Grants for Seniors in Rhode Island

Key Senior Statistics in Rhode Island (60 and over)
Senior Population: 286,567 (26.2%) Senior Population: 286,567 (26.2%)
Male: 44.9% Male: 44.9%
Female: 55.1% Female: 55.1%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 25% Disability: 25%
With Social Security Income: 72% With Social Security Income: 72%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 14% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 14%
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 Rhode Island – 29 Assistance Programs

Rhode Island has been known for its delicious, healthy seafood, spectacular nature, and great beaches. The weather can be tough during most of the year and the high cost of living might be difficult for seniors. The State of Rhode Island provides a lower cost of living and lower tax rates to a minor degree compared to other states in New England. Thus, the federal government, local charity organizations, and the State of Rhode Island offer a good deal of benefits and services for senior residents.

State Assistance

Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging is the chief advocate for the senior citizens of Rhode Island, older adults living with disabilities, and their caregivers. The division is committed to empowering the elderly by availing the necessary resources the residents need to undergo strong and healthy aging. The division’s work is strongly influenced by equity and engagement to help seniors in their aging journey. Their focus is on older adults aged 55+, and along with different partners, the division connects the elderly to the available information and community resources to help them live happy and healthy lives. The division advocates for laws, policies, and investments that influence the rights and interests of the older Rhode Islanders. OHA serves the interests of older adults through these programs:

DigiAGE: The goal of DigiAGE program is to bridge the gap existing between older Rhode Islanders and their level of technical know-how. As technology advances, so many things change, and seniors need to cope with the changes and quickly adapt to the digital world. DigiAGE operates in partnership with the technical industry, the government, and local communities to ensure older adults are up to date and are linked with technological opportunities in the modern world that keep us all connected. The program provides:

Access to Digital Devices: This service is geared towards helping seniors and older adults living with disabilities have access to the devices they need to improve the quality of their lives. DigiAGE provides the following programs to increase the availability of these devices to elderly Rhode Islanders:

  • The Rhode Island Adaptive Telephone Equipment Loan (