Seniors live well on free meals, transportation, free home repairs, and that’s just for starters—the best news is anyone over 60 can get these freebies.
In 1965, the federal government passed the Older Americans Act (OAA), which created a whole network of programs aimed at improving the quality of life for older adults.
Their goal is to help people stay independent and live in their own homes longer.
Here are just a few of the many services for seniors offered under the OAA.
The OAA also sponsors programs like these around the country; all are available to seniors over 60.
Your local agencies on aging coordinate many of these services, and can put you in touch with those in your community.
Age is the only criteria, not income.
Still, some agencies will assess your needs first so they can provide services to the people who need them most.
Others work on a first come, first served basis.
And, some programs provide services up to a set dollar limit.
Many seniors and people with disabilities have to get by just on Social Security.
But, even if your budget is more than “bare bones,” Rural Money has tips that could help you live in style.
You have earned your Social Security, but don’t expect the government to tell you how to get all you’re entitled to.
It’s up to you to be the watchdog.
Here is how the process works.
Each year, prior to retirement, your employer tells the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Social Security Administration (SSA) how much money you made.
The SSA records these numbers and uses them to estimate your Social Security benefits.
However, what if your employer gets your name or Social Security number wrong, or doesn’t report all of your earnings?
If you don’t catch the mistakes, then there is a chance no one will.
The government sends out regular statements showing the earnings your employers reported alongside your estimated Social Security benefits.
This earnings record is your best tool for finding errors.
Here is the best way to get the Social Security you are due.
Double Check Your Statement
Compare the amount the earnings record states you made to your W2 earnings statements.
Make sure the numbers match up, especially if you worked more than one job in a given year.
The SSA admits mistakes are more likely if you had more than one job or changed jobs often.
Check this record every two years.
Report Any Errors To The SSA
Take copies of your W2 forms for the year in question.
If you are self-employed, take copies of your federal tax return, plus a certified copy of your cancelled check showing the amount of tax you paid.
Order A Statement
If you haven’t checked yours lately, ask the SSA for your recent earnings record.
Call, go online or visit the nearest office to have them send you an application.
Fill it out, mail it in, and expect to receive your statement in about a month.
Rural Money Tip: A reverse mortgage is a special type of home loan that lets you take the value built up in your home over the years (the equity). And, turn it into a monthly income check. Only homeowners 62 and older can get a reverse mortgage. When you sell the home, move out, or the last borrower dies, someone must repay the loan with interest. Reverse mortgages can be full of tricks and traps. So, talk with your family and an attorney first.
Participants applying for limited assistance must meet the specific qualifications of the various programs, as well as the qualifications below:
In short, not only can seniors and people with disabilities live well and cash in on free services, you can do it on a fixed income, when you learn how to maximize Social Security benefits.
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