What Benefits Can Low-Income Seniors Apply For In California

Written By: William Rivers
Reviewed By: William Rivers
Published: September 15, 2021
Last updated: September 17, 2023

Depending on the state that they live in, seniors can benefit from a variety of social security benefits. However, those with a lower income may struggle to pay for healthcare, meals, and housing costs — all of which can quickly take a toll on older adults. Not only is it about meeting the basic needs of individuals in terms of nutrition but ensuring they have enough resources to manage other expenses.

Some benefits that low-income seniors can apply for in California include medical services like Medi-Cal or Medicare, food assistance through Meals on Wheels, and legal aid through the Legal Services Corporation, among others. Government agencies and community services are open to assist in a range of issues including care for disabilities, assistance with transportation to appointments, and even counseling services for those in need.

Medi-Cal and Medicare

To obtain aid from this public insurance health program, elderly Californians with limited income and assets can check whether they qualify online through a detailed search on the official page. Those that need help paying for medical bills, medication, health checkups, and other related costs might qualify for free or low monthly premiums.
Seniors aged 65 and older, including persons with disabilities, can also qualify for the Medicaid program. It is pivotal to understand the eligibility criteria and requirements to ascertain the amount of coverage one can receive.

Meals on Wheels

For seniors aged 60+ who are unable to cook at home or shop for groceries, Meals on Wheels can provide free meals for you and your family members. Caregivers and other family members can reach out to the organization to refer the elderly individuals in their community for this service. Although they ask for a donation of $4.00 per meal, this isn’t required for clients without the means to pay for this. To schedule a meal service, one can dial 707-525-0143 for assistance. Participants should be aware of the eligibility criteria to avail this service.

Legal Services Corporation

For seniors with limited income, obtaining legal aid can be extremely expensive. Legal Services Corporation is a nonprofit organization that provides access to free legal services. It is geared towards those that live in households with annual incomes equal to or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, helping residents avoid problems related to legal expenses.

Since locating programs that assist low-income seniors can be a challenge, you can also contact the Eldercare Locator and enter your specific zip code to find suitable services in your area. Community organizations might offer a wide range of support, from transportation to heating assistance, ensuring the well-being of every individual in their later years. Another alternative is to chat with information specialists online or give them a call at 1-800-677-1116. Referrals from trusted sources can also be a great way to find the help needed.

If you’re interested in learning about the benefits of life insurance for seniors, read on at Senior Strong. For seniors considering retirement homes or care facilities, it's imperative to understand the cost involved and the financial assistance programs available through different government offices to help cover the costs. Moreover, looking into the employment type and payment options can be beneficial for someone looking to secure their future and ensure safety against abuse and other potential problems. It’s always recommended to take tips from experts in the field and engage in activities that promote healthy living.

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William Rivers is an editor with a master’s degree in Human Services Counseling at Maine State University. He has more than 20 years of experience working in the senior healthcare industry.
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