Thursday, August 18, 2022

Social Security Help For Seniors

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Tax Credit For Older People And Those With Disabilities

COJ financial assistance program will help seniors, those receiving social security disability benef

The IRS offers a tax credit if you are older or have disabilities, which is outlined and explained in IRS Publication 524. Basic qualifications include being 65 or older at the end of the tax year or being retired with a permanent disability, and having taxable disability income. There are also income limits that further restrict eligibility.

How Optional State Social Security Supplements Work

Read this section before going to your states policy.

Optional State Social Security Supplements are complicated and confusing. However, families caring for an aging loved one, need not understand every nuance. In a simplified view, OSS can help seniors pay for assisted living by providing money for assisted living room and board costs.

For persons who are financially eligible, states, through their Optional State Supplements, provide assistance to help pay for the room and board fees associated with assisted living or adult foster care. The benefit is provided as additional money over and above the amount they receive from Social Security SSI. However, the individual does not receive the money directly. Instead, it goes directly to their assisted living community or adult foster care home. Depending on ones state, the amount of assistance can range from insignificant, just a few dollars per month to over $1,000 per month. Though mentioned previously, it should be re-emphasized that the actual OSS amounts are calculated based on the individuals income. The table below shows a breakdown of how the Maximum OSS is funded in a sample state that has a Maximum OSS for room and board of $1,200.

Assisted & Supportive Living Facilities

An aging population is spurring an increased demand for and development of Assisted and Supportive Living Facilities. By providing a variety of supportive services, these housing options offer an independent lifestyle that is safer and more manageable for the senior than living alone in their own home.

The amenities and services vary, but can include private or shared apartments, housekeeping services, medication management, personal care assistance , social activities, transportation and more. Some facilities provide a more secure environment and services specifically for clients coping with dementia and Alzheimers.

The terms Assisted Living Facility and Supportive Living Facility are often confusing for people facing these decisions for the first time. Generally, the senior and/or their family pay for the cost of living in an ALF, while SLFs are state-funded thru Medicaid. Staff at the facility will often help with the Medicaid application, or one of our trained I & A staff can assist you. To receive a list of ALFs and SLFs in your area, contact one of our offices near you, which you can find by

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Social Security Definitions & Acronyms Explained

  • Social Security provides retirement income for seniors that have paid into the program, which includes almost everyone that has worked legally in the U.S. More.
  • Supplemental Security Income is financial help for persons with limited income and assets. SSI evaluates ones income and fills in the gap to bring their income up to a pre-set amount. More.
  • Optional State Supplements are state-based financial help provided on top of the federal SSI benefit. OSS benefit amounts differ for each recipient and may vary depending on where they live . It is under OSS where Social Security provides financial help for assisted living. OSS are also called State Supplementary Payments . More.
  • Assisted Living non-medical care, meals, and activities are provided in a group living environment. A staggering number of acronyms are used to essentially describe what is the same thing across the 50 states. A non-exhaustive list follows:

AFC Adult Foster Care or Adult Family CareARCH Adult Residential Care HomesCBRF Community Based Residential FacilitiesCCFFH Community Care Foster Family HomesCRCF Community Residential Care FacilitiesNMOHC Non-Medical Out of Home CareOPNMI Other Private Non-Medical InstitutionRCAC Residential Care Apartment ComplexRCF Residential Care FacilitiesRCFE Residential Care Facilities for the ElderlySCU Special Care Unit

Financial Help For Senior Citizens Over : Free Money

Sorry, Seniors: 2020

Seniors do not have to wait until they are over 65 to begin tapping into financial assistance. You can start once you are over 50 or any age as many programs target help to households with low incomes.

Sometimes, the best way to tackle a problem is to attack it from multiple angles. While you might run across duplication, you do unearth hidden opportunities you might otherwise miss.

Therefore, we break down senior assistance programs into three categories: government grants and benefits, free services, and charitable organizations.

Good luck finding the help you need to live your later years with dignity.

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Local Financial Assistance For Seniors

Find out more about financial assistance for elderly people in your area by contacting the Office of Aging Aid in your area, or by visiting your local senior center. Finding and qualifying for local programs may take some time, but the financial savings could be substantial. A good place to start researching local benefits is AARPs database of state-specific programs to help seniors.

Will Social Security And Ssi Claimants Get A Fourth Stimulus Check

  • 8:50 ET, Jun 16 2022

A FOURTH stimulus check is in the rear view mirror but it hasn’t stopped independent groups from lobbying Congress to act.

A petition trying to convince lawmakers to send senior citizens a fourth stimulus check continues to circulate.

Social Security and supplemental security income beneficiaries have been hoping Congress will consider a fourth stimulus check.

