Is There a Government Grant For Seniors?

A lot of seniors live on a fixed income. This can make it hard to live comfortably. However, there are several grants designed to help seniors.

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A lot of seniors live on a fixed income. This can make it hard to live comfortably. However, there are several grants designed to help seniors.

It is important to know about government grants that you may be able to take advantage of. There are grants available that help seniors directly and ones that provide services.

The government offers the Very Low-Income Housing Repair Program that provides money for necessary home adjustments. The Foster Grandparent Program and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program provide stipends to volunteers. There are also grant programs that provide transportation and nutrition services to seniors.

This article covers information from a plethora of private and public organizations including the USDA, HUD, AmeriCorps, and more. Also, you may want to check your state resources for additional grants and other resources.

Table of Contents

Very Low Income Housing Repair Program

This is a grant that is administered by the USDA that provides money to low-income seniors for repairing or improving their home for safety and health reasons. This grant can be used for things to increase mobility or safety like the addition of a wheelchair ramp, widened doorways, or handrails.

This program provides up to $7500 for eligible seniors. To qualify for this grant, you have to be at least 62 years old and have an income that is not enough to pay for the necessary repairs. Finally, since this is a program by the USDA, it is only available to seniors who live in rural areas. A senior has to live in an area with a population under 10,000.

The income limit is based on the area where the home is located, but typically it will be 50 percent of the area’s average income. There is also a $20,000 limit for assets that can become cash in 90 days or less.

In addition, this grant offers loans up to $20,000 with a fixed 1 percent interest rate. Furthermore, you can have a repayment period as long as 20 years. Therefore, combining the grant with the loan amount, you can receive up to $27500 for home repairs meant for safety or health. To see how to apply for the Very Low Income Housing Repair Program, check out your local branch of the USDA.

Foster Grandparent Program

The Foster Grandparent program is funded by a government grant and is available all over the country for low and limited income seniors. This program is meant for those seniors who are at least 55 years old who volunteer their skills and experiences to help with children in their area.

Foster Grandparents are allowed to volunteer for 4 to 5 days a week for as many as 40 hours, but you can also choose to volunteer less. The program provides a federal stipend that is tax free and will give you $2.65 per hour.

Foster Grandparents work with children and teens at daycares, schools, hospitals, community centers, or anywhere else where they can help with the development of children. You can learn more about the program here.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program

This federal grant provides a stipend to seniors who volunteer in their community. The program is designed to keep seniors active and healthy by giving them important work that they can do in the community. This also gives seniors a sense of purpose.

The type of work that you do will depend greatly on the area and the needs in your own community. However, many volunteers will help with neighborhood watch, home renovations for the needy, or teaching immigrants how to speak basic English. This program provides a stipend of $3.00 per hour. This amount is non-taxable and does not count towards your income for other federal assistance.

Check out this website to find out how to apply.

Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs

The Older Americans Act, OAA, has Nutrition Programs that are part of the Administration on Aging. These programs have grants available for states in order to provide nutrition services to older people across the nation. There are two main programs: the Congregate Nutrition Program and the Home Delivered Nutrition Program.

The purpose of these grants is to provide the necessary funding to states in order to reduce food insecurity, promote healthy socialization, and to delay health issues. The community based programs help seniors by giving healthy meals in group settings like community centers, senior centers, and faith-based locations. In addition, they bring healthy meals to the home for those older Americans who are isolated, frail, or otherwise cannot get out of the home regularly.

The grants work with thousands of meal providers and fund nutritional services for education, nutrition counseling, and other services. In some areas, these programs also provide the funding for other community necessities  like transportation, physical activity, and other important services.

To be eligible for this program, an individual has to be at least 60 years of age and there is not an income test. However, the services are targeted to the seniors who have the lowest income or those who require urgent service.

Capital Assistance Program for Elderly Persons

This grant funded program is designed to provide transportation needs to seniors and individuals with disabilities. Many communities throughout the country do not have the necessary transportation services readily available and this program helps to provide those services.

This program is maintained and regulated by the Federal Transit Administration and the grant funding can be used for any services that help with the transportation needs of the elderly or the disabled. The recipients of this grant include private nonprofit organizations and public organizations when no nonprofits are available in a particular area.

Section 2020 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program

Section 2020 Supportive Housing is a grant program that is meant for seniors who are at least 62 years old. This program gives options to seniors who want to continue to live independently and have very low income. Section 202 often prevents a senior from having to move into a nursing home or other care facility.

This grant program gives options for supportive services including cooking, cleaning, and transportation because it can make their home easier for them to perform these necessary activities.

This program is based on a grant that will pay the difference between the amount the landlord charges and 30 percent of the senior’s income. This means that the program will involve the senior, their landlord, and the federal government.

In order to qualify, an individual has to be 62 years old and have an income that totals 50 percent or less of the area's median income. You can check out your state  HUD office to learn more and set up a meeting.

Small Business Grants

A lot of seniors realize that not only do they have too little income, but they also have the time on their hands to start a small business. The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTP) grant programs are available to encourage small businesses. They provide incentives to startups and other small businesses. In addition, there are other grants available at the state level and from private organizations.

Pell Grant

A Pell Grant is provided to individuals seeking college or university education and is the largest grant of this kind in the United States. This grant provides funding to low income individuals of any age, but seniors may be more likely than traditional students to receive a Pell Grant. Many seniors find they have the time and desire to continue their education when they retire and this is a great way to do so.

To apply for a Pell Grant, you can check out the Department of Education’s website. There are also additional grants available including the Teach Grant for certain approved areas of schooling. Finally, some colleges and universities offer free classes for seniors wishing to continue their education so you may want to check with those schools in your area.

Housing Grants for Veterans

If you are a senior Veteran with a service-related disability, then you may be eligible for some additional grants. One type of grant that is available is the Specially Adapted Housing, SAH, or Special Home Adaptation, SHA, grant. These grants provide money to buy, build, or update your permanent home. The SAH grant provides up to $100,896 dollars while the SHA grant provides up to $20215.

Another grant is the Temporary Residence Adaptation, TRA,  grant. For this grant you will have to meet the same requirements for disabilities related to service as the SAH and SHA grants, but you do not have to have permanent residence. Instead, you will just have to live temporarily in a family members home that has to be changed to meet your specific needs. This grant provides up to $40,637 if you meet qualifications for the SAH grant and $7256 if you meet the qualifications for the SHA grant.

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