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These resources can help cash-strapped retirees pay their bills

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Rising inflation has exacerbated an existing problem for millions of older Americans: They don’t have enough money to live comfortably in retirement.

Without enough savings and the average Social Security check arrives just in time over $1500 A month, many retirees struggle to make ends meet.

The good news is that there are thousands of resources that can bring relief to cash-strapped retirees.

Below are some of them.

food benefits

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Experts say that many older people do not benefit from the food aid offered to them. 2015 studyFor example, it found that less than half of eligible seniors participate in the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

“There tends to be a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of stigma about the program, and unfortunately that stands in the way of people seeking help,” he said. Josh Protasvice president of the nonprofit MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

Extra SNAP money can go a long way with a steady income for retirees. Maximum benefit per month for a household for one person $250. Markets, online retailers and farmers markets accept funds.

SNAP has rules around it how much you can own assets and generate income Social Security checks are taken into account to receive benefits. Still, certain expenses are deductible, including your rent and childcare, and experts say anyone who suspects they may qualify should do so. to apply.

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture Commodity Supplementary Food ProgramCertain low-income people over the age of 60 are eligible for a monthly food package that includes fruit, vegetables, cheese and more.

Meanwhile, retirees covered by a Medicaid health plan benefit may be eligible to receive free meals through a caterer. My mother’s foods. Some Medicare Advantage health plans also offer program meal benefits for those who have recently been discharged from the hospital or have a chronic illness.

Meals are typically delivered every two to three weeks and include dishes such as Salisbury steak, pasta and meatballs, and sweet and sour chicken. People can report any allergies to the program and adhere to diets suitable for both vegetarians and those with certain conditions, such as cancer or diabetes.

A Mom’s Meals spokesperson advised seniors who think they might qualify for free meals to contact a Medicaid or Medicare representative.

Health insurance and medication cost assistance

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Expensive health insurance and prescription costs can take a big chunk out of retirees’ incomes.

Some may qualify for benefits with their covered monthly premiums. Medicare Savings Programaforementioned Caitlin DonovanSpokesperson for the National Patient Advocacy Foundation, a nonprofit that helps patients access and pay for healthcare.

“If you qualify, your premiums, deductions and payments will be covered, which will be tremendous financial relief for everyone,” Donovan said. Said.

In addition, those enrolled in Medicare Part D covering prescriptions should see if they qualify for: more help. This program can reduce the costs associated with your medications. The benefit could be more than $5,000 a year, Donovan said.

There are also a number of charities that help the elderly with health care costs. for example, You can apply for funds to be invested in copays, premiums, deductions and over-the-counter drugs.

of the National Patient Advocacy Foundation financial resource directory you can call local help for everything dental care to end-of-life services.

Other options…

Although you must be extremely low-income to qualify, some retirees will qualify for the Supplemental Security Income program, an income-tested program for those over 65 or with a disability.

More than 2.5 million people received both Social Security and supplementary payments in December 2021; 841 dollars one month for one person. You can apply to the Social Security Institution. Web site or by calling 1-800-325-0778.

For more help, see the National Council on Aging”benefit checkWebsite where you can learn about over 2,000 resources for seniors struggling with ZIP code.

The council also has a guide called You Gave, Save Nowincluding information on the most generous benefits helping older people with expenses such as phone bills and property taxes.

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