For many seniors, COVID-19 has led to a new level of financial awareness. As a high-risk group, seniors have been forced to comply with strict quarantine orders, leaving them fewer opportunities for social interaction and more time to think (and worry) about money. Our team at David York Agency understands the intersection between COVID-19 and senior finances. In this post, we’ll discuss:
- The possibility of a second round of federal stimulus checks
- New COVID-19 scams that target seniors
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the new funding it promises for senior nutrition programs
First, let’s cover one of the most important issues at hand: the possibility of another stimulus check.
The CARES Act & Stimulus Checks
By now, most seniors have already received the first round of stimulus checks, courtesy of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Stability (CARES) Act. Correspondingly, the initial payments — up to about $1,200 per person — have likely already been spent. But, will there be another relief check? And, if so, when?
As of November 2020, the White House is still considering another round of stimulus payments, though exact details about payment amounts and eligibility are only speculative.
By all indications, a second direct payment of $1,200 is still on the table. And, lawmakers from both parties want to expand the definition of dependents to include people of any age.
Speculation continues, but most seniors on a fixed income should qualify for aid in light of a second stimulus. In fact, the proposed $3 trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions or HEROES Act may raise payments by up to $6,000 per household.
That said, it’s important to be aware of COVID-19 financial scams that target seniors as we wait for Congress to decide.
Be Wary of Senior SCAMS in the Wake of COVID-19
Con-artists predominantly prey on senior fears during the COVID-19 crisis. One scam targeting seniors involves a fraudulent phone call from the Social Security Administration (SSA) or Medicare.
Remember, neither SSA nor Medicare will ever call you on the phone!
- Usually, con artists offer to send “COVID Care Kits,” which may include extra masks and medications.
- At other times, scammers offer to send a traveling nurse over with a COVID vaccine. As of July 2020, there is no vaccine against COVID-19.
- Con artists targeting seniors usually ask for several key pieces of information: benefits card number, checking account number, credit card info, or an address.
- Presently, there are no “COVID Kits” being sent out by Medicare or SSA.
In addition, scammers may exert immense emotional pressure on seniors. They may threaten arrests/ jail time and may even suggest that they’ll revoke Medicare benefits for non-compliance. If this happens to your loved one, the best course of action is to hang up the phone. These scammers have no authority to deny anyone Medicare payments. By and large, Medicare is a benefit seniors have earned through a lifetime of working.
As we wait for a new round of stimulus checks and work to protect seniors, there’s more good news on the horizon.
FFCRA Provides More Funding for Senior Nutrition Programs
On March 18, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). In addition to extra funding for emergency paid sick leave and more money for California’s version of Medicaid (Medi-Cal), the bill also increases funding for senior nutrition programs under the Older American Act (OAA). Specifically, Congress allocated $250 million towards this initiative.
While eligibility for senior nutrition programs varies from state to state, a person must be at least 60 years old to participate in these programs. However, Section 339 of the Older Americans Act expands eligibility to spouses — regardless of age — and broadens the scope of nutrition programs to offer meals to:
- Disabled individuals living in senior group homes
- People with disabilities who reside with eligible older adults
David York Agency Understands COVID-19 and Senior Finances in Pelham Parkway
David York Agency understands the challenges of caregiving and is willing to provide all the support you need.
If you’d like more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, contact us at 718.376.7755. A free phone consultation can help you decide what services might be best. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn.
David York Agency Home Healthcare remains committed to providing personalized care for your loved one. If you have questions about our services, please contact us. We can help you through the difficult times and give you the break you deserve!