Several federally funded government programs for seniors can help with finances and health care and provide social and community services. Financial assistance resources are generally reserved for low-income seniors and people with disabilities. Most other services and programs have a minimum age requirement, ranging from 55 to 65.

Continue reading to find out what’s available for senior citizens at the federal level and information on eligibility and how to apply. Details and links to local program operators in and around Media, PA, are also provided, which may assist those interested in the Riddle Village retirement community and our independent living services.

Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Older adults and people with disabilities may qualify for a monthly cash benefit from the federal government through Social Security payments. Low-income seniors who meet additional eligibility criteria can also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments.

Seniors are encouraged to apply for benefits online. The website also allows applicants to check for status updates, submit appeals, and find answers to common questions.

The closest Social Security Administration office to Media is in Chester, PA. Appointments can be scheduled by calling 1-800-772-1213 to avoid long lines. The nationwide Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool may also help determine the availability of federally funded assistance.

Administration on Aging (AoA)

The Administration coordinates many senior government programs on Aging, which operate at the federal level. These programs are delivered to senior citizens locally through Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). People aged 60+ qualify for many services, although states are allowed to create restrictions based on income and need.

Programs and services available from AAAs include:

  • Meal delivery and congregate dining
  • Adult daycare
  • Long-term services and supports (LTSS)
  • Mental health counseling
  • Transportation
  • Legal aid
  • Case management
  • Employment opportunities
  • Caregiver support

Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging is the local AAA for residents of Media, PA. Senior citizens can learn more on the website or call 1-800-416-4504. The nationwide Eldercare Locator provides listings of government senior programs and relevant agencies elsewhere in the country.

Programs and Services for Veterans

Elderly veteran

Veterans may qualify for financial assistance, health care, and other services at the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs. Assistance is also available for eligible dependents, survivors, and family members caring for veterans.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Senior citizens who served in the U.S. military may be eligible for one or more programs that pay a monthly cash benefit. In general, eligibility for VA pensions and financial assistance programs requires an other than dishonorable discharge from full-time service.

Additional requirements for veterans’ pension:

  • Income and net worth within current VA pension rates (Social Security payments, retirement accounts and other sources of financial aid are counted)
  • Aged at least 65 OR receiving SSI/SSDI OR permanently disabled or a patient in a nursing home due to disability
  • Sufficient length of active-duty service based on year of commencement, including at least 1 day during wartime

Other programs, such as Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits, have unique criteria related to disability and the type of assistance needed.

Some programs also have multiple levels of assistance, with each adding more requirements. The commonwealth maintains a comprehensive list of resources for Veterans in Pennsylvania, and the VA publishes a guide to federal benefits.

Residents of Media, PA, can contact the Delaware County Department of Veterans Affairs for advice and free assistance by calling 610-891-4646 or emailing [email protected].

Veterans Health Administration (VHA)

In addition to the financial assistance programs detailed above, senior citizens who served can apply for medical coverage through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA).

Medical benefits packages are developed based on health conditions and other eligibility criteria. The intent is to provide every veteran with coverage for most/all required services. Coverage of dental and other services depends on eligibility for VA health care and priority groups.

Applications for health care benefits can be submitted online. The website also has instructions on other options such as mail, phone, in-person and an accredited representative.

Nearby locations for Media, PA residents to apply are the Delaware County VA Clinic and West Philadelphia VA Clinic. Veterans can also call the national hotline at 877-222-8387 to apply.

Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP)

Low-income individuals aged 55+ can earn 20 hours per week through the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This program operates in various nonprofit and public facilities such as schools, hospitals and senior centers.

Applicants must have a family income no higher than 125% of the federal poverty level, which calculates to an annual income limit of $16,987.50 as of 2022. The program itself is primarily funded by the federal government, which subsidizes the cost of training and other provisions for those in the program.

The CareerOneStop website has a search function that shows the locations, contacts and other relevant details for Older Worker Programs. Pennsylvania Department of Aging provides further details on the Senior Community Service Employment Program for residents and links to job search resources.

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

Volunteer opportunities are available for seniors aged 55+ who wish to help their community by means of the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Seminars and training sessions assist new volunteers, and no commitments are required.

Older adults can help in many ways, such as mentoring and tutoring on topics of interest, delivering meals, gardening, and transporting people around town. Local nonprofits regularly need assistance in clerical, receptionist, and other roles.

Seniors citizens in Media, PA, Delaware County and surrounding areas can learn more on the RSVP in Montgomery County website and by calling 610-834-1040 ext. 123.

Independent Living for Seniors in Media, PA

Call us today at 610-891-3700 for more information on independent living at Riddle Village in Media, PA. Our staff can help answer your questions or schedule a visit so you can see for yourself what life is like in our retirement community.

Please note this piece is meant to be educational. Not all government-funded programs may be accepted at Riddle Village or other continuing care retirement communities.