Article Series

About Financial Assistance – Here is some Information

Article submitted by the staff with Seniors Resource Guide.com. Seniors Resource Guide is a network of websites that shares news, events and resources important to seniors, boomers, family members and professionals.
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Financial assistance programs are most often based on need, with income and/or age a part of the qualifying for the assistance. “Financial assistance” can range from emergency shelter to food to assistance with utility bills, temporary rent assistance, disaster relief, and other emergency services meant to help a person get past a temporary financial set back. Actual monetary financial assistance can depend on the grants that a non-profit has at your time of need. Sometimes financial assistance may not be available due to grant funds being exhausted.

  • The resources below deal with temporary financial assistance that helps a person get past a temporary financial setback. If you are looking for assistance with major debt and income imbalance that is causing ongoing extreme financial hardship – CLICK HERE

Good places to start if you are in need of financial assistance:

  1. Call 2-1-1 or visit their website
    2-1-1 is a free and confidential service provided by United Way and funded by community foundations, Federal, state and local governments. The 2-1-1 program serves all ages across the United States. They have lists of financial assistance resources by geographic area on their website or call them through the 2-1-1 phone number and speak with a trained services professional. Keep in mind that some areas of the country may have fewer or more financial assistance programs than others.
    Note: The 211.org website lists many other types of resources and services to help people in need.
    Website: www.211.org
  2. Your Local Area Agency on Aging
    Eldercare Locator: 1-800-677-1116 – Monday – Friday, 9AM – 8PM ET
    For older adults, your local Area Agency on Aging can be a referral source for food resources and other services that help seniors. Call the Eldercare Locator to find your local agency.
    Note: The Eldercare.gov website has a searchable database that lists information about different types of senior resources and also lists some local resources by state.
    Website: www.Eldercare.gov
  3. Helpful Hint
    When calling to ask for assistance have a notebook handy and take notes on the information you are given. Take the complete name of the person you are speaking with and their title or operator number; have them repeat the phone number you called, the name of agency and their website address. If something sounds too good to be true, then call in a day or two and make sure you get the same information the next time you call. If you are not given the same information, then bring up the previous conversation and try to get clarification. If possible or appropriate, ask for a case number or incident number so that when you call in next, your information can be accessed.
  4. Look at the Organization’s Website
    If you have Internet access, go to the organization’s website and check out their resources online. Often more details about programs are posted on a website than what you can get if you just call the organization.
  5. Access to the Internet
    More and more it is important to have Internet access to look at organizations’ websites. If you do not have a computer at home and Internet access, then you can often find computer and Internet access at libraries, senior centers, and some non-profit organizations offer assistance with Internet access.

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Types of Financial Assistance:

Financial assistance can include the following:

Note: These are topics that you can ask for referrals for from 2-1-1 and your local Area Agency on Aging.

  1. Food Resources such as home delivered meals, food pantries and congregate meal sites
  2. Financial Assistance to pay utility bills for heating and cooling. Often the program is known as Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  3. Home Repair financial assistance
  4. Financial Assistance for healthcare
  5. Legal Assistance for low income persons
  6. For renters – referrals on fair housing and transitional housing
  7. Financial Assistance dealing with housing alternatives for older adults. This topic may be getting into assistance with major debt and income imbalance that is causing ongoing financial hardship where the financial situation suggests the person move to lower cost housing.
    See Ongoing Extreme Financial Hardship – CLICK HERE
  8. Financial assistance can come from a charitable donation to an individual. Often the charitable donation comes from a non-profit and is paid to a specific vendor to the benefit of that older adult. Programs such as these are more difficult to locate but they are out there.
  9. BenefitsCheckUp helps you find state, federal, and private benefits programs available where you live, that can provide assistance with prescriptions, health care, food, utilities, and more.

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More Links for Financial Assistance Resources:

  • Benefits Checkup
    BenefitsCheckUp helps you find state, Federal, and private benefits programs available where you live. These benefits programs can help pay for prescriptions, health care, food, utilities, and more. You can also get help with tax relief, transportation, legal issues, or finding work.
    Website: BenefitsCheckup.org
  • Meal Call
    Find senior Meals-on-Wheels and other senior meal delivery and congregate programs nationwide. If you don't find a program, let them know and they will find something close to you.
    Website: www.mealcall.org
  • Meals on Wheels America
    The Meals On Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is the oldest and largest organization in the United States representing those who provide meal services to people in need.
    Website: www.mowaa.org
  • GoFundMe - Another type of financial assistance is to start a GoFundMe page that solicits donations for a specific issue or debt incurred by the person. GoFundMe is what is known as a crowd funding website.
    Note: If you are on Medicaid or living in income qualifying housing, then the funds raised through a GoFundMe account can impact your eligibility for those programs.
    Website: GoFundMe.com

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Other Financial Assistance Resources:

Below are links to the Federal website called Benefits.gov. The website lists financial assistance programs by broad categories and has links to state programs:

  • Benefits.gov – Overview – CLICK HERE
  • Benefits.gov Disability Assistance Information – CLICK HERE
  • Benefits.gov Energy Assistance Information – CLICK HERE
  • Benefits.gov Medicaid Information – CLICK HERE
  • Benefits.gov Tax Credit Information – CLICK HERE

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Tags: financial assistance, BenefitsCheckup, 2-1-1, Area Agency on Aging, Benefits.gov

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Posted November 2016 on www.SeniorsResourceGuide.com