With higher than normal inflation, many seniors on fixed incomes are looking for help to make ends meet and ensure they have access to healthy and nutritious food.
There has been talk of a “grocery stimulus” or additional coverage under the Food stamp/SNAP program (Commodity Supplemental Food Program), but it has been hard to get clarity on what is available. So thought I would use this article to provide a summary of some options out there for Seniors.
One thing to note is that many of the programs are administered at the state or local level, in line with federal guidelines. So please do your own research following some of the general information available here.
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Is there a $900 Grocery Stimulus?
So a lot of seniors may have heard about a $900 grocery stimulus for those over 60 or some related variant or amount. This payment was likely spurred by speculation of additional stimulus checks for seniors. However no additional federal funding was passed for new stimulus payments in 2022 to 2023.
Seniors can still claim prior stimulus payments and related benefits via filing a prior year tax return, but to get grocery benefits they will need to avail of one of the programs discussed below.
Several states are also providing additional tax and stimulus payments to eligible residents, which may provide some additional benefits to seniors.
Medicare Advantage Plans and Grocery Benefits
The main (healthy) grocery benefit available to many seniors are via supplementary benefits under certain Medicare advantage plans offered by private health insurers.
These supplementary grocery payments are an added benefit to Medicare advantage (Part C) plans, and not generally available via the original Medicare Part A and B public plans. There is also often a qualifying health condition (quite broad) to be eligible for this plan.
The amount of coverage and benefit amount will vary by plan and in the state you live. There are also restrictions to the foods (e.g. fruits and vegetables are allowed, but not candy or sweet items) and merchants you can go to.
If you qualify for your plan’s grocery benefits, you’ll likely get a pre-paid (or flex) grocery benefit card (like a HSA or FSA card) for buying specific items, with the card loaded on monthly or quarterly basis based on your plan.
The best option to check if you have this benefit, including how much and what you can claim is to call or see your insurers website. Some plans even offer meal delivery as a benefit.
SNAP/Food Stamp Benefits for Seniors
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) helps over 5 million seniors meet their basic food needs. Seniors, or those over 60, generally have lower income qualification thresholds to get SNAP benefits.
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Senior Households where at least one or more member is over 60 may have $4,250 in countable resources (such as cash or money in a bank account) and still qualify for SNAP benefits. There are other rules, but in total and depending on household size, maximum monthly benefits average over $240.
Commodity Supplemental Food Program
There is a sub-program called the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) to further help seniors who are at or below 130% of the Federal poverty guidelines.
If you meet program guidelines and are over 60, you can get a free 40-pound box of USDA approved food items each month for locally qualified pantry’s or providers.
Over 600,000 seniors earning less than $15,000 (living alone) benefited from this program.
Like the SNAP program, the CSFP program is administered at the state level and you will need to go to your state’s website (search via google) for the agency and to confirm qualification requirements.
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There is also the SNAP Restaurant Meals Program (RMP) which allows your EBT card to be used at locally approved resturants. This is for seniors who cannot prepare meals at their home or don’t have permanent housing. The RMP is state-run and sponsored, and not all states offer this program
Other Food Programs
There are also many other grocery and free food programs available via local charities and organizations to help Seniors. This includes Meals-on-Wheels, Feeding America and various USFNA programs.
54 thoughts on “$900 Grocery Stimulus Benefit under Medicare Advantage and SNAP For Seniors”
I,would like the stimulouse.foodstamps
The said we make over 2000 a month will only get23 a month. But if I kick my husband out can get 120 a month .can’t get oct because we live in state the can’t get that but you can go to fast food with snap can afford that
You have to be rich to get money from the government in the US… billionaires became trillionaires with CoVid using our taxpayer money. The bigger joke is, the rich don’t even pay taxes but somehow qualify for our hard earned money.
How can get the $900 for food
I need food how can I get $900 a month
I want to apply for nation wide senior citizen discount card for groceries.
Where I live a gallon of milk is almost 8 dallers. I live in a small northern California town called Hayfork California. You spend a hundred dallers here your lucky to walk out with 2 grocery bags. Just saying the rich don’t have to starve only the poor do.
The problem is we, the voters, keep electing people who promise to give us more benefits. It sounds great because we are hungry, or cold, or in need of medicines, but in truth those “gov’t benefits” aren’t free — we are all forced to give the government our money in one way or another to cover these benefits. We actually pay the government more money than the benefits they dole out to us. It’s estimated that our government will spend $1304 Billion in 2023 to give us all these “welfare benefits” such as food stamps, etc. And we will pay dearly for it. We need to vote for the people who say they will STOP giving it away, because every dollar they give us increases inflation more than a dollar. No COLA will ever be big enough to ease the pain we are feeling from paying for government overspending.
How to sign up for the $900 grocery
Become an asylum seeker
IN our great country we live in now days,,,,,You can be illegal in our country and draw max food stamps you can put a towel on your head and get free loans for hotels and gas stations and anything you wants its unreal. But actuall y live here and pay taxes your whole life and get nothing thatrs the way it works now dayswe should all move to mexico and ppl dont get your feelings hurt by what i said its all true
Please cite your sources. It is not true.
Check out the is govt website on seeking asylum. I think the op is just citing us govt website. That’s where I found it and you can to if you really want the truth.
I agree. Also our Veterans who come back don’t get NOTHING they are the ones who should be getting the gas stations and no taxes for years 1st. Not the foreigners.
The state’s expect you to be able to go get free food from food pantries and other food charities. Look for CSFP, RMP, meals on wheels thru nearby churches, but it might be a county funding problem.
I just signed up for this. Starts in March. They are going to take $163.00 out of my disability for the premium. How does that help? The Medicare representative lied, he told me it will not cost me anything. I will be calling them tomorrow to cancel.
I called about this, too! I got anxious from seeing all the ads with celebrities pushing it! AFTER wasting 2 hours on phone, explaining my situation, I gave in and signed up. Turns out I NEVER SHOULD HAVE! I had to REPORT the guy & his company for pressuring me to sign up when I ALREADY AM COVERED by my state and medicare and Medicaid! Please call your state’s “Senior Linkage ” line and talk to someone there to see if your situation is going to be helped by these vultures advertising INACCURATE PROGRAMS!
I’m on Medicare and social security why im 73yrs old why can’t I get help with my groceries I pay almost 200.00 a month I pay 650.00 in rent pay electric cable water car payment 318.00 month 50.00 on water bill 100.00 cable 75.00 electric bill 85.00 car insurance monthly cell phone 100.00 month plus 2 brand name med that cost me150.00 monthly I am on soc sec my soc sec check is 2100.00 a month why can’t I qualify I don’t think it’s fair when some of us are above the poverty limit we are struggling also and I shouldn’t have to change by Medicare advantage plan to get this help it’s a shame some of us in a higher income who also need help the cost of food gas etc has skyrocketed even 5hough I got my cost of living raise it’s was spent before I even received it because it was eaten by sky rocketing prices please give us some help thank you
Call one of the companies on TV to check if you qualify for the advantage programs. I have one and it pays for my insurance premium instead of it coming out of my SSI and I get $180 monthly on my health insurance card to buy fruit veggies and other things
For anyone reading this, do NOT call of of the Medicare Advantage 800 numbers you see on TV! Your phone will never quit ringing! Instead, contact your local Council on Aging or Senior Services and they will assist you in getting you connected with someone to look into an Advantage plan. It will be a trustworthy person that is not just another phone salesperson from TV!
Which insurer did you enroll with Cindy? That information would be helpful since there are a plethora of plans. Thank you for your time/assistance.
you don’t need cable….buy a roku (one time payment under $100) and hulu runs about 10-15 month. also, look into other mobile phone servers. we have T-mobile and pay $85 for two phones/unlimited and one is a hotspot. they have a senior plan for around $65 month. and ask about generic drugs, and contact the pharmaceutical companies to see if they have plans…..i was getting one of my meds for $14 every three months, and now use Ro Pharmacy, get my meds 6 months/1 year supply for around $20 each.
Have you ever heard of Consumer Cellular? If you’re paying $100/mo. for a phone, you’re getting ripped off! There’s many other excellent cell phone services that can shave down that expense! I’ve been come to rely on my state’s “Senior Linkage ” line where you can call for help to answer ALL your questions about benefits, scams and senior HELP for just about everything!
I suggest that you see if there’s one in your state!
I was told it is because we have unearned income, which doesn’t make sense
I moved to Colorado Springs at the beginning of 2020. I only have Soc Sec and no savings or pension. I rent from my son for $600 per month (he pays utilities, TV, phone and auto insurance).
I signed up for SNAP benefits and got $16 for one month and then the pandemic benefit kicked in, I’ve been getting the max which was $251. Now, the pandemic benefit is gone and I will get $23. How does this make sense. One day I’m allowed $8.33 per day for food and the next day I’m only getting $0.76.
Same happening in TX, difficult to buy much healthy food on $24/month.
We get $23 a month for the two of us. Our insurance Care Plus gives us $150 per person per mo. in Fla. It’s just us two.
Awful. Not even worth applying.
I feel the same way I’m disabled and can’t work and I’m in MI and they will be giving me 39.00 a month for food. I agree with you before I was getting 96.00 and I moved 15 minutes away and I’m getting 39.00 it doesn’t make any sense!
My dad is a veteran. Barely, barely gets by on what he has. I tell him to apply for benefits and they give him $23. $23? Someone should be ashamed of themselves. I’m ashamed. I’m ashamed of my country, I’m ashamed of my government. Who? Who ever came up with that number NEVER had to fight, scrape, skimp, bleed or sweat a day in their lives. So you know no matter how you cut it, people are hungry tonight. Shame.
We also got only $23.00
We got 23 as well, I wrote to both my governor and the white house of course no reply. Dont get old they expect you to die!!
He gets $23 bc that’s the least they can give him and he’s over income limit so they won’t give him anymore than that BUT idk which state you live in but I’m in NY and have UNITED HEALTHCARE MEDICARE INSURANCE. Because I’m medicaid eligible I have the combined plan of Medicare and Medicaid thru them. I receive a “ucard” or use to be called an OTC card yearly through them with a $200 healthy food benefit every month! I can use that for pharmacy stuff like cough drops, Tylenol, bandaids, etc or now I can use it for food (no soda etc but macaroni, cheese, veggies, meat) are covered. I usually use at Walmart bc it’s easier just scan back of card and eligible items come off. Idk if other insurance in other states do this but you should ask the insurance your dad has! He can change insurance companies once a yr. So find the one that has the Medicare advantage which combines his Medicare and Medicaid with a over the counter benefit! Not all have this! Hope this helps!
I’m in Michigan and I have the same insurance so yes it’s the advantage plans. They are awesome
I just signed up for the dual coverage plan of Medicare and Medicaid theu United Healthcare in Iowa. Just found out about the Ucard ! This is a godsend !
We have it in Fl too! Care Plus $150. We can buy over the counter, food, pay rent, water, elec, cable. We get $23 mo. We are over 65 yrs. and have both been disabled since ‘94 and ‘01
That is the United Healthcare Dual Complete plan. I just switched to that because I saw an ad on TV. It starts this month so I’m anxious to get my card
I don’t have a house payment and considered -10 poverty level by Medicare. I get $23.00 a month for food. DSHS says its because my house is paid off. Make sese of that.
I also have United Healthcare and I guess it’s because I live in rural South Georgia, I only get $60 per month on my UCard. I was getting senior SNAP but that cola raise put me over income. What’s odd I found out is that if your income is within guidelines, they subtract off rent/mortgage, utilities etc. But if you are the slightest over the limit, none of that comes off to make you eligible.
I agree they took food stamps from me a single mother of 4 because I was honest about allowing their father to stay after Thanksgiving in the unit attached to the house because his vehicle broke down and he couldn’t make it home that night! I split with him solely to become self-reliant and not to depend on someone else, get my education etc. now I can’t get benefits with him nor without him, I feel this on another level it makes me sick for your father , the nation should prioritize our elderly veterans and children! what is wrong with this country!!!
I understand what ur saying. I was told by a “friend” who works as a social worker for department of social services to get food stamps/medicaid/cash aid=welfare. She has told me “Sometimes u have to lie”. How can a person lie about making income that snap says its over the scale to qualify for food stamps?? But we know we don’t make enough money to feed our selves.. Were in between having enough but not enough to eat. ♀
All veterans should be getting %30-%100 disability payments monthly from our government anyway for all the ptsd, time away from family, injuries,,,
sacrifice, and service to Country!!
Did you go to the Welfare office in your city? Did you go to the Social Security office? I’d go to both of them and plead his case. I go to the Soc Sec office whenever I have a question. $23 is only good for a few days of food! He’s a vet, that’s just ludicrous.
Well said I totally agree our vets should not pay for anything
I’m a disabled veteran also and ALSO get $23.00 …… milk in florida is $5 a gallon and cereal is $4/$5 a box… I’m thankful for breakfast for a week to week in a half being available ea month for now BUT seriously just a ridiculously low amount considering the price of food! And out are getting only $23??? If we’re being capped at a blanket $23 then why is ALL my financial information needed sense its obviously not based on an individual income/bills? Yeah….ridiculous
Yes and they put their blood sweat and tears for our freedom and that’s the thanks they get.
my dad was a veteran too, on social security. he qualified for $10 month food stamps. what a joke….
39.00 dollars iowa snap what kind of $h1t is that.
On social security but don’t pay either I’m 65 I need help please
I live in Havre montana. Applied for snap. I live with my daughter I pay water and northwest energy( which tripled this month). I receive $23.00 a month. I was told this is what seniors get for snap around $20.00 how sad.
SMH, I heard that also in Gary Indiana it’s sad because you can’t buy too much of anything with $23.00. And it just sad they they’re tell you you can’t buy candy or sodas with your otc benefits cards they telling us as seniors what we can and cannot do .it a very controlling situation.
Yes and buying essentials like laundry detergent,dish soap hygiene stuff is impossible
no offense intended, but candy and soda are not food/healthy necessities
No offense but if you don’t have transportation and the only store in your neighborhood does not sell fruits and vegetables you don’t get them rendering a vegetable card useless.
Will people on social security,SSDI, ECT that are on food stamps now 2022 – 2023 get A rasie in 2023. In the state of Oklahoma?