Social Security Benefits and Other Senior Resources

SSI and SSDI are two programs under the Social Security Administration (SSA) that help to supplement the incomes of low-income seniors and qualifying workers with disabilities. The first Social Security program is available to financially needy seniors who meet income restrictions. The latter program supplements the incomes of those who have worked and paid Social Security taxes but can no longer work due to the development of a life-threatening disability or medical condition.

Many other programs are also available to assist adults as they age, including those with financial need or severe medical conditions. Additionally, special types of housing developments can help seniors to live more comfortably as they socialize with other adults their age. To learn more about receiving Social Security Income as a senior and to explore several other types of benefits for aging adults, review the information below.

Learn About SSI Benefits for Financially-Needy Seniors

The Supplemental Security Income program provides monthly payments to qualifying low-income children and adults with disabilities, as well as to financially-needy seniors without disabilities. For nondisabled seniors to obtain these benefits, however, they must be at least 65 years of age and meet financial limits in the state where they reside.

While certain adults with disabilities can file for these benefits online, senior applicants must contact the SSA by telephone, or they may visit their local Social Security office to apply in person. When applying, claimants typically need to provide their Social Security card, birth certificate and proof of their income and assets.

Discover SSDI Payments for Seniors with Disabilities

This Social Security Disability Insurance program pays monthly benefits to qualifying seniors with disabilities who can no longer work and earn a living after the development of a disabling medical condition. To receive benefits under this program, however, seniors must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for long enough, depending on their age during the time at which they became disabled.

Additionally, all Social Security Disability applicants must meet two earnings requirements, including a recent work test and duration of work test. As part of the recent work test, anyone 31 years of age or older would need at least five years of recent work experience in order to qualify for disability benefits. To pass the duration of work test, seniors typically need:

  • Seven years of work if they became disabled at 50 years of age.
  • Eight years of work if they became disabled at 54 years of age.
  • 9-and-a-half years of work if they became disabled at 60 years of age.

Find Out What Are Medicare Requirements for Seniors

What is Medicare and how do I qualify?” is a commonly asked question amongst aging adults. To obtain medical coverage under this federal health insurance program, seniors must be 65 years of age or older or be younger than 65 and have End-Stage Renal Disease. 

As a health insurance program for seniors, Medicare offers the following:

  • Hospital insurance coverage (Part A)
  • Medical insurance coverage (Part B)
  • Medicare Advantage (Part C)
  • Prescription drug coverage (Part D)

Most beneficiaries of the Original Medicare program choose to enroll in Parts A and B, while others may choose to delay their enrollment in Medicare Part B for various reasons. As an alternative to Original Medicare, Advantage plans (Part C) typically include all three coverages, including hospital, medical and prescription drug insurance.

Learn About Senior Apartments Independent Living and Nursing Homes

Senior apartments assisted living facilities and nursing homes are three different housing options for adults who do not wish to stay in their current home as they age. Generally, independent living facilities are ideal for adults who are at least 55 years of age but require little to no assistance in performing their daily tasks, while assisted living facilities are best for seniors who can perform most tasks on their own but may need assistance in cooking meals or caring for themselves. Nursing homes, however, are best for those who require a greater deal of medical care.

Moreover, low-income senior housing is also available to those who meet financial requirements. To find low income senior apartments for rent, you may use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) online Resource Locator. To use the Resource Locator, select the option for “Find Affordable Elderly and Special Needs Housing” to search for affordable properties in your area.

Note: To assist you in paying for your home energy bills, you may qualify for benefits under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) if you meet income restrictions for the state in which you live. To learn how to get emergency housing assistance, contact your state’s LIHEAP office, such as its Department of Health and Social Services or Department of Human Services.

Discover Senior Life Insurance

One type of life insurance for seniors is a “term” insurance policy that covers the cost of your funeral, especially if your existing policy will not cover these additional expenses. Since the average cost of a funeral ranges between $8,000 and $10,000, you may choose a maximum benefit amount of $10,000, unless you wish to cover additional expenses after you pass away. After your death, your beneficiary would receive the total death benefit to cover the cost of your funeral.

In addition to a senior term life insurance policy, an annuity contract is another popular option for aging adults, as annuities provide the policyholder and beneficiary with greater flexibility. While policyholders will need to pay annuity premiums, they can choose to pay them in one lump-sum or in monthly installments.

Find Out About Burial Insurance for Seniors

Another type of senior life insurance policy is known as a burial or preneed insurance, as this type of prepaid plan covers your final expenses after you die (such as your funeral and the cost of your burial or cremation). With this type of policy, the funeral home acts as the beneficiary rather than a loved one of your choosing.

Moreover, another type of policy is known as final expense insurance. While final expense insurance covers funeral and burial costs, the beneficiaries of your choice can also use your policy benefits to cover any remaining expenses and outstanding debts. Unlike a preneed or prepaid burial insurance policy, these benefits are not paid directly to the funeral home.