Help for Seniors: Available South Carolina Benefits

Help for Seniors: Available South Carolina Benefits

Finding help for seniors can be challenging for an individual or their loved ones. There are many resources available for seniors living in South Carolina. Learn more about helpful senior benefits you can connect to with SC Thrive.

Most Americans don’t have to look very far to see the financial impacts of inflation. The impact of high and rising inflation in the United States on those living on fixed incomes, especially seniors, is of particular concern. Everything is more expensive, whether filling up your gas tank, buying groceries, or paying rent. Most seniors cannot increase their incomes or cut critical expenses. So, with inflation at historically high levels, it’s important to leverage all the resources available to help stretch every dollar.

Millions of older adults are having trouble making ends meet. Some are cutting back on basics like food and medicine to stay afloat. They don’t realize help is available, leaving some notable programs that offer financial assistance underused. A few examples include the following:

SNAP- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is a federal nutrition program that helps you stretch your grocery budget to buy healthy food at grocery stores, convenience stores, some farmers’ markets, and other places across the state. SNAP benefits are sent monthly on an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card, which works like a debit card.

ESAP- Elderly Simplified Application Project

The Elderly Simplified Application Project makes applying for SNAP easier. It waives the recertification interview requirement, uses data matches to reduce the amount of client-provided verification, and extends the certification period to 36 months. You could qualify for ESAP if you are 60 years or older, your household members do not have earned income and do not already receive SNAP benefits.

MSP– Medicare Savings Program

The Medicare Savings Program helps seniors pay for some or all out-of-pocket costs such as Medicare premiums, deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and prescription drug costs for qualifying individuals. This program will not impact your Medicare Advantage Plans or Supplements.

Having a few hundred dollars of assistance each month can make a huge difference to seniors living on limited incomes, making it hard to afford basic needs such as housing, food, healthcare, and transportation. Despite these programs’ potential benefits, eligible older adults have historically had much lower participation, like in SNAP, than those in other age groups. According to AARP, over 9 million Americans ages 50 and older (about 1 in 12) were food insecure in 2020, meaning they had limited or uncertain access to adequate, nutritious food. SC Thrive helps seniors easily access health related benefits by allowing them to complete applications over the phone.

Get Help for Seniors

SC Thrive serves as a one-stop shop by connecting those in need to quality of life benefits. Our trained benefits counselors aid individuals by completing applications and navigating complex systems of available benefits—resources like Medicaid, SNAP, military, and Veteran support and more. We offer benefits screenings to help individuals find resources for which they may be eligible. Any South Carolina resident can apply with an SC Thrive counselor by contacting 800.726.8774.

Partnering Opportunities

SC Thrive offers a variety of training and partnership opportunities. We partner with organizations that provide help for seniors and other clients across the state.

SC Thrive is a lead organization on the SNAP Outreach Grant Project for South Carolina. We invite other organizations from across the state to partner with us as a part of this grant to provide SNAP outreach to their communities and educate South Carolinians about SNAP, nutrition, and healthy eating. Our SNAP partners commit to using SC Thrive services, including electronic benefit application submission through Thrive Hub, to assist clients in completing and submitting SNAP applications. Learn more about how to become a SNAP partner HERE.