The Federal Government has established many programs to aide senior citizens, but many senior citizens do not know they exist or how to take advantage of them. Government senior citizen programs include social security retirement benefits, survivor benefits, disability benefits, and supplemental security benefits. The goal of all these programs is to improve living conditions for senior citizens, but they must be taken advantage of them to meet their goal.
The most frequently used government senior citizen program is social security. The Social Security Retirement program provides a monetary payment to senior citizens or disabled individuals and is based on the number of years that a person works. Payments into the Social Security account are made while the individual works, and the accessed when the person retires. Generally, benefits begin at the age of 65; however, there are certain exceptions to this rule. The Social Security office in each area can identify if a senior qualifies for the exception.
Many people depend on government senior citizen programs such as the survivor benefit. This benefit is also administered through Social Security. This government program allows a survivor to receive a monthly payment based on the work history of their deceased spouse. This benefit is based on the amount paid to social security throughout the lifetime of the deceased spouse. However, another qualifying factor is the spouse is a widower age 60 or over or widow aged 50 or over and that the person is disabled.
In addition to social security and survivor benefits, senior citizen programs also offer disability benefits. The disability benefit is based on the work history of the disabled person. The main qualifying factor of the disability benefit is that the individual is unable to work for at least one year. Again, the Social Security Administration oversees disability benefits, and must be contacted for benefits to be established.
Senior citizen programs also include supplemental security benefits. The supplemental security benefits offer cash payments to senior citizens to help pay for the cost of food, shelter, clothing, and other living expenses. The main difference with the supplemental security benefits is that they are financed through governmental tax revenues, not through work history. To be eligible for supplemental security benefits, the individual must be over the age of 65, blind or otherwise disabled, and have low income. Again, the social security administration oversees all supplemental security benefits.
Other government senior citizen programs include Medicaid, Medicare, other health insurance programs and food stamps. The Department of Human Services in each state and the Social Security Administration oversees all of these programs. Medicare has several different parts and should be discussed with a specialist to determine the best option for every individual. Food Stamps are determined individually by a caseworker, based on the situation for each person, including their income, and living expenses. Other states also have programs for their residents and these options can be discussed with area community resources.
Overall, the federal government senior citizen programs are established to aide seniors through cash payments, health insurance, and food spending accounts. These programs are overseen by qualified case workers and are based on a variety of factors, including payments made throughout the work history of the individual, disability, and other needs.
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