As inflation continues, many seniors are feeling their financial belts tighten. In response, the SSA’s COLA increased Social Security benefits by almost six percent, but sadly, it’s proving to not be enough for many. So, when Social Security doesn’t cut it, what then?
We still need to afford the essentials, and save where we can, but we might not know how to start. Luckily, CNBC financial reporter Annie Nova offers some senior resources that can help when our benefits don’t stretch far.
Senior Resource #1
When Social Security doesn’t cut it, there are additional options to help pay the bills. One option is SSI (Supplemental Security Insurance), which is also administered by the SSA. This option is perhaps the simplest because you won’t have to register with a third party to manage benefits. SSI has stricter qualifications than Social Security, but you might be eligible for both. For more information, check out the SSA’s website.
The second resource that can help seniors is food benefits. Groceries are another good affected by inflation, with costs rising exponentially — resulting in many seniors being food insecure. Organizations like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) or the Department of Agriculture’s Commodity Supplemental Food Program are all readily available.
These programs help provide groceries or grocery funds for seniors on fixed income. Each program has their own set of criteria; generally requiring seniors be within a certain income range, factoring in Social Security benefits into the mix as well. If these programs don’t work for you, check your Medicare or insurance providers to see if they have any food assistance programs.
Resource for Seniors #3
Finally, a third resource for seniors, for when they can’t stretch their Social Security benefits, is insurance aid. For many fixed-income seniors, their entire benefit goes to covering Medicare costs, Medicare costs have also gone up which are up 14.5 percent due to inflation.
Fortunately, seniors with Medicare Part D can potentially cover their medication costs through their Extra Help program. Additionally, the Medicare Savings Program can help eligible seniors cover their monthly premiums, shaking off a considerable financial strain.
Not every option will work for every senior, however, some might work for you. It doesn’t hurt to find out. The Council for Retirement Security is working to make sure that Social Security will be enough. Until then, if Social Security doesn’t cut it, seniors can still protect their retirement through other means.