Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Government and Local Grants for Retired People

Several government agencies provide grants to retired people to help pay for housing, food and employment training programs. Government grant programs for the retired are for people aged 55 and over. Seniors also must meet the low-income limit level requirement to qualify for help. You can contact the local area agency on aging office to find nonprofit organizations that may offer additional programs.

Based on your individual situation (how old you are, location, financial worth, and so on), you may have use of several various kinds of assistance. Listed here are only a couple of kinds of aid that you simply or a family member may be eligible for a:
- Food and diet
- Housing
- Housing repairs
- Earnings security
- Social services
- Transportation
- Health

Note that in the past, these grants were focused primarily on sustenance issues; in the present day, especially with the increasing number of those in the baby boomer generation joining the senior citizen demographic, the funds issued to senior citizens by these grants are destined towards a wider spectrum of activities.

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The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development provides a rental subsidy to low-income seniors who need help to pay for housing. Senior Public Housing programs allow seniors aged 62 or older to pay 30 percent of their income toward rent. The senior's income cannot exceed 80 percent of the area's median income to qualify for a senior affordable-housing unit. Seniors with incomes at or below 30 percent of the area's median income are given a priority during the admission process. They are admitted into the affordable housing program before seniors in a higher income bracket. You can contact the local housing authority to find out which senior complexes in your area offer a rental subsidy.

Home Energy Assistance

This grant for senior citizens is essential to protect the health and safety of our senior population. Most of the income eligible people are living on fixed incomes and are vulnerable to the impact of rising energy costs.

Food Assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program. Seniors with incomes between 100 and 155 percent of the federal poverty level can benefit from the food from a local nonprofit agency that administers the program. Seniors can get canned and dried fruits, meat, poultry, fish, peanut butter, rice, beans and cereal. Food goods are distributed through local food banks, food or church pantries, and other local charities.

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Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage

If you are 65 years of age or older, and you meet income guidelines, the EPIC Program may save you money on your prescription needs. This cost-sharing program applies to low-to-moderate income seniors. The program is funded by a state grant.

Transportation Assistance

Department of Transportation provides financial assistance in meeting the transportation needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities where public transportation services are unavailable, insufficient or inappropriate.

Community Services Program

The U.S. Employment and Training Administration's Senior Community Service Employment Program provides grants for training and employment for seniors aged 55 and older. Seniors who participate in the program work an average of 20 hours a week. Seniors are placed at daycare centers, seniors centers, schools and hospitals for their training assignments. The senior must be unemployed and his total household income cannot exceed 125 percent of the federal poverty level to qualify for the program. Seniors earn the highest of federal, state or local minimum wage.

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Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent Program is designed to promote volunteer service by persons 60 or older who have limited incomes. Funds are available to support volunteer programs which provide personalized service to children with exceptional or special needs.

Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind

The Department of Education provides funding for the Independent Living Services for Older Individuals Who Are Blind program. Seniors aged 55 and older with a severe visual impairment are eligible for independent living services. Services such as case management, transportation, therapy and money management help seniors live on their own. State vocational rehabilitation agencies administer this program to the community. States are required to match every $9 in federal grant money, with $1 from their own resources.

Ways to Find the Senior Grant You Need

Senior grants fall into several different categories, such as housing assistance, debt assistance, educational, and money to help start a business to name only a few of the senior grants available. The first step for you to take for finding the perfect grant for you is to take some time and look into the CFDA - Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

This is a list of all the grant offers made by specialized agencies and companies in the USA. You can access the catalog online and download its readable PDF version (available on the web page of the government), or order it by mail.

The Requirements You Have to Meet For a Senior Grant

From the very beginning you should know that not all seniors applying for such a grant get it; however, most of them do. You will be surprised to find out that many senior grants remain unused and all the money involved is turned back into the general fund after the offering period is over.

A very important thing you should remember about government grants, senior grants included is that this is money you can get from the US government without ever having to pay it back. If you get the grant money, you can use it for the purpose you have specified you will.

In this case, you eligibility greatly depends on which grant you apply for, because the requirements are different for every grant offered by the government. Thus, some of them take your income into account (you can get a grant if your income is low), while others don't.

The only requirement all government grants have in common is your nationality; you have to be a US citizen (either by birth or by naturalization) and actually live in the US.

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Local Senior Citizen Grants

Federal Government Grants are not the only sources of grant money for seniors. There are many state and local grants as well as money available from local organizations.

Here are some tips for finding local Senior Citizen Grants:
  1. Call your local Office of the Aging. Identify yourself and try to set up an appointment with someone who could tell you what sorts of grant money might be available in your region. The person on the phone may want to know what you want the money for and it could be that they will know right off hand that there is a program available and how to apply to it. BUT even if they say, "There are not grants for that" do try to get a face to face appointment with someone. Explain that you know that they know more about organizations that serve senior citizens and that you would like to talk to someone face-to-face to see if they might have ANY suggestions as to how you might proceed. State that you only want a short consult. Do your best to see someone since actually meeting a person face-to-face often elicits leads or suggestions that would seldom be mentioned in a phone conversation.
  2. If you are disabled, contact your local office for the disabled. If you do not know where it is, contact your local representative in the State Assembly or Senate. Someone in that office ought to be able to give you a phone number and a contact name. (If they do not offer a name, ask if they could suggest who to ask for. Remember have the name of a specific person and being able to say that Representative or Senator’s X office gave you their name, is a much stronger opening than just a 'phone call out of the blue'.
  3. Another local resource are the religious organization in your area. Leaders of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples have wide contacts and might be able to put you in touch with someone willing to fund or assist with your project. Again, it is worth getting a face to face meeting. Calling and identifying yourself by name and asking for a short appointment with [NAME} should do it.  If the secretary asks the nature of your business, just say, "It is personal". Most will respect that. Again, it is the face to face meeting that you want. It is far more likely to get you a lead. At the appointment identify yourself by name. State that you are a senior citizen and you are looking for a grant or some sort of funding for [and summarize your project in no more than 2 sentences] Explain that you know that religious leaders often have knowledge of who in the community might be willing to help with such things and that you are hoping that he/she will be able to suggest some lead. If they say, "I do not know of any individual or group", then ask if they might have any suggestions as to who you could approach that might possible know such things. Again, keep the meeting short. On leaving ask that if they hear of anything, they would give you a call....and of course, leave your contact information.
  4. This same approach can be used on local civic and charitable organizations. If all else fails, do consider a short letter to the editor of a local paper. Eg. Does anyone know where I senior citizen can get a grant to insulate her home? or to install a ramp? or to take a course in XXXXX? or Does anyone know where a senior citizen can get help starting up a home business?

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