Many American seniors are struggling on their fixed incomes. As expenses like medical bills, housing costs, and even utility bills add up, seniors can face big financial challenges. But did you know that there’s free money available?
It’s true: certain organizations offer grants specifically for seniors in need. Grants give seniors access to free money. But, in order to get these grants, seniors need to know how and where to find them.
Grants offer seniors assistance with housing, medical bills, and other personal expenses. And while most grants are given to nonprofit organizations, there are grants available for individual seniors. They just may be challenging to find on your own.
The following are a few different types of grants available just for U.S. seniors – and how you can search and apply for this free money.
Seek Out Grants Specifically for Seniors
The best way to find grants for seniors is to search for them. There are plenty of grants available! But, you’ll want to start your search in specific areas to make the process easier.
In order to weed out grants that are available only to organizations, groups, or charities, you’ll want to look for senior grants that meet your specific needs. The following are a few areas that are commonly available to help seniors across the U.S. – and you can start your search there.
Senior Housing Grants
There are grants available to help seniors either find affordable housing or reduce the cost of their current housing. Aid of many kinds is offered through organizations like Habitat for Humanity and HUD.
The U.S. government offers one of these senior grants just for housing. The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program helps seniors who are age 62 or older with a very low household income. Seniors can continue to live independently, but reduce their costs. This grant program will pay the difference between what your landlord is charging and the 30 percent of your income.
Senior Income Grants and Benefits
Seniors who are struggling with a limited income may be able to qualify for a grant to supplement their income. If social security isn’t enough to cover an elderly person’s expenses and costs, there are grants, benefits, and other forms of aid that can help.
For example, the U.S. government offers Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program gives cash to seniors in need each month – no strings attached. In order to qualify for SSI, you’ll need to be age 65, have an extremely low income, and have limited resources. For qualified seniors, this grant can provide upwards of $600 per month in additional income.
Home Repair Grants
There are a number of ways to get grants for maintaining, updating, and repairing your home if you’re a senior.
There are federal repair programs, like the Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program which offers loans and home repair grants for seniors, state repair programs in many U.S. states, and even grants offered by local Habitat for Humanity offices and other groups like PacifiCorp Foundation.
Senior Utility Bill Grants
For high utility bills and costs, seniors can seek out – and apply for – specific grants that help with home energy and other associated costs of home ownership.
The Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) is a grant program offered by the federal government and in many states. Seniors can apply for a cash grant to help pay their heating costs. Each U.S. state has its own eligibility rules, so make sure to check with your local State Office for the Aging for details.
Consider a Government Grant
As seen in some of the examples of available grants above, the U.S. government offers many grants. And, while the majority of federal grants are given to organizations and not individuals, there are still some grants that seniors can take advantage of.
Government grants can help seniors find – and receive – the funding needed to maintain an independent life. From housing to education to financial assistance, there are a number of different opportunities. And you can also apply for grants that aren’t age restricted, like Pell Grants for education.
You’ll want to search for government grants on the U.S. federal grants website to see what’s available and which grants you may qualify for. You can apply for government grants on your own behalf, and you can even browse available grants that are available in your state, region, and age group.
Check Local and National Nonprofit Organizations
Because so many grants for seniors are given directly to charitable organizations and groups, one of the best ways to find available cash is to reach out to these groups.
When organizations are given grants, they must use that money to better the lives of seniors – or follow the stipulations of the grants they received. So, this means plenty of organizations in your state and city may offer grants or aid as a result.
Seniors should check with and search for charities in their area that offer benefits, grants, and aid. There are many across the U.S. that can help in many different ways, such as the following:
- Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
- Meals on Wheels America
- Second Wind Dreams
- Shepherd’s Centers of America
The charities in your area could offer grants of their own that could help you financially. You can search for specific senior groups, or even reach out to larger organizations that offer grants for individuals in need at any age.
Find the Right Grant for Your Needs
Seniors can take advantage of available grants at any time. These grants, which offer free money that can be used in a number of ways, are the perfect opportunity to improve your financial situation. And they can offer seniors more freedom, flexibility, and opportunity.
Of course, grants aren’t often advertised or announced. Organizations have limited grants available – and if all seniors knew about them, the demand would be high. So, in order to find these grants, you’ll need to search.
You can search for grants online to make the process easier. Grant databases, like Grants.gov, Federal Grants Wire, and GrantsWatch, are a great thing to search for because they show many available grants in one place. You can also search for grants offered in your area and your home state, and grants for your unique needs.
Once you find grants that suit your needs, you can apply right online. And with the potential for free money, seniors don’t want to leave these grants on the table.