As people approach their golden years, they should be aware of public benefits that can improve their quality of life. The Brookdale Center for Healthy Aging and Longevity has produced a helpful Benefits Checklist for Older Adults. The Center is associated with Hunter College, of the City University of New York.
The first item on the list is Medicare, which guarantees access to medical insurance for Americans over the age of 65. Medicare Part A covers hospital care and provides limited coverage for hospice and in-home care. Part B provides limited coverage for outpatient services, physicians and durable medical equipment, while Part D covers prescription drugs.
Another important benefit is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which provides monthly cash benefits to individuals age 65 or older, and to persons who are blind or disabled. To receive the benefits, individuals must meet certain income and resource limits, and must submit an application.
There are also benefits that apply specifically to older New Yorkers, such as the New York State School Tax Relief Program (STAR). New York state residents who meet certain income limits can receive a reduction in school property taxes. A real property tax credit and the Senior Citizens Homeowners Exemption (SCHE) are also available to those who qualify.
There are many public benefits that can provide assistance to seniors, and it is important to be aware of the help that is available.
The checklist is available here: http://www.co.genesee.ny.us/docs/OfficefortheAging/Benefits_Checklist_2011__rev_2_18_11_.pdf
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