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State Help
Old 03-15-2016, 03:53 PM   #1
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imoldernu's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Illinois and Florida
Posts: 3,935
State Help

If you are independently wealthy, you need not read this. It probably won't apply to you.

The subject is free or low cost benefits that may be available from your state.

Generally speaking, the main benefits are offered to seniors or people needing help, but this is so subject to state laws that each benefit may be based on need, or age... (not necessarily age 65) or just offered as a general benefit.

My State fishing license is free, and I get a discount on my boat registration.

Before I go on, let me review some benefits that we received from Illinois when we retired. (sadly some are no longer available). When we retired, our finances were such that our taxable income was low, or nil... the benefits had nothing to do with our "worth". As I recall we received $8 to $10K over six or seven years for medical expenses assistance. In addition, (and these exist today) the state offers an annual $75 car license reduction, and a "free" transit card. Not sure but I think the qualification is being below $55K taxable income.

I wouldn't pretend to know what other states offer, but as I recall, Florida offered limited free telephone service among some other things such as free passes to attractions or state parks. In looking up California Department on Aging, the first page suggests these benefits may be available

Community-Based Adult Services/Adult Day Health Care
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Family Caregiver Support Program
Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program
Legal Assistance
Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program
Multipurpose Senior Services Program
Senior Community Services Employment Program
Senior Information and Assistance Program
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed)
Supportive Services Program
Looking up your own state benefits, try "(state) department on aging", or "state benefits"...

Too young? Too much money? If not for yourself, maybe for parents or relatives. As I recall, many years ago, I recall an news article that said less than 5% of eligible Illinois residents ever applied for benefits to which they were entitled.

If nothing else, almost all states offer help for seniors, in the form of local or county offices. We have called for info on homestead exemptions, house tax review, and the Illinois Senior home tax freeze, which freezes the value of the home at age 65 or on the date of purchase of the home. We figure that since the purchase of our home in 2004 that the freeze and exemption have saved us many, many thousands of dollars.

While not mentioned here, veterans' benefits are sometimes overlooked as are some Federal benefits .
And of course the lifetime pass to 2000 National parks.. eligibility is just age 62.

It might be helpful to others if anyone can report on their own state's benefits.

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Old 03-15-2016, 04:12 PM   #2
Walt34's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Eastern WV Panhandle
Posts: 14,139
The only one I know that I'm eligible for is the National Parks pass, and that is age-qualified, not based on income.

Otherwise, our income is (fortunately) much too high for us to qualify for any state benefits. Others, I don't want to qualify for, such as assistance with in-home care, which is offered on a sliding scale. We probably have too much income to qualify for that anyway. WV is not known for the largess of social benefits and with the reduction in state income because of lower coal and gas production taxes they are struggling to balance the budget. You know it's serious when they're talking about closing state police stations and laying off troopers. When SS starts in a couple of months we'll be even better off.

First world problem that I'm glad to have.

I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 03-15-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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Posts: 6,213
Just for being over 65, I get a combination hunting/fishing license with deer, turkey, waterfowl and trout permits, all for $5.00.
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