Low-income seniors can get financial assistance through the Supplemental Security Income program managed by the Social Security Administration. They can also get housing assistance through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Public Housing Program.
Seniors age 65 and older who are U.S. citizens or resident aliens qualify for Supplementary Security Income if they meet the requirements for limited income and resources. SSI provides cash that low-income seniors can use for shelter, food and clothing. Applicants can visit the local Social Security office and apply for SSI without making an appointment, but to avoid waiting, it is best for them to call ahead and make an appointment before appearing in person. Income is considered when assessing SSI eligibility and includes job wages, Social Security benefits, unemployment benefits, workers compensation and gifts from relatives and friends. Countable resources include cash, bank accounts, land, vehicles and other salable property.
The HUD Public Housing Program provides rental assistance for low-income elderly people. Seniors can apply for Public Housing assistance in writing at the local Public Housing Agency. They need to provide contact information, names and addresses of former landlords, names and addresses of employers and banks and an estimation of income and income sources for the next 12 months. The applicant must also provide documentation to verify submitted information, and the Housing Agency may schedule an interview in the applicant's home.