The Senior Citizens League, a non-partisan advocacy group, has been calling for a one-time $1,400 stimulus check for Social Security claimants.

The group sent a letter to Congress last year, stating the cost-of-living adjustment, combined with inflation, will hit hard for many older Americans who are on a fixed income.

The proposal came after it was heard from many seniors who shared their hardships in the aftermath of the pandemic.

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How Far In Advance Should I Apply For Social Security Benefits

The earliest you can apply for Social Security retirement benefits is when you are at least 61 years and nine months of age. Whether you decide to claim as soon as you’re eligible or opt to delay your benefits, the SSA advises seniors to apply for Social Security four months before you want your benefits to start.2

Pro Tip: Even if you’re not ready to claim Social Security, sign up for Medicare three months before the day you turn 65. Don’t miss out on benefits you’ve earned check out our Medicare annual enrollment guide for valuable details.

Would A Tax Increase Pay For All This

Horsford looks to pass bill to increase Social Security benefits for seniors

The bill would increase the Social Security payroll tax on higher-income workers. Currently, workers pay the Social Security tax on their first $147,000 of earnings. To be sure, most Americans earn less than that. But higher-income workers who make more than $147,000 annually don’t pay the Social Security tax on any earnings above that level.

Under the bill, the payroll tax would kick in again for people earning above $250,000. Only the top 7% of earners would see their taxes go up as a result, according to DeFazio.

However, there’s one quirk about this arrangement: It would create a “donut hole” in which earnings between $147,000 and $250,000 would not be subject to the payroll tax, Shedden noted.

The bill would also extend the Social Security payroll tax to investment and business income, an issue that could face resistance. “I’m leery about that,” she said. “Social Security was set up to be based on contributions on earned income, and this mixes up the basket of earned and unearned income.”

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Information Needed To Apply For Social Security

The SSA needs specific details and documents to review and process your benefits application. According to the SSA, this information includes:

  • Your Social Security number
  • U.S. military service dates and branches
  • List of eligible family members who may receive your SSA benefits for example, your spouse or child
  • Your original birth certificate or other proof of age
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship if you were not born in the United States
  • Your W-2 tax form and/or self-employment tax return from the previous year
  • Your U.S. military service papers if you served prior to 1968

What Is The Average Income For Seniors On Social Security

Social Security plays an important retirement income role for older adults. Social Security is intended to replace about 40 percent of pre-retirement income, on average, said Stern. However, the monthly benefits represent the largest source of income for many seniors, and it’s been estimated that about one-third of all retirees look to Social Security for nearly all of their income.

According to the SSA, the average estimated monthly Social Security payment in 2022 after the 5.9 percent cost-of-living increase is*:

Retiree Type
$1,358

*Data for this table is based on the 2022 Social Security Fact Sheet.2

While the table above provides a snapshot of the average Social Security monthly benefits, it is possible for retirees to receive larger monthly payments. However, the requirements are demanding. To receive the maximum Social Security retirement benefit, you’ll need to have worked at least 35 years while earning the SSA’s maximum taxable earnings each year.3 The maximum earnings for 2022 is $147,000.

The amount you’ll receive in maximum benefits depends on when you retire and begin claiming Social Security. The longer you wait to retire, the greater the maximum benefit amount becomes. In 2022, if you retire early at age 62, your maximum benefit would be $2,364. If you reach FRA in 2022, your maximum benefit would be $3,345. If you continue working until age 70, your maximum benefit would be $4,194.

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Technology Help For Seniors

Many seniors are insecure about their technological prowess. In fact, in a Pew Research Center survey, only 26 percent of Internet users over age 65 said they felt very confident when it came to using smartphones and computers. And almost three-quarters of the 65-plus crowd said they needed other people to show them how to use a new electronic device. But there are plenty of ways that seniors can expand their technological skills.

SeniorNet provides computer help for seniors over 55. It’s a non-profit organization that offers computer and Internet training in learning centers all over the country. Courses cover topics like how to use tablets, send email, download applications, and take digital photos. A yearly membership fee is required.

TechBoomers is a free website that teaches older adults how to navigate and use popular sites related to education, shopping, entertainment, and social media. Tutorials are aimed at those with basic computer skills.

Free technology training workshops are also available from AARP TEK. Topics focus on the use of smartphones and tablets. You don’t have to be an AARP member to take advantage of these workshops they are open to everyone.

Local And State Programs

The Stunning Effect Social Security Has Had on U.S. Elderly Poverty ...

Every state has at least one Area Agency on Aging office that can help older residents with a range of needs, including home modifications and repairs. The office should be able to help you find services that may be offered for free or on a sliding scale they could include anything from replacing roofs and hot water tanks to installing wheelchair ramps and grab bars. You must be at least 60 years old to be eligible income limits also apply.

Charities and non-profit organizations often provide free or low-cost home repair services to seniors. You may also be able to find volunteer home repair services in your area through a simple Internet search.

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Eldercare Locator From The Us Administration On Aging

The Eldercare Locator is a public service of the U.S. Administration on Aging. The Eldercare Locator can help you find local agencies in every U.S. community that can help older persons and their families access home and community-based services like transportation, meals, home care, and caregiver support services.

Help For Seniors With Low Income: Government Benefits And More

Need a helping hand? Find help for seniors with low income

The Big Takeaways

  • A significant amount of qualifying seniors dont participate in low income benefits because often its hard to know whats available. More options may be available to you during the pandemic.
  • Tools like Benefits Checkup and the Eldercare Locator can help connect seniors with the services and benefits they qualify for.

A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund found that seniors apply for low income benefits at significantly lower rates than other demographics even though there are greater out of pocket health care expenses and usually fewer alternatives like additional work to fund these needs.

While numerous public and private programs hope to provide financial assistance to vulnerable retirees, a sizable proportion of eligible seniors do not participate in the programs. In some cases as few as 25 percent of eligible seniors participate in a program.

The Commonwealth Fund study suggested that enrollment would increase by increasing awareness of programs and simplifying the application process. Here are a few resources providing help for seniors with low income:

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Free Money For Widows

The Social Security Administration provides free money for widows, widowers, and dependents via survivors benefits. You do not have to be a senior to be eligible for two types of financial assistance.

  • Special lump-sum death benefit
  • Monthly payments for qualified survivors
  • Widows age 60 or older
  • Widows age 50 + if disabled
  • Widow of any age caring for a child
  • Under 16
  • Disabled and receiving childs benefits
  • Some unmarried children of the deceased
  • Widows cannot apply for survivors benefits online. Instead, make sure that you provide the correct social security number to the funeral home so that they can report the death accurately.

    Ways To Apply For The Extra Help Program

    Proposed bill eliminates social security tax for seniors

    For older adults who are eligible, there are three ways to apply for Extra Help:

  • Apply online at www.ssa.gov/benefits/medicare/prescriptionhelp/
  • Apply at the local Social Security office
  • After Social Security reviews the application, your older adult will get a letter to let them know if they qualify and, if they do, what to do next to start getting benefits.

    Note: Caregivers can get more information on how to help seniors apply here

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    Ssa Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool

    The Social Security Administration’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool provides an easy way to find out if you qualify for any additional programs run by the SSA. In addition to Social Security and Medicare, programs covered include SSI, disability, family, spousal/widow, and special benefits for veterans. BEST lets you make make sure you don’t miss any benefits for which you qualify the screening can all be done online.

    Senior Community Service Employment Program

    This Department of Labor program helps seniors obtain long-term employment through the learning of new skills such as computer programming and through paid community service at public facilities, including schools, hospitals, daycare centers, and senior centers. The idea is that, through this subsidized on-the-job training, you will eventually gain unsubsidized employment.

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    Loans Grants And Waivers

    Another option is to get a federally insured loan to help with the cost of repairs and modifications. These low-interest loans are offered by private banks and lenders but insured by the Federal Housing Administration, making them more accessible to people who might not otherwise qualify for credit.

    Additional help for seniors’ home repairs is available through the federal government’s Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program . The program provides loans of up to $20,000 and grants of up to $7,500 to fix safety and health hazards in the homes of very low-income seniors. To qualify, you must be over age 62, have an income below a certain limit, live in an eligible area, and be unable to get affordable credit anywhere else.

    Home modification help for disabled seniors who served in the armed forces is also available. Disabled veterans may qualify for special grants to cover the cost of home modifications that are deemed to be medically necessary. For instance, the Home Improvements and Structural Alterations grant can be used to pay for things like handrails and roll-in showers. The disability doesn’t have to be service-related, but a Veterans Affairs doctor must stipulate that the modification is necessary.

    In many states, a low-income senior who qualifies for Medicaid can get Home & Community-Based Services waivers that cover the cost of home modifications that boost the person’s ability to live independently.

    Home Equity Conversion Mortgages For Older Homeowners

    What Social Security Beneficiaries And Other Seniors Should Know About ...

    Home Equity Conversion Mortgage is the name of the Federal Housing Administration version of a reverse mortgage. It’s the only reverse mortgage insured by the federal government and is only available through an FHA-approved lender.

    A reverse mortgage allows you to withdraw a portion of your home’s equity in the form of a loan that you pay back over time or when you leave your home. The amount you receive depends on the amount of equity, the age of the youngest borrower, current interest rates, the lesser of the appraised value or HECM FHA mortgage limit, or the sales price of the home.

    An explanation of the program can be found on the HUD website.

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