Squeezing Core Benefits through a Reverse Mortgage
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Squeezing Core Benefits through a Reverse Mortgage

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October 21, 2011

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Download more examples of how economic casework helps seniors who are struggling to make ends meet.

Ms. C, 84, has been living with her son Mr. J in the same home for 52 years. She came to Aurora Family Services in Milwaukee in October 2010 with her son, who thought that his mother could use some assistance for her needs.

Ms. C already had a reverse mortgage on her home, but she needed extra assistance with public benefits and options on how to pay for the upcoming year’s property taxes. Ms. C had used the last of her line of credit on the 2009 property taxes, and she did not have the means to pay for the 2010 property taxes on top of her monthly bills.

Ms. C’s income was $494/month. Although her son stayed with her, he paid his mother’s rent in the amount of $149/month, which included providing food for the both of them for the month.

Ms. C also paid $253 for supplemental medical insurance, $138 for energy costs, $38 for her phone, and other costs that in total amounted to double her income. She had used her line of credit that she received from her reverse mortgage to maintain her monthly expenses.

After a full evaluation, the NCOA Economic Security Center case manager assessed that she was eligible to receive a wide range of prescription, food, energy, and tax assistance. Overwhelmed with the information, Ms. C had the case manager work with her daughter (Ms. C’s power of attorney) to begin to apply for benefits, starting with energy assistance.

Recently, Ms. C has been able to receive $375 in credit from energy assistance, $100 in food share, and a nutrition stock box each month to offset her food costs. She no longer has to pay for the $253 supplemental insurance and $97 that she was paying for the cost of her Medicare B premium in her monthly Social Security check.

Because of the increase in her income, Ms. C was able to pay for the first installment of the property taxes, and will be able to pay the remaining balance when she receives her homestead check for the coming year.

I

want to live in a country where

older adults don't have to choose between paying for medicine or food.

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