Grants for Seniors in California

Key Senior Statistics in California (60 and over)
Senior Population: 8,492,450 (21.8%) Senior Population: 8,492,450 (21.8%)
Male: 46.0% Male: 46.0%
Female: 54.0% Female: 54.0%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 29% Disability: 29%
With Social Security Income: 68% With Social Security Income: 68%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 12% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 12%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 12% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 12%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022.

Help for Seniors in California – 25 Assistance Programs

California, also known as the Golden State, is one of the ideal states for senior citizens of the country. The elderly can have their best time with various activities and enjoy amazing weather. Apart from its great food, this state offers a wide range of  federal, state, local and charity-based assistance programs for senior residents.

State Resources for Seniors

The California Department of Aging is responsible for the overall welfare of seniors in the state and offers a variety of services to support seniors living in the state. These services range from sponsoring charities and local Area Agencies on Aging that provide assistance to older citizens, pointing seniors in the direction of useful resources and in some cases directly administering programs that cater for the needs of elderly residents. The website of the California Department of Aging has many useful resources that can make life easier for challenged seniors in the state.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Section 8 Rental Housing Certificate Housing Voucher Program is subsidized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for adults ages 62 and over. Low-income senior residents can benefit from this program. Eligible candidates can choose an apartment or house from a homeowner who will agree on the terms of the HUD. Approximately 70 percent of the rent will be paid by this housing voucher. To learn more, follow the link

202 Senior Housing Program-Supporting Housing for the Elderly was created by the HUD to assist low-income adults in California. It helps housing buildings that will be designed for low-income seniors at least for thirty years. These housing facilities offer affordable apartment units and flats. Accepted participants can live with their family members based on their financial situation. For additional information, please visit

California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CalHFA) is a well-known state-based housing assistance program. Adults who want to spend the rest of their life in their homes may want to buy their first home but cannot afford it are eligible for this program. It provides low-interest rate mortgage programs. To find more information, follow the link or dial 877 922 5432.

Home Repair Grants

Assistance for home repairs in California is available through the Section 504 Home Repair program. This program gives out loans and grants to homeowners who need to carry out repairs or modifications on their homes. Seniors over the age of 62 who are financially challenged are eligible for grants of up to $10,000 for home repairs and health or safety related modifications. More information on the Section 504 Home Repair program can be gotten from Residents of Victorville may also apply for a grant of up to $15,000. However, this offer has a waiting list and funds may not be immediately available. Details are at

Healthcare Assistance

The Assisted Living Waiver Program (ALWP) was formed by Medi-Cal, which is a healthcare program in California. The Medi-Cal is sponsored by the state and federal authorities. ALWP presents cash support for healthcare expenses and long-term care costs for senior residents.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be a resident of California.
  • You must have a disability.
  • You must prove your financial hardship.
  • Your annual revenue must be under 138 percent of the state poverty level.

To apply for this program, go to

Operation Access (OA) is a local community organization that aims to help local people who are in need of health assistance. Low-income seniors who cannot afford surgical operations or do not have medical insurance may appeal to this service. Volunteer doctors and health workers can help with your medical problems. Further information can be accessed by clicking on the following link or call 415 733 0052.

Dental Grants and Benefits in California

Seniors in California can take advantage of the state Medicaid Program known as Medi-Cal for their dental needs. Residents over the age of 55 can get up to $1,800 in annual coverage for certain dental services. Some seniors may also qualify for a plan that offers no annual limits on the coverage amount. Apart from this, some services are offered for free or at greatly reduced cost. These include fillings, x-rays, scaling, dentures, tooth removal, along with other procedures that can only be covered every 12 months such as fluoride varnish, teeth cleaning and dental exams. The determination of whether the treatment should be free or subsidized is usually done based on the senior’s income. For medically necessary appointments, seniors may also get transportation assistance to get them to and from the dentist’s office. More information on the Medi-Cal coverage for seniors in California is available at

Seniors not covered by the Medi-Cal program can take advantage of the Donated Dental Services (DDS). This is a network of volunteer dentists that provide free or low-cost dental care for seniors in the state. Seniors usually need to be unable to financially settle any of the bills before they get free care, otherwise, they get a highly subsidized bill. Due to the influx of seniors requesting care, waitlists are common for the DDS program, however seniors can visit to submit an application.

Financial Assistance

The California Department of Aging runs a program known as Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP). This is a training program for seniors who are unemployed or have very low incomes. Through the SCSEP, seniors receive special training and are allowed to do work in line with the training they have received. Work is usually for around 20 hours per week and the seniors are paid the highest of federal, state or local minimum wages. This program provides seniors with skills necessary to earn some income for themselves. The SCSEP is open to residents over the age of 55 years. For more information, visit

Seniors may also be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. This is a federal program funded by taxes which gives eligible seniors monthly payments to help them augment their living conditions. Seniors who are receiving retirement benefits may still be eligible for SSI so long as they meet the eligibility criteria. The monthly SSI payments vary based on income and living arrangements. SSI benefits are primarily meant to assist with essential needs like food, clothing and shelter. Further details on SSI assistance can be found at

Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) was created by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The mission of this grant is to decrease poverty by offering shelter support, food assistance, and healthcare needs for seniors. To see eligibility criteria, follow the link or by phone at 916 576 7109.

MyHomeowner Assistance Program is a loan program that is designed by the State of California for adults who are 62 years of age or over. Accepted candidates receive a one-time payment which is up to $472, 60 based on the participant’s financial case. Explore more opportunities via the following link

Many assistance programs base their financial eligibility requirements on federal poverty levels. For annual and monthly figures, see Federal Poverty Level Calculator.

Food Assistance

CalFresh-Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is financed by the State of California for low-income individuals who require food assistance. Seniors facing financial difficulties in affording healthy and nutritious meals on the table can apply for this program. The link to their official website is as follows or contact the helpline 1 877 847 3663.

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is led by the federal government on the purpose of presenting fresh, nutritious, and healthy food from California’s Certified Farmers Markets’ to low-income adults who are 60 years of age or over. These food boxes are limited. It is better to apply as soon as possible if you need one. To see eligibility requirements and apply, visit or call 916 657 3231.

Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is sponsored by USDA to enhance the health of adult people who are 60 years old or older. It offers nutritious USDA foods that are compatible with their health condition. These food bags involve various foods such as pasta, butter, milk, yogurt, canned meat, fruits, and vegetables. For more information, visit or make a call at 916 651 8848.

Several major cities, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, and Fremont have implemented programs specifically for their senior populations which can contribute to seniors leading healthy and meaningful lives.

Charities and Organizations’ Assistance

Several charities in California provide various forms of assistance for seniors. The Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Inc. is one of such charities. The Catholic Charities offers financial assistance for seniors in need, meal supply, in-home care and medical checkups at their facilities. It runs the Older Adult Services and Intervention System (OASIS) to help keep seniors in their homes for as long as possible by providing various essential services to them. Additional information on the activities of the Catholic Charities of Los Angeles Inc. can be found at

The Salvation Army is another charity that helps seniors who are in need. Homeless elderly residents of California can get housing assistance from the Salvation Army as they run several shelters and senior residences. These residences are also for seniors who are unable to live in their own home because they require special care and assistance. Seniors may also get assistance with free or low-cost food supplies to support their well-being and help them live healthy lives. Senior services of the Salvation Army are rendered to anyone over the age of 55. Further help programs offered by this charity are at

The Wise and Healthy Aging is another charity that is focused on giving the necessary assistance to seniors in the state. The services offered include abuse prevention, legal aid, adult day care, meal assistance, etc. For more details on the Wise and Healthy Aging, visit

Transportation Assistance

There are several transportation assistance arrangements for seniors in California. The CityRide Program is run by the Los Angeles Department of Transport and helps transport elderly residents from their homes to various locations they may need to visit. There are semi-fixed routes which can be taken advantage of for free. Apart from this, citizens can also get heavily discounted cab services. A bus service known as DASH helps seniors pay bus fares as low as 25cents. However, those who register for the CityRide program get free rides on the buses. Seniors can read the full brochure online at and register at

Access is another program that provides transport aid to elderly residents of California. Access is a public transport service similar to regular bus lines that supports mobility devices that may be necessary for users. Seniors can book a ride ahead, setting their delivery and drop-off points. Fare prices start from $3.50 and are usually decided by the distance travelled. Seniors with an Access Rider ID Card can also apply for the free fare program and get free rides on most bus and rail systems. Access does not provide emergency transportation and detours may be taken to pick up or drop off other riders along the way. For further information on Access, visit

Veyo is a transport provider that gives seniors transport assistance by offering discounted rides to medical appointments. Details on the operations of Veyo can be found at their website

Help with Utility Bills

Seniors who reside in California can get assistance with their utility bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides aid to cover heating or cooling bills as required. LIHEAP in California is not just for electricity bills, but covers costs for those who use wood, oil or propane as heat sources. Emergency services are also available to prevent disconnection of services. Apart from paying for utilities, LIHEAP can assist seniors with resources to make their homes more energy efficient so that their overall energy bills are reduced in the long run. Seniors in California can visit to register for LIHEAP in the state.

Customers of South California Edison (SCE) can apply for one-time assistance through the Energy Assistance Fund (EAF). EAF is a charity organization operated by the United Way to assist residents in need of assistance with their energy bills. Seniors can receive a bill payment worth up to $100 to help offset some of their energy costs. The application form for this program can be found at

Seniors can also receive help through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. This program provides continuous assistance for seniors in the form of discounts on their energy bills. Depending on the vendor, residents can get a discount of 20-30% on home energy bills once they qualify. Seniors who are customers of SoCalGas can download an application form from, while SCE customers can apply at SCE customers can also get debt forgiveness of up to $500 on their bill arrearages. Details on this are available at

Seniors who qualify for energy bills assistance can also apply for the state California LifeLine Program. This program helps reduce the cost of phone bills by providing low-cost plans and discounted services. Applications can be submitted at

The Gas Assistance Fund (GAF) is another way that elderly residents can get help with their bills. GAF provides a on-time grant of up to $100 to settle gas bills and allow continued connection to the utility. GAF is a program offered by SoCalGas and United Way of Greater Los Angeles. Interested seniors an apply at

Assistance for water bill payment is available through the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). LIHWAP helps pay for water and wastewater bills by making direct payments to the utility companies. Seniors can find more details on the program at

Grants for senior Veterans

Veterans in California can apply for the California Military Family Relief Fund (CMFRF). This is an initiative that provides short term financial assistance to veterans to help them pay for basic living expenses.

The Unmet Needs Program is another way that seniors with financial challenges can receive assistance. Through the program, seniors can get financial assistance to pay for rent, insurance, utilities, home repairs, car repairs, etc. Additional information on both programs can be found at

The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) offers health, financial, professional and education assistance programs. MOAA offers interest-free loans and grants to help support the needs of veterans. More details on the services of MOAA can be found at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What percentage of California’s population are seniors, and how does the state cater to their needs? As of the last U.S. Census, approximately 14% of California’s population is aged 65 and over. The state addresses their needs through various programs, including the California Department of Aging’s services, Medi-Cal, and the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) for low-income seniors.

2. How can seniors in California access affordable healthcare services? Seniors in California can access affordable healthcare through Medi-Cal, which offers free or low-cost medical services. Additionally, the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) provides free counseling about Medicare and health insurance options.

3. Are there specific transportation services for seniors in California? Yes, many localities in California offer paratransit services for seniors, such as the LA County’s Access Services, providing door-to-door transportation. The state also has discounted public transit programs for seniors.

4. What housing assistance is available for seniors in California? Seniors in California can benefit from the Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) properties, and various state-funded affordable housing projects managed by the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA).

5. Can seniors in California receive assistance with utility bills? The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program offers a monthly discount on energy bills for eligible seniors. Additionally, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance for heating and cooling expenses.

6. What food assistance programs are available for seniors in California? The California Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (CalFresh) offers food assistance to eligible seniors. The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) provides coupons for fresh produce at farmers’ markets.

7. How does California support seniors with disabilities? The In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program in California provides assistance to aged, blind, and disabled individuals to live safely in their homes, offering services like housecleaning, meal preparation, and personal care.

8. What legal assistance is available for seniors in California? Senior Legal Services projects offer free legal assistance to California seniors, focusing on issues like healthcare, housing, consumer protection, and elder abuse.

9. How can seniors in California protect themselves from elder abuse? California operates the Adult Protective Services (APS) program, providing assistance to elderly individuals facing abuse, neglect, or exploitation. The state also has an Ombudsman Program to address issues related to long-term care facilities.

10. Are there any wellness or social programs for seniors in California? The California Department of Aging supports various wellness programs, including the Congregate Nutrition Program offering nutritious meals and social activities, and the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) for Medicare counseling.