Your Guide to Benefits for Seniors Over 65
Are you looking for discounts or government benefits for seniors over 65?
It can be difficult to find many of these senior citizen benefits.
Whether you’re looking for government programs or financial assistance, we’ve started the research for you.
In this article, we have compiled a list of government benefits and discounts that may be available for seniors in America today.
Table of Contents
What Benefits Do Seniors Get?
There are many benefits, programs, and discounts available for seniors over the age of 65.
Many of these programs offer free or reduced-cost options, such as:
- Health care
- Transportation services
- Housing assistance
- Prescription drugs
- Recreational activities
- Food and dining
Note: This blog post will focus on nationwide senior citizen benefits. However, there may be other benefits that vary by state.
Be sure to check with local and state government agencies to learn more about other opportunities that your particular state may offer in addition to the nationwide benefits below.
Types of Programs With Benefits for Seniors Over 65
Members of the senior citizen community are often in need of programs designed for their specific needs.
If you’re a family member looking to find resources and programs that could benefit your loved one, there are many perks to be found in these types of programs geared toward seniors over 65.
There is also information about what types of programs might work best for your loved one’s individual needs and interests.
Keep reading to learn more about:
- These types of programs
- How seniors can enroll in them
- Eligibility requirements
Social Security Administration
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is a government agency that provides financial support to seniors over the age of 65.
The money comes from payroll taxes, which are withheld from every working American’s paycheck.
The Social Security Administration keeps track of each person who pays into the system.
Then, they make sure you have enough for retirement by investing your money in special securities that can be accessed through the following programs.
Medicare Savings Programs
Medicare Savings Programs are free government benefits for seniors over 65 that can help with the costs of healthcare.
To assist eligible participants, Medicare Savings Programs help those who have limited resources and incomes pay for some or all of their Medicare expenses, such as:
- Medicare premiums
Note: Medicare Savings Programs may vary by state.
Social Security Retirement Insurance Benefits
Individuals who meet the following requirements may apply for Social Security Retirement Insurance benefits:
- Have earned enough credits
- Age 62 or above
- U.S citizen or legal immigrant
Take the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool questionnaire to find out if you are eligible for any of the Social Security benefits.
Reverse Mortgage Program
Seniors who meet the following requirements established by the Reverse Mortgage Program may receive a guaranteed monthly income payment:
- Age 62 and older
- Own their own home
- Have substantial value in home equity
The HUD Reverse Mortgage Program’s most appealing features are that the older homeowner does not have to …
- Repay any of the money they receive from the reverse mortgage; or
- Make interest payments on it
… as long as they live in their home.
Retirees should not have to worry about obtaining health coverage or the sometimes hefty out-of-pocket costs of insurance plans purchased through state healthcare exchanges.
How can these costs be reduced?
You can join Medicare as soon as you reach age 65.
Here is how Medicare works:
- Medicare Part A provides hospital insurance that does not cost anything for most retirees.
- Medicare Part B, which covers doctor’s visits and medical care, is $148.50 per month — although some beneficiaries could pay more.
- Medicare Part B premiums can be taken from your Social Security payment, so you won’t get a bill.
Retirees may be eligible for the supplemental Medicare Part D, which means that their prescription costs are covered by the government.
These senior citizen benefits can help those over the age of 65 to live healthier, more financially secure lives.
Government Benefits for Seniors Over 65
Some additional government benefits for seniors over 65 are:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), a federal disability insurance program
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a federal cash assistance program for low-income people who are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled
- Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the largest integrated healthcare system in the United States of America serving veterans of military conflicts past and present as well as their families
- Low-cost prescription drug programs offered by pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy
Other Financial Benefits for Seniors Over 65
Many of us think that the Social Security Administration is the only way for seniors over 65 to receive financial support.
However, there are several senior citizen benefits the government is not funding.
Some of these financial benefits include:
- Senior discounts
- Travel deals
- Tax deductions
- Retirement account limits
- Insurance policy conversion
- Veteran-Specific Financial Assistance
Check out the following programs and discounts that may be available for seniors over 65.
You may be able to save money on your next restaurant dinner or retail purchase if you’re willing to be forthcoming about your age.
A variety of places, like …
- Grocery stores
- Bowling alleys
- Movie theaters; and
- Other entertainment facilities
… offer reduced admission fees to individuals who are over a certain age.
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), a non-profit organization, negotiates discounts for members who can join at age 50.
Note: Senior citizen benefits and discounts are not always advertised, and in many cases, they’re only offered to those who ask about discounts and can show proof of their age.
You know how expensive it can be to travel.
However, there are several ways that seniors can get great deals on their trips:
- Seniors who are over a certain age or AARP members may be eligible to receive a price reduction from hotels and car rental agencies.
- Some Amtrak fares are discounted by 10% for passengers aged 65 and older.
- Senior citizens who are permanent residents of the United States and are 62 or older can purchase a National Park Service lifetime pass for as low as $80.
Imagine visiting the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, or Yellowstone for a fraction of what you would have paid otherwise.
Seniors may claim a higher standard deduction on their taxes than younger individuals.
- For every senior citizen who is 65 or older, the standard deduction could be $1,350; or
- If both spouses in a married couple fulfill the age requirement, the typical deduction might be as high as $2700.
There are additional deductions for those who are older than a specific age and below a defined income level.
For example, seniors may also be eligible for deferrals on their property tax, school taxes, or both.
Retirement Account Limits
Workers aged 50 and older can contribute as much as $26,000 to a 401(k) plan and defer paying income tax on that amount, which is $6,500 more than younger employees and business owners.
The maximum amount that can be contributed to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) is also $1,000 higher for individuals 50 and older, or $7,000 in 2021.
But there is a catch…
After age 72, you usually must withdraw funds from traditional retirement accounts and pay the resulting tax bill.
However, any amount up to $100,000 that individuals who are age 70 1/2 or older move directly from an IRA to a qualifying charity is tax-free.
Insurance Policy Conversion
If you’ve been helping your loved one go through their paperwork and come across any old life insurance policies, don’t assume they’re worthless.
In reality, their life insurance may be a valuable resource.
You may use the cash value of a life insurance policy to help pay for assisted living or long-term care costs if you convert it into a long-term care benefit.
However, surrendering or neglecting to renew a policy might result in little cash.
Some companies can buy policies at their current worth.
The funds are then:
- Transferred as a deposit into an FDIC-insured account in the senior’s name.
- Allocated tax-free to their care provider every month.
Every sort of life insurance coverage – from basic to term to group coverage – should work.
Therefore, it’s worth checking out this option.
Veteran-Specific Financial Assistance
The Veterans Administration (VA) program may be able to assist senior citizens if they served in the active-duty armed forces during a war.
The VA Non-Service Connected Pension program provides veterans who served in a war with a guaranteed monthly payment.
This program, called Aid and Attendance, may help pay for the costs of the eligible veterans who are elderly living in:
- Their home
- Nursing homes
- Assisted living; or
- Independent living communities
To be eligible, applicants must fulfill basic criteria for active federal service during wartime and specific financial criteria such as income and asset limitations.
Explore Educational Resources for Seniors at Senior Services of America
Are you looking for even more information about benefits for seniors 65 or older?
We’re here to help.
Our goal is to make sure that seniors have the opportunity to live their best lives possible, so we provide them with the tools necessary to do just that.
Visit our Family Resources page to learn more.