When you lack the money to pay the bills each month, you feel the effects in every part of your life. Increased stress brings with it feelings of worry, fear and uncertainty about the necessities of life that many take for granted. Thankfully, Florida senior residents experiencing hard financial times can find a hand up through federal, state and local organizations.
If you have trouble paying for the food you need to live, Florida offers help to meet your family's nutritional needs. Through the Food Assistance Program, low-income seniors receive financial assistance to buy food through a card that works just like a credit card at the grocery store. Formerly called food stamps, this program helps thousands of Florida residents who have no money to buy the food they need after paying for rent, utilities, dependent care and other expenses. In addition, local "Meals on Wheels" programs deliver hot meals to elderly Florida residents with limited mobility.
Florida's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LHEAP), through funds provided by the federal government, supports local governments in helping low-income Florida residents pay for the expenses of heating and cooling their homes. Families with incomes less than 150 percent of the federal poverty level may qualify for relief under this program. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible for LHEAP assistance up to three times per year.
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides help to low-income Florida residents through Public Housing and Housing Choice Vouchers. Commonly referred to as Section 8 housing, these vouchers allow landlords to rent apartments to low-income seniors at a reduced rate. Your income determines the amount of rent you pay, and you apply for residence at privately owned apartment buildings that accept Section 8. Applicants sometimes face a long waiting list, so apply as soon as possible if you believe you might qualify.
Many seniors seeking employment find stormy seas amidst the massive competition from younger applicants. Workforce Florida sponsors Employ Florida Silver. The Silver program seeks to connect employers actively looking for older workers with qualified employees 50 years old or older. The Silver program offers elderly Florida residents the opportunity to search for jobs offered by companies that specifically state a policy friendly to older workers. The program's website also offers valuable tips for returning to the workforce.