Grants for Seniors in Delaware

Key Senior Statistics in Delaware (60 and over)
Senior Population: 290,180 (28.5%) Senior Population: 290,180 (28.5%)
Male: 45.6% Male: 45.6%
Female: 54.4% Female: 54.4%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 28% Disability: 28%
With Social Security Income: 75% With Social Security Income: 75%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 9% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 9%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 8% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 8%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022.

Help for Seniors in Delaware – 30 Assistance Programs

Delaware is one of the best states to live for senior citizens. The cost of living is very affordable in this state. It is also declared as the most tax-friendly state for retired people by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. Another important feature of this state for the elderly is that social security bits of help are not taxed and there is no inheritance or personal property tax in the State of Delaware. Apart from these benefits, Delaware has breathtaking beaches with its fresh air. There is also a wide range of programs and services for seniors.


State Resources for Seniors

The Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) provides resources for seniors through the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. Several resources are funded by the department directly or indirectly and provide comprehensive services for seniors. Delaware Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities presents health support and fights against senior abuse and fraud. Even though the main priority of this division is to provide health assistance, it may also assist in information regarding cash assistance, housing support, and meal programs. To learn more, follow the link https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dsaapd/ or call 1 800 223 9074.

The Agency on Aging Delaware was created by the state officials for seniors. It offers various programs and services for the elderly.

  • Complaint Incident Reporting: This is a special line for seniors who are abused or behaved inappropriately. Other than citizens, seniors themselves can call this line and report their situation. The hotline is 1 877 453 0012.
  • Personal Care: This service is for seniors who need physical help in their homes. The main aim of this program is to make sure that seniors can continue to live independently.
  • Adult Day Services: Older people suffering from physical or/and mental disabilities are eligible for this assistance. Some candidates can have a family member or a caregiver to take care of their needs in the long term, but sometimes those people may not be available 24 hours. At this point, this service provides a caregiver for seniors.
  • Emergency Responses System: This system is highly effective for the elderly in case of emergency. It provides an emergency button that is attached to people’s clothes. If a senior presses this button, it directly sends electronic signals to the phones of emergency contacts.

Further information can be accessed via clicking on the following link https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/main/aging.htm.


Financial Assistance

Seniors over the age of 65 can get financial assistance to help them earn some income. The Senior Community Service Employment Program helps elderly residents by providing training and paying as they gain work experience. This is particularly useful for seniors who are still able to work to earn income. At the end of the training program, assistance is offered to help the seniors find employment where they can put their skills to use. Information on the program can be found at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/employment.html.

Delaware Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC): A comprehensive resource offering information, assistance, and referral to various services supporting older Delawareans, adults with disabilities, and caregivers. For more details, you can contact them at 1-800-223-9074 or visit Delaware ADRC​.

Financial Coaching: The $tand By Me 50+ initiative provides free one-on-one financial coaching, benefits access, workshops, and retirement planning for individuals aged 50 and older. This aims to increase the economic stability of the elderly​​. Learn more at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/main/aging.htm.

Delaware Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation Program is a state-based program that offers legal information and credit assistance for seniors who are facing foreclosure. Applicants can be landlords or tenants in Delaware. Seniors having legal problems and want to keep their house can apply for this program. Eligible applicants can avoid foreclosure by a mortgage plan. For more information, please visit http://delawarehomeownerrelief.com/mediation.php or get in touch with (302) 555 1212.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Housing Alliance Delaware is a non-governmental organization that works across the state. It was created by the merger of two major non-profit establishments in Delaware which are the Delaware Housing Coalition and Homeless Planning Council of Delaware. Older residents challenging to find a low-cost and decent house can consult this community organization. The main goal of the Housing Alliance Delaware is to avoid homelessness. It also provides emergency shelters and prioritizes seniors. To learn more, click on the following link https://www.housingalliancede.org/contact or dial 1 833 346 2333.

Catholic Charities in Delaware is one of the most influential non-governmental organizations that works for people in housing and rental needs. This charity has a special program for seniors called Marydale Retirement Village in Delaware. This village has 108 one-bedroom affordable and decent rental apartments. It has a huge garden and various neighborhood activities. Low or moderate-income adult residents are qualified for this housing benefit. The link to their official website is as follows https://www.ccwilm.org/marydale-retirement-village/ or contact 302 368 2784. Some religious organizations also plan programs and services to help the elderly. See also Churches that Help Seniors.

The Delaware Emergency Housing Residence Program is financed by the state government with the intent of providing low-cost and comfortable housing for people in need. Seniors who require emergency shelter assistance may apply to this program. It also works with the Salvation Army regarding housing assistance. The Salvation Army presents a shelter called Code Purple during winter. For further information, please visit https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dssc/emerhous.html or dial 302 255 9875.

If a senior requires assistance with home repairs or rehabilitation, Home Repair Grants for Seniors are also available to qualifying applicants.

Health Assistance

Delaware Diamond State Health Plan Plus is directed by the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance in this state. This service is particularly for senior residents who need long-term Medicaid and cannot afford health expenses. Qualified candidates receive home repairment compatible with the treatment and nursing care in their homes.

Eligibility Requirements

  • You must be at the age of 65 or older.
  • If you are under 65 years of age, you must have a disability.
  • Your monthly earnings must be below 250 percent of today’s Social Security Income level.
  • If you are married, only one of the spouses can benefit from this health service, and the other’s monthly income is not taken into account for the application.

To learn more, go to https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dmma/dshpplus.html or by phone at 1 800 996 9969.

Seniors can get financial assistance for medical care through the federal Medicare Program. This is a low-cost insurance program that helps challenged seniors get access to discounted medical services. Depending on the choice of coverage plan, the premiums may be different, as well as the level of services covered. Some Medicare plans cover Doctors’ visits, medical procedures and prescription medication.

Low-income seniors can also get help in buying medication through the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP). This program helps pay for prescription medications for seniors whose income is below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. To determine if your household is below the poverty line, you can make use of the Federal Poverty Level Calculator. If the cost of the medication exceeds 40% of the senior’s income, they can get assistance as well. Up to $3,000 of financial assistance is available annually per beneficiary. Beneficiaries must pay at least $5 or 25% of the prescription costs. More information is available at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dmma/dpap.html.

Seniors may qualify for the Specified Low-income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) which helps pay the monthly Medicare Part B premiums. The state also offers a Low Income Subsidy (LIS) program that pays some or most of the Medicare Part D premiums and prescription drug cost SLMB eligible seniors are automatically enrolled in the LIS program. For further details, visit https://insurance.delaware.gov/divisions/ratesforms/ratefilings/unitedhealthcare-2024-sg-nmp/.

Several Community Health Centers available in the state can attend to the needs of seniors, even if they are uninsured. These health centers use a sliding fee payment structure and charge fees determined by the senior’s income level. A directory of these Community Health Centers can be found at https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/chs/chsservicecenters.html/.

Dental Grants and Benefits

Seniors in the state of Delaware have several places they can turn to for dental care. The Delaware Technical Community College offers free teeth cleaning services to all residents. Afterwards, eligible seniors can get other dental procedures at reduced cost. The percentage reduction varies by procedure and eligibility is determined by income. Some of the services offered include fillings, simple extractions, oral examinations, etc. Emergency dental services may also be obtained at a reduced rate. Seniors who are not eligible for financial assistance will be referred to a private dentist. More information on the dental program is available at https://www.dtcc.edu/our-campuses/wilmington/dental-health-center.

Westside Family Healthcare is another clinic that provides dental care for seniors. Dental services are available at four health center locations – Dover, Newark, Northeast Wilmington, and Wilmington. The services provided include teeth cleanings, crowns, fillings, and tooth extractions. The clinic collaborates with oral health specialists in the state for more complex services. Various forms of financial aid can be gotten through the clinic. Westside Family Healthcare also offers a sliding scale payments structure that relies on the beneficiary’s income to determine payment fees.  For more information, visit https://www.westsidehealth.org/resources/financial-assistance/.

Seniors can also get assistance from the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center (HJMC). At HJMC, seniors can get a wide range of dental services to help their oral health. The center accepts most insurance providers. However, seniors without insurance can still get treatment and pay reduced charges, based on their income levels. Interested seniors can visit https://www.hjmc.org/ for more details. Read Dental Grants in Delaware to learn more about how elders can receive dental aid.

Utility Bills Assistance

The Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a collaborative effort between Delmarva and the Salvation Army. The fund helps customers of Delmarva Power who are experiencing hardship by paying of a portion of home energy bills. Funding is gotten from donations of other customers and distributed according to need. More information on the program can be found at https://www.delmarva.com/MyAccount/CustomerSupport/Pages/DE/BillPaymentAssistance.aspx.

The Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) is the state’s version of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). This program provides financial assistance to residents who are unable to pay their home energy bills. Grants are provided to help with fuel purchase for heating, electricity bill payment for cooling during the summer, etc. The Crisis Assistance component of the program provides additional assistance to those in need during the winter months to ensure continuous heating is available. Seniors can visit https://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dssc/liheap.html to find out more about the program.

Residents of Wilmington in Delaware can also receive up to $1,500 to pay for their outstanding water and sewer bills. This is made possible by the Utility Payment Assistance Program. Seniors who owe at least 3 months of utility bills are eligible for the program and can get relief. Residents can obtain an application form from https://www.wilmingtonde.gov/government/city-departments/finance/utility-payment-assistance-program.

Seniors who require additional time to meet up with bill energy payments can apply for the Delmarva Extended Payment Date Plan. The program helps extend the due date of bills so that payments can be made at a later time. An online application can be submitted at https://secure.delmarva.com/MyAccount/MyBillUsage/PayMyBill/Pages/DueDateExtensionForm.aspx.

Food Assistance

Seniors can get meal assistance in various forms as several options are provided by the state. The Congregate meals program provides meals for seniors over the age of 60 in a congregate setting. This is often in senior centers, where the meals are distributed to eligible residents. The meals provided are nutritionally balanced to meet the needs of beneficiaries and nutrition counseling is provided as well. The spouses of eligible seniors can also get food through this program, irrespective of their age. More details on the program are available at https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/congregate.html.

The Home Delivered Meals Program is funded by the state to assist with healthy food for seniors. It provides both hot and cold meals to make sure that anyone can eat in their available time. People who are 60 years of age or older or have a disability are qualified for this service. For more information, go to https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/hdm.html.

Seniors can also take advantage of the Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program. This is a statewide program offered between June and October annually. Fresh fruits, herbs, honey and vegetables are provided to low-income seniors at no cost. Eligible seniors receive a coupon booklet which they can use to claim the food items. Further details can be obtained from https://agriculture.delaware.gov/communications-marketing/seniors-farmers-market-nutrition-program/.

Food Supplement Program is sponsored by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for low or moderate-income individuals. This program provides a Delaware Food First Card and loads food money on this card each month. This card is acceptable in the local markets of this state. Eligibility is based on the total household income of the family. Applicants who already receive TANF, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or GA are already eligible for this food assistance. To find out more, please visit https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dss/foodstamps.html.

Charities and Organizations

The Salvation Army is one of the most popular charity organizations in the United States. They offer several services to senior residents, helping to ensure continued dignified living. Mid-day meals are provided, along with transport assistance and even specialized housing at certain places. Interested seniors can visit https://easternusa.salvationarmy.org/eastern-pennsylvania/delaware-de/  for more information.

The Catholic Charities is another charity that provides assistance to seniors in Delaware. The organization provides emergency housing when necessary. Food assistance is also provided to help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle. The food materials can be gotten by visiting food pantries located across the state. Assistance is also provided to help with things like utility payments, financial literacy, job readiness, etc. Seniors can visit https://www.ccwilm.org/ for further details on the activities of the Catholic Charities.

Legal Assistance

The Legal Services Program is funded by the State of Delaware to offer legal assistance for people. Seniors who are at the age of 60 or above are one of the priority groups. Adults who require a lawyer, legal advice, or legal information can contact this program. To apply, go to the link https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dsaapd/legal.html.

Grants for Senior Veterans

Veterans in Delaware can get financial assistance from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF). This is a program sponsored by the Department of Veterans Affairs that provides help to veterans who are struggling with housing and utility payments. Through the SSVF program, veterans can obtain funding for rent payments, security deposits, transportation, healthcare, etc. Veterans interested in the services can visit https://delaware.gov/djf/veteranProfile.php?aid=150.

The Delaware Veterans Trust is another avenue for veterans to get assistance. This is a nonprofit organization that offers grants and other forms of financial assistance to pay for healthcare, housing, utilities, etc. More information on the support provided by the Delaware Veterans Trust is available at https://delawareveteranstrustfund.com/.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance programs are available for seniors in Delaware? Delaware seniors can benefit from the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP), the Senior Property Tax Relief Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help manage medication costs, property taxes, and food expenses.

2. How can seniors in Delaware apply for Medicaid? Applications for Medicaid can be submitted online through the Delaware ASSIST portal or in person at local Division of Social Services (DSS) offices. Required documentation typically includes proof of age, residency, income, and assets.

3. What housing and rent assistance options are available for seniors in Delaware? The Delaware State Housing Authority (DSHA) offers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program and the Strong Neighborhoods Housing Fund, providing rental assistance and affordable housing solutions for seniors.

4. Can seniors receive assistance with utility bills in Delaware? The Delaware Energy Assistance Program (DEAP) provides financial assistance to low-income households, including seniors, to help with heating costs during the winter.

5. How do seniors get help with prescription medications in Delaware? The Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP) is designed to assist eligible seniors in covering the cost of prescription medications, offering financial aid to those who qualify.

6. Are there property tax benefits for seniors in Delaware? Yes, the Senior School Property Tax Relief Program offers property tax credits to seniors 65 and older, helping reduce the burden of school property taxes.

7. What in-home care services are available to seniors in Delaware? The Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) offers the Lifespan Waiver Program, providing various in-home services to assist seniors in living independently.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Delaware? DART First State offers paratransit services and reduced fares on fixed-route services for seniors, facilitating access to medical appointments and other essential services.

9. What nutritional support is available for seniors in Delaware? The Delaware Nutritional Program for the Elderly provides congregate meals at senior centers and home-delivered meals for eligible seniors, ensuring they have access to nutritious food.

10. How can seniors in Delaware receive legal assistance? Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. provides free legal services to seniors facing issues related to housing, healthcare, and consumer rights, among others.