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Alaska’s Elders Depend on the Senior Benefits Program

Posted on 06/27/19 by Ken Helander

What is it?

Created in 2007, the Senior Benefits Program is a critical resource for Alaska’s low-income seniors. The Senior Benefits Program enables more than 11,000 older Alaskans to afford necessities like heat and medication. A modest monthly allowance goes directly to the senior beneficiary who then spends it on necessary expenditures in the state.

Why Is AARP Fighting to Protect the Senior Benefits Program?

The recipients of the Senior Benefits Program are older Alaskans who are economically poor and don’t have a well-organized constituency; as a result, there are few who will speak out for them.

It is a modest financial stimulus to Alaska’s economy and can be regarded as a state investment rather than an expense.

Failure to preserve the Senior Benefits Program for low-income older Alaskans will increase the risk of losing their independence and hasten a move to a much-costlier track of dependent care.

Who Receives the Benefit?

The average senior beneficiary is 75 years old, likely has chronic health problems and must regard every expense as a choice between one necessity and another necessity.

Those who qualify for the largest senior benefit amount receive $250/month and can have no more than $949 per month in income. The middle benefit amount is $175 and have incomes below the federal poverty level of $1,265 per month. The lowest benefit amount is $76 per month and may not have a monthly income of more than $2,214.

AARP Alaska is proud to speak on behalf of the 11,000 older Alaskans

whose lives are made more secure and independent

by the Senior Benefits Program.

For more information contact visit Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

or contact AKAARP@aarp.org

This story is provided by AARP Alaska. Visit the AARP Alaska page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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