We know that times are tough for a lot of Americans, but one group that’s been hit especially hard are our senior citizens. The high cost of living combined with paying for medical bills and prescriptions have left many of us scrambling to cover even our basic necessities.
It’s difficult to choose between repairing the roof, paying the electric bill or purchasing our medications. Fortunately, the government does have programs that are established specifically to help seniors who are in need of assistance.
Get Free Money
Some government assistance programs are set up as low-cost loans, but others are directly created to be grants for qualifying seniors. Many of us have the question, “Are there free government grants?” The good news is that yes, there are free grants. Some grants are called direct loans that never have to be repaid, and others are established directly as grants.
How Can I Get Free Money?
There are literally hundreds of federal grants for groups to get free money from the government. Each grant program is administered differently. Most grant programs do have age eligibility requirements, and most have income requirements for people to qualify to get free money through grants. Most grants additionally have citizenship status requirements to get free money, and many have geographic requirements.
The first step to answering the “Get free money” question is educating yourself about possible grant sources. We provide here a list of several grants that give financial assistance to senior citizens. Keep in mind that there are many other federal grant programs that are set up to give you help. This list is not exhaustive, but it’s a great first step to learning more about how do you get free grant money.
How can I get a free grant?
Be aware that many grant programs have far more people in need of assistance than there are grants available. Some grants require a competitive application process, while others are automatically awarded to people to get free money who qualify for them. So, how many types of federal grants are there? While there is an abundance of federal grant programs, they can be broken down into 4 basic types.
What Are 4 Types of Grants?
1. Competitive or Discretionary Funding
For this kind of grant, different people or groups compete for the grant in order to get free money for their programs. Awards are determined based solely on the merit of the application and they aren’t pre-determined by factors like level of need or grant purpose. What can grant money can be used for? These grant applications are reviewed and awards are given based on the idea that it’s a worthwhile project, rather than the funds being tied to only a specific purpose.
2. Formula Funding
These grants are just the opposite of competitive funding, in that the grant money is awarded based on whether the population qualifies for the grant assistance. These non-competitive grants are a viable way for you to get free money without undergoing the same competitive grant application process that discretionary funding requires. Anybody who meets the eligibility criteria for these grant programs potentially can get free money.
3. Continuation Funding
These grants are generally given to a local or community group, rather than directly to individuals. They’re called continuation grants because a non-profit or community group may be funded for one year and then required to reapply to receive additional funds for the following fiscal year. If their grant is renewed, they can receive funding for an additional amount of time through continuation funding.
Because these grants are often given to recipients that have previously received money, it’s possible that your group can receive funding as a new recipient. However, it’s important to note that your group will be competing for funds against non-profits and community groups that have already been awarded the grant previously.
Commonly, funding will be preferentially awarded to groups that have won the grant money earlier, so it may benefit your group to forge an alliance with a group that’s previously been funded.
4. Pass-Through Funding
This kind of grant is funded by the federal government, which passes the money to the states. The state government can, in turn, give the money to one or many different local governments or local community groups. Since the money “passes through” the federal and state governments to get spent on the local level, these grants are called “Pass-Through.” These pass-through funds can be awarded either by competitive (Type 1) or non-competitive (Type 2) routes.
As you can see from the grant funding models, it’s often easier to get free money if you try to apply for grant money through a local community group or non-profit. There are grants available that are awarded to senior citizens as individuals, but keep in mind that an additional source of grant revenue is available for you through a local community group or non-profit.
So How Do I Get Free Government Money?
So now you’ve learned that one of the best ways to get something accomplished is working together with other good people. Many local community action groups and reputable non-profits receive grant funding for their programs regularly. If you are interested in how to get free money. You can contact them for more information.
Many non-profit organizations have people who can sit down with you and discuss the question, “Do I qualify for a government grant?” They may be willing to join into a collaboration with you on a specific grant proposal like beautifying Main Street or expanding Meals On Wheels for seniors in your neighborhood.
Grant Money for Individuals
There are, however, ways to get free money for individuals. Remember, the non-competitive qualifying grants are awarded to anyone who meets the criteria. Examples are housing rehab funds for seniors who live in rural areas and meet the financial requirements for assistance. Another example is nutritional assistance for senior citizens who meet the federal criteria for need and financial restrictions.
How Can I Get Free Money Today?
If you are in urgent need of financial assistance, we recommend that you reach out to a local service agency or non-profit and explain to them your situation. Generally speaking, grant money is awarded through a local human services agency to assist people like you who are in need of help. If you need help immediately, reach out to your local Department of Human Services.
Contact someone interested in assisting you at an agency like United Way or at your local church. Even the local library has people who are willing to assist you and point you in the right direction toward getting the financial assistance you need.
Keep in mind that assistance will often be “in kind,” rather than giving you money directly. What does that mean?
For example, let’s say you need assistance with food. You can sign up for congregate meals 2 or 3 times a week at a local community hall. That way, you can have fun socializing with neighbors while getting a nice, warm meal. It’s beneficial in two ways: it gives you an opportunity to see old friends and to make new ones. It also helps you with your food budget, because it helps you stretch your food dollar.
How Do I Apply For A Personal Grant?
Besides these kinds of federal assistance programs. There are other ways for you to get free money from the government to assist senior citizens in need. The most common type of grant you may qualify for is the non-competitive funding.
Remember, you still have to meet the qualification criteria to receive these funds. If you meet the criteria, however, then the odds are reasonably high that you may be able to get free money.
Programs to Assist Low-Income Seniors
1. Very Low Income Housing Repair Loans and Grants.
You must be at least 62 years old and live in a rural area.
You must occupy, or live in, the house that you want to repair.
And You may qualify for a low-interest or low-interest loan. The agency also has grants that do not need to be repaid.
This program is administered through the Department of Agriculture Rural Housing Service.
You can contact that agency for more information.
2. Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly
This program is administered through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These funds are used to provide affordable multi-family housing for senior citizens who are able to live independently, but who can use assistance like cooking, cleaning, getting groceries, and other transportation needs. You need to meet income requirements to get free money for housing. Contact your local HUD department for more details.
3. Pension for Non-Service-Connected Disability for Veterans
This program is administered through the Veteran Benefits Administration. You must meet certain criteria to get free money through this pension program. Also you must be 65 years old or over. You must meet the financial requirements for both income and net worth. You must have served at least 90 days of active service, and at least 1 day has to have been during an active wartime period of time. Contact the Veteran Benefits Administration to learn more about how you may qualify to get free money.
4. Enhanced Mobility for Seniors and People With Disabilities
These grants are administered through the Department of Transportation. There are programs to assist senior citizens and people with disabilities throughout the country with your transportation needs. Whether you live in a rural area, small town or major city. There is transportation assistance available for you to get to the doctor visits, to church or get into town. While you may not directly get free money through this transportation program, it will help you in stretching your transportation dollar.
5. The Workforce Investment Act
The funding made available through the Workforce Investment Act is set up to give people financial assistance for job retraining. While it isn’t a program that lets you get free money directly, it does provide funding for things like certification programs at a local community college. This money can be used to update your skills or certifications if you qualify for the assistance. Contact your local Workforce Unemployment Office today to learn more.
BONUS: For seniors who are unable to afford the price of their prescriptions, there is a program called Extra Help. It’s available for people who meet income requirements who can’t cover the cost of their prescription medications with solely Medicare.
The program is administered through the Social Security Administration. If you need help to get free money toward the cost of your prescription costs. They can award up to $4,900 in prescription assistance. Contact your local Social Security office today for more information on the program.
As we’ve seen, there is an abundance of governmental and non-governmental programs that are geared to help our senior citizens who are in need of financial assistance, job retraining, transportation and help with pharmaceutical costs. It may be possible for you to receive help through direct loans that don’t need repayment for issues like housing repair.
Many Kinds of Assistance For You
You will find, however, that many kinds of assistance that are available to senior citizens are available to you through a local community group or non-profit. If you find yourself needing some assistance, you should contact a local Department of Human Services, United Way agency, your church or local community group. The people at those groups will be able to steer you in the direction of finding the help you need.
Reach Out for Help Today
Remember, don’t hesitate to reach out for help and guidance. These individuals have a wealth of knowledge about helping you finding grant funding sources you may not be aware of. From heating assistance to roof repair, there are programs available to help lower-income senior citizens for everything from job training to transportation needs. So why not reach out to them today? After all, you’ve worked hard your whole life. You’ve earned it.