Seniors in Oklahoma are considered low income when they earn less than 80% of the area median income. In Oklahoma, the median household income is $56,956, and the per capita income is $30,976 according to 2021 U.S. Census numbers. This means that a median household income of $45,564.80 and a single household income of $24,780.80 is low income.

Although these are low incomes in Oklahoma, they may not be low enough to qualify for assistance programs. Many state and federal programs offer assistance to very low income seniors based on meeting eligibility requirements. These programs often have requirements based on the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines and can provide assistance with health care, personal care and other essential needs.

Health Care Assistance for Low-Income Seniors in Oklahoma

Low-income seniors in Oklahoma qualify for Medicaid based on income eligibility. A single senior household can earn up to $18,075, and a two-person senior household may earn up to $24,353 annually before taxes to qualify for Medicaid coverage. Medicaid offers two Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) waivers for seniors: The ADvantage and the Medically Fragile waivers.

Both the ADvantage and the Medically Fragile waiver programs provide a range of services, including access to home health care and skilled nursing. Other available services include home-delivered meals, access to adult day health care and various therapies. These programs are offered to seniors aged 65 and older or to disabled adults who require a nursing  facility level of care but wish to remain at home. The ADvantage program also provides respite care and personal care to assist with activities of daily living.

Other Assistance for Low-Income Seniors in Oklahoma

Seniors have access to several federal programs that provide assistance with utilities and food. The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) aids with winter heating, summer cooling and the Energy Crisis Assistance Program (ECAP). Seniors may qualify for all three programs. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) assists by providing seniors with a monthly stipend for food expenses. They can purchase groceries and non-prepared foods from grocery stores, gas stations and other participating retailers. The amount received each month depends on household size and income.

Seniors in need of cash assistance may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This program provides low-income seniors over the age of 65 or adults with a disability with a monthly cash benefit. There is no requirement for the recipient to have paid into Social Security to receive these benefits, even though it is managed by the Social Security Administration. Some seniors may receive both SSI and Social Security benefits at the same time.