The low income designation for seniors in Delaware applies to individuals aged 62 or older who struggle with covering the costs of basic necessities such as food, housing and medical care. The federal government considers any senior making less than $30,000 each year to be in the low-income category for their finances. 

On average, the number of seniors in Delaware who fall into the low income category is a little less than forty percent. The good news is there are organizations ready to help.

Causes of low income for seniors

There is a significant misconception when it comes to retirement and seniors, especially concerning Social Security income. For those who qualify, this will typically only cover about a third of the monthly expenses on average for each senior. That still leaves the majority of costs needing alternate income sources or to be supplemented from somewhere else.

Paying for mortgage, higher healthcare costs for aging issues or chronic illnesses, outstanding debts, access to adequate and nutritional food, transportation and insufficient savings all contribute to the ongoing financial burden for seniors. Some have even taken on the raising of their grandchildren for a wide variety of reasons, and that means added expenses to their budget.

Help for seniors with low income

The counties in Delaware offer multiple agencies and organizations to assist the elderly living among them. The Delaware Aging & Disability Resource Center is an ideal place to start.

In addition to Medicaid and Medicare, if you qualify for Social Security, you might look into these programs as well:

  • Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program
  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program
  • Qualified Disabled and Working Individuals (QDWI) Program
  • Qualifying Individual (QI) Program

General and financial assistance is available through:

  • Seniors Helping Seniors in all three counties
  • Your home church if you have one
  • Agency on Aging centers
  • Lori’s Hands (college students helping seniors)
  • Delaware Money Management Program

Quality and healthy meals are important for seniors, and these programs offer these opportunities:

  • Meals on Wheels
  • The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Senior centers congregate meals
  • Local churches and food pantries
  • Home Delivered Meals Program (HDM)
  • Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP)

For housing assistance, look into these options:

  • HUD Housing or Section 8
  • Assisted living or senior communities
  • Renting out rooms of your home or sharing your home with friends and family
  • USDA Housing Repair Program