What Is Considered Low Income For Seniors?

The definition of "low income" varies according to an individual's geographical area and the size of his or her family, which means there is no precise amount that can define “low-income”. 

To be clear, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) defines "low- and moderate-income seniors" as those having an annual income of less than $30,000; according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau's United States of Aging Survey, this equates to 40% of seniors aged 60 and over. From this demographic of low-income earners:

  • 46% of respondents are not confident that their income will cover their monthly expenses over the next five or ten years
  • 32% of respondents are not confident that they will be able to cover unexpected expenses
  • 41% do not believe they are aware of all the benefits and programs available to them

To protect the rising class of older citizens and keep poverty rates low, numerous public and private organizations offer financial assistance to seniors with low incomes that are not covered by Social Security benefits. Assistance comes in various forms and sizes, with advantages ranging from health insurance to prescription medications, proper nutrition, and assistance with housing expenditures.

Is There Assistance Available for Seniors?

As per NCOA.org, millions of vulnerable older adults qualify for — but do not yet acquire — senior financial aid. Here is a list of government-sponsored programs, split down by category, that give financial assistance to the elderly and to which you may be qualified. If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements, don’t worry. You can always consider some options for extra financing that are designed for the elderly. Some loans for senior citizens can even be obtained with bad credit and meet your emergency needs. Just make sure to use them responsibly and be able to turn them back on time.





To support elders and keep them out of poverty, the government gives financial assistance to the aged and disabled, including healthcare and food assistance. Additionally, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) administers several senior housing aid programs. Unfortunately, many retirees are eligible for these programs but are uninformed of the benefits they are entitled to or are confused about how to request assistance.

Financial Issues

Retirement should be a time for elderly adults to take advantage of all that the golden years have to offer. It's time for them to unwind, travel, contemplate, and simply kick back and remember the good old days. Unfortunately, many seniors in the United States face the potential of abandoning their aspirations of retiring peacefully and on their own terms due to financial constraints.

Unbelievably, over 25 million seniors are financially unstable and live below the federal poverty level. This means they are battling increased health care costs, rising housing expenses, a lack of mobility, insufficient nutrition, and diminishing savings. Seniors on a limited income are financially susceptible and suffer various financial challenges that jeopardize their economic and overall well-being.

Many seniors are saddled with substantial debt and have not saved enough money for retirement. In other words, most low-income seniors are loaded with unmanageable debt and lack sufficient savings.

Check out Senior Strong’s Discounts and Perks page that may help ease the burdens on every senior’s shoulders.

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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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