Retirement should be a time when you can live comfortably and relax. Yet, 42% of working adults report they’re very worried about their retirement savings. Additionally, 59% of workers plan to continue working even in retirement.

If you’re struggling financially, there are many resources that provide help. In this comprehensive guide, we’ve rounded up the best programs offering free government money for seniors so you can find help to pay for housing, food, taxes, healthcare, and other expenses.

Who Can Get Free Government Money?

Even though financial assistance for seniors is available through several programs, many miss out because they don’t know if they’re eligible or how to apply. These programs are usually available for low-income seniors, so you’ll have to meet an income threshold to qualify.

Additionally, most assistance programs have an age requirement, so you’ll need to be at least 55 years old to be eligible. You must also be a U.S. resident. Some programs are targeted to those with disabilities, so you’ll need to have an eligible medical condition or disability to qualify.

Free Money For Seniors Over 65

Help for seniors may come in the form of reduced prices, vouchers, food allowances, or payments. Many programs offering free money for seniors over 60 or 65 are provided through federal, state, and local governments and are usually available nationwide.


Senior citizens can take advantage of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), which helps the elderly get access to monthly food boxes containing juice, rice, cereals, dairy, fruits, and vegetables. With this program, the government provides boxes of food instead of vouchers.


The Weatherization Assistance Program can help older homeowners reduce their utility costs. If you qualify, a contractor will conduct a review of your home and fix any inefficiencies. This includes providing free money for seniors over 60 to repair or replace windows, water heaters, refrigerators, and heating and cooling systems.


If you’re over 65 years old, Medicare can help you cover the cost of health-related services. Depending on the plan you sign up for, you may receive additional benefits. For example, the Medicare Savings Program can offer coverage for prescription drugs, vision, and dental services.


The IRS offers free government money for seniors in the form of tax credits if you’re over the age of 65 or have retired due to a disability. If you qualify for the program, you can get a tax credit of up to $7,500.


One of the major government benefits for seniors over 65 is Social Security. Although you can start getting retirement benefits when you turn 62 years old, you may be able to collect more if you wait longer.

The maximum amount of financial help you can receive if you retire at full retirement age is $3,627 per month. If you retire at age 70, the maximum amount you can get is $4,555.

Free Money For Seniors Over 50

Even if you haven’t reached retirement age, you can still take benefit of free government money for seniors over 50. Learn more about specific programs you may qualify for.


The Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides free coupons to qualifying seniors. The coupons can be used at roadside stands and farmers’ markets to purchase locally grown vegetables, herbs, fruits, and honey.


If you’re 62 or older and living on a limited income, you may qualify for the Housing Choice Vouchers Program (HCVP). Beneficiaries can get up to 30% of their gross income for rent. Unlike public or subsidized housing projects, you can choose your own housing as long as it meets the program requirements.


If you’re receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid offers a wide range of benefits, such as outpatient and inpatient hospital services, laboratory tests, home health services, and more. It’s a joint state and federal program that helps make healthcare affordable for millions of low-income individuals.


While there aren’t any IRS programs that offer cash benefits for those over 50, you can get tax breaks as an older adult that lower your taxable income. For example, if you’re over 50, you can make catch-up contributions of up to $7,500 to your 401(K) plan to save money on your tax bill.  


If you’re over 55 years of age, the Senior Community Service Program (SCSEP) can help you re-enter the workforce. The program offers job training for new career opportunities. Additionally, you can get minimum wage when you work at government or community services.

Free Money for Low-Income Seniors

Most government programs are designed for low-income seniors, so you’ll be able to find plenty of resources to help reduce your living costs if you’re facing this financial situation.

Teresa Dodson, financial expert and founder of Greenbacks Consulting, thinks many seniors overlook this essential category of aid. “Most seniors in this bracket don't even know what's available to them or where to start, and they need the most help!” shares Dodson. 


The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is one of the largest and most well-known food benefits in the U.S. If you qualify for the program, you can receive free government money in the form of an electronic benefits transfer (EBT) card. You can use the card at approved stores to purchase groceries. While there may not be a $900 food stimulus, the SNAP program can still be very beneficial.


The HUD’s public housing program provides safe and decent senior living options. Public housing is available in all sizes and can be single-family houses, apartments, and townhouses. After enrollment, the rent you’ll pay depends on your anticipated gross income and can be as little as $25/month to 30% of your monthly adjusted income.


Extra Help is a program that helps low-income seniors reduce their drug coverage costs. If you have limited resources, the program can pay for premiums, deductibles, and copays.


Another option to receive free government money for seniors over 65 is through Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is a cash benefit you can receive in addition to Social Security benefits if you’re 65 or older, blind, or disabled.  You may be able to receive as much as $943 a month as an individual or $1,1415 as a couple.

Free Money for Disabled Seniors

There are several government programs that are specifically designed to provide aid to disabled seniors over the age of 50. Explore these resources to see if they may help you.


As a disabled senior, Meals on Wheels can be a lifeline. This non-profit organization delivers meals to seniors in the comfort of their homes. If you have mobility issues that make it difficult for you to grocery shop and cook, this can be a benefit worth exploring.


The HUD’s public housing program that we’ve discussed above is also available to seniors with disabilities. Even though this housing assistance program has a long wait list, it's worth applying for affordable housing.


PACE is another benefit to explore if your disability makes it necessary for you to receive assisted living care. PACE can help you receive dental and medical care, in-home personal and health care facilities, adult day care, and more so you can continue to live independently.


Free government money for seniors with disabilities is also available in the form of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) if you meet the disability requirements. The program provides financial assistance if you have enough Social Security credits and have a qualifying disability.

Other Free Services for Seniors

Other than the resources we’ve shared above, many states may provide programs with free government money for seniors over 55. We also recommend checking within your local community to see if there are any free services for senior citizens.

Check local non-profit organizations or aging centers near you. Many of these provide healthcare, utilities, long-term care, food, and other benefits for those over the age of 55.

Eligibility Requirements for Government Programs

Here’s a look at the eligibility requirements for each program:

  • Commodity Supplemental Food Program: The CSFP program is available to those over 60 and with income below 130% of the federal poverty level. Call or visit your state’s local agency to apply.
  • Weatherization Assistance Program: You may qualify if you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or if your income is 200% below the federal poverty guidelines. Contact your local weatherization administrator to apply.
  • Medicare: If you’re over 65 years of age, you can qualify for Medicare if you’re a U.S. citizen and are receiving railroad retirement or Social Security benefits. You’ll get automatic coverage when you’re approved for Social Security.
  • Tax Credit for the Elderly or Disabled: You must be at least 65 years old or have retired due to a disability. You’ll get the credit automatically when you file taxes for the year.
  • Social Security: You must be at least 62 years old or be a person with blindness or disability to qualify for this benefit. You must also have enough work credits to qualify. Visit your local Social Security Administration (SSA) Office, call 1-800-772-1213 or apply online.
  • Seniors Farmers Market Nutrition Program: You may qualify for SFMNP benefits if your household income is less than 185% of the federal poverty level. Visit or call your local agency to apply for the program.
  • Housing Choice Vouchers: You may qualify if your household income doesn’t exceed 50% of the metropolitan area or county’s median income. Contact your local PHA to apply for a voucher.
  • Medicaid: Eligibility criteria for Medicaid varies for each state but depends on family size, household income, and disability. Contact your state to see if you qualify and to apply.
  • Senior Community Service Employment Program: Call 1-877-872-5627 or use the Older Worker Program Finder to see if you qualify and apply.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: Your income must be less than 130% of the federal poverty income limit to qualify for SNAP benefits. Call or visit your local SNAP office to apply.
  • Public Housing Program: You may qualify for public housing based on whether you meet the requirements as a person of disability or elderly and your annual gross income falls within a certain range. Contact your local Public Housing Agency to apply.
  • Extra Help: Your resources must be less than $16,600 as an individual or $33,240 as a married couple to qualify for this service. Visit your local Social Security Office, call 1-800-772-1213, or apply online.
  • SSI: You may qualify for Supplemental Security Income if you’re 65 or older, have a disability, or are blind. You must not earn over $1,913 each month and must not have resources over $2,000 for individuals or $3,000 for couples. Visit your local Social Security Office or call 1-800-772-1213 to apply.
  • Meals on Wheels: Find a provider near you to see if you qualify for the program. You’ll usually need to fill out an application and provide a referral letter in some cases to qualify.
  • PACE: You must be at least 55 years old and be eligible for nursing home care to qualify for PACE. If you qualify, PACE becomes your sole source of Medicaid and Medicare services.
  • Social Security Disability Insurance: You must have a work history and a severe impairment that will last at least 12 months or result in death to qualify for SSDI. Visit your local Social Security Office or call 1-800-772-1213 to apply.

How To Apply for Government Assistance

We’ve provided the eligibility criteria and guidance on how to apply for each government assistance program listed in this guide. In most cases, you’ll be able to apply in person or online.

Start by reading the qualification requirements carefully. If you qualify, gather the required documents, such as bank statements, proof of residence, proof of identification, and doctor’s note. Fill out the application form at the agency’s office or online and submit it.

Where To Get Free Money From the Government

If you want to get free money from the government as a senior over 55, start by checking your eligibility for the programs we’ve listed in the guide. We also recommend checking to see if your state or community has any programs you may qualify for.

If you’re looking for specific benefits near you, use the Eldercare Locator or call 1-800-677-1116. You can also use the BenefitsCheckUp tool to find benefit programs.