How do you get financial help if you are between 55 and 60 years old?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 29, 2016
Joe asked...

How do you get financial assistance or any help if you are between 55 and 60 years old?

Expert Answers

Social Security survivors benefits, based on your deceased spouse's work record, can start as early as age 60, or at any age if you're caring for the deceased worker's child who's under age 16. Other Social Security benefits -- retirement or dependents -- don't start until age 62.

If you have a physical condition that prevents you from working, at any age you can be eligible for Social Security disability benefits. In order to qualify, your disability must prevent you from doing any paid work – not just the job you used to have. And you must have worked -- the exact amount of prior work depends on your age -- and paid Social Security taxes before you became disabled. Two years after you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you become eligible for Medicare coverage regardless of your age.

If you're disabled and have a very low income and few assets other than the house you live in, you might also be eligible for small monthly payments from Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If so, you'd also be eligible for Medicaid coverage for your medical expenses.

Also, check with the local county social services or human services agency where you live. If you have very low income and few assets, there may be other state or local programs that can help.