outdoor stands to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, honey, and herbs.

Coupon booklets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and not all companies accept them.

This program is not available in every state and may only be available at specific times of the year. Generally for lower-income seniors 60 and older.

3. The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

This program is not applied for through the federal government program. Rather, food from the United States.

The USDA delivers food to food banks, pantries, soup kitchens, and community action agencies in your area.

4. Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federal initiative that reimburses qualified people.

These children and adults are enrolled in childcare facilities, senior centers, daycare facilities, and adult daycare facilities for wholesome meals and snacks.

5. Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR)

USDA Foods are distributed to low-income households on Indian reservations.

Also, it is given to Native American homes living in certain areas close to reservations or Oklahoma through the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR).

To administer FDPIR, USDA provides participating Indian Tribal Organizations and state agencies with food and administrative funding.

6.  Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs

Grants are given to states through the Older Americans Act (OAA) Nutrition Programs, a division of the Administration on Aging within the Administration for Community Living.

It is to fund nutrition programs for senior citizens across the nation.

The Congregate Nutrition Program and the Home Delivered Nutrition Program are also part of the OAA Nutrition Programs.

7. Meals on Wheels

Meals on Wheels is another term for home delivery meal programs, albeit the terminology varies by state.

Through our network of more than 5,000 locally managed organizations, Meals on Wheels serves almost every town in America.

Each program is dedicated to helping its senior neighbors live healthier and more nourished lives in their homes.

Even though the variety of its services and operations may vary depending on the needs and resources of its community.

8. Supplemental Food Program for Commodities

By adding wholesome USDA Foods to low-income individuals at least 60 years old, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) aims to promote their health.

To run the CSFP, the USDA gives participating states and Indian Tribal Organizations food and administrative monies.

How to Access Government Programs for the Elderly

You can apply for financial help for seniors using your computer or smartphone; in most cases, you can do so online. Begin by visiting the two websites listed below

They can assist you in determining which of the above programs you and your loved one may be eligible for, as well as any others that may be special to your area.

1. Benefits.gov

A comprehensive Benefit Finder tool is available on this website, giving users a single entry point to details on numerous federal agencies’ federal, state, and local programs.

You’ll need to collect as much information as possible on your older loved one’s health, handicap, income, assets, military service, educational level, and other factors.

Fill out the Benefits Finder questionnaire as completely as possible. After you submit your answers, the site will generate a list of government programs.

Also, the supplements and services for which your loved one may be eligible, along with application forms and eligibility information.

2. BenefitsCheckUp.org

BenefitsCheckUp, a free service of the National Council on Aging, is a catalog of government programs available nationally.

There are around 2,500 benefit programs available to elderly adults, ranging from prescription drug coverage and health care to tax relief and senior jobs.

The National Council on Aging’s nonprofit website will ask many of the same questions as the previous one, but this one is designed exclusively for seniors.

As a result, it may report additional programs, facts, and contact information more relevant to your circumstance.

Family caregivers can use these resources to get critical information, financial aid, and services for their elderly loved members.

These programs provide additional assistance to elders, allowing them to remain healthy and active for extended periods while reducing caregiver stress.

This guide might not cover every possible program. Contact your local senator if you want to look into solutions that aren’t included here.

Each senator has a staff member who may help you with smaller community-specific activities. Your congressional representatives also have senior affairs staff.

Your local Area Agency on Aging is another source of aid. Professionals who understand senior assistance programs can be found here. These people can also assist with applications.

Meanwhile, the Administration for Community Living advocates for elders nationally and locally.

It assists with legal issues, long-term care, medical insurance consulting, and elder abuse protection.

Validations and Renewals

You must complete applications for the majority of free government aid programs. Many are predicated on your age, such as those that call for you to be at least 55 or 65.

Many needs-based programs need you to certify your income and assets. You might need to re-verify every one to two years.

If you’re requesting veterans’ benefits, you must provide proof that you served in the military (tax returns are helpful in these circumstances).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

For your convenience, we’ve compiled a list of some frequently asked questions concerning government programs for the elderly.

What Does the Government Do for the Elderly?

Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Administration, SSI, and SNAP are government programs that make a living easier.

They lower the number of seniors deprived of adequate food, clothing, and housing.

What Is a Flex Card for Seniors?

Flex cards are pre-loaded debit cards that can be used to pay for medical expenses by qualifying Medicare recipients.

These flex cards are only available from a few private insurance companies and only with a few policies—the card’s spending limit and what you can use it for vary by plan.

Are Senior Citizens Getting Money From the Government?

Yes. The federal government’s SSI program provides free government monthly payments to older people (those over 65.)

Also, people who are blind or disabled at any age have very limited income and few resources.

What Does the US Government Define as Low-Income Seniors?

Living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL), about $25,760 per year for a single person in 2021, are over 15 million Americans aged 65 and over.

What Can I Do if I Have No Money to Aid My Elderly Parent?

For elderly parents who don’t have money, in-home care, adult day care, senior centers, and assisted living facilities are all viable alternatives to long-term care.

Each choice offers a unique set of benefits and drawbacks that should be considered before choosing.

What Is the Senior Community Service Employment Program?

A program for older Americans that combines community service and on-the-job training in the workplace is called the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP).

The Older Americans Act-authorized initiative offers low-income, jobless seniors training.

Is Retirement Jobs a Nonprofit organization?

Yes. Connecting older adults with businesses needing their skills and expertise helps seniors overcome age stigma.


The latter part of our life may be some of the best and the most difficult simultaneously.

Government programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, SSI, and SNAP help older people live more comfortably.

These programs reduce the number of seniors struggling to find enough to eat, wear, and live.

Some organizations even provide incentives for older individuals to travel (America the Beautiful pass) and connect with their community in new ways (AmeriCorps Seniors).

Take advantage of every opportunity!