The government program that provides income for senior citizens that just about everyone is well aware of is Social Security. Exactly when you qualify for your full benefit is going to vary depending on the year that you were born. For people who were born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. It then rises by two months each year until 1960. Individuals who were born in 1960 and after reach full retirement age on their 67th birthdays.
It should be noted that the above parameters are current as of this writing. There is a lot of talk in Washington about making cuts to the program, and one way of doing that would be to raise the retirement age.
Social Security is due to people who have paid a sufficient amount into the program through the payment of payroll taxes. Those who have not done so are not eligible for Social Security when they reach full retirement age.
But, people with financial need who do not qualify for Social Security may be eligible to receive SSI or Supplemental Security Income. To qualify you must have less than $2,000 in countable assets. But, the value of some significant property does not count, such as your home and your car. This limit is the same one that exists for qualification for Medicaid benefits.
The maximum monthly SSI payment that a single person can receive is $674 at the present time, and a married couple may receive $1010. In addition to this monthly fixed income, people who have been approved for SSI are also eligible for Medicaid automatically. This is of interest to many seniors because Medicaid pays for long term care, such as a stay in a nursing home or an assisted living community. Medicare is not set up to absorb these costs, which are considerable and rising all the time.
To learn more about this and other matters of interest to senior citizens, simply arrange for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.