How To Find Benefits Programs

How To Find Benefits Programs

The National Council on Aging offers a simple tool (BenefitsCheckUp) that identifies the programs you or your loved one may be eligible for.

You may qualify for benefits in the following areas:

Income Assistance

If you feel like you or your loved one are struggling to pay for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter, you may be eligible for programs that provide cash assistance.

Examples: Supplemental Security Income (SSI), State Supplemental Income Program, General Assistance, Retirement Programs, Pension Information and Assistance Services

Medications/Health Care

In today's healthcare system, medications and healthcare services can be very expensive. Fortunately, many seniors are eligible for programs that decrease the cost of medications, co-pays, and deductibles. People who apply for these programs can save nearly $5,000 annually! There are also programs that pay for medical costs, home care, nursing home care, and waiver benefits.

Examples: Medicare Part D, Medicare Low Income Subsidy (LIS)/Extra Help, State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP), Patient Assistance Programs, Prescription Savings and Discount Cards, Medicare Savings Programs, State Medicaid Programs, Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS), Health Centers for Primary Health Care and Dental Services, Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), Chore Services


For many seniors, finances or disability can make it difficult to attain and prepare healthy meals. Fortunately, there are a number of programs that provide food assistance for these individuals. These programs may provide cash for nutritional foods or deliver meals to your home.

Examples: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Home Delivered and Congregate/Group Meals, Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program

Housing and Utilities

Many seniors express a desire to remain in their own home as they age. For some, this desire is limited by the cost of owning and maintaining a home. Additionally, many seniors may desire and be in need of in-home services such as cleaning or home care but worry that these services are too expensive. Fortunately, there are a number of programs that provide assistance with finding affordable housing, paying for utilities, and accessing services.

Examples: HUD and Section 8 Housing Programs, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Weatherization, Reverse Mortgage Counseling, Foreclosure Prevention & Assistance, Lifeline and Link-Up Programs, Safelink Wireless and Assurance Wireless Programs, Home Repair and Renovation Programs

Tax Relief

Many seniors are unaware that they may qualify for tax relief programs that may help pay for property taxes or provide refunds, deductions, or exemptions.

Examples: Homestead Exemptions, Rebates, Credits, and Refunds, Property Tax Abatements and Deferrals, Home Valuation Freeze, Property Tax Relief for Veterans, Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Tax Credit for the Elderly and Disabled


For seniors that want to stay involved in their community, meet new people, try new things, or simply make a bit of extra money, there are programs that help find employment and volunteering opportunities.

Examples: Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Workforce Investment Act (WIA), Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion


Source: National Council on Aging BenefitsCheckUp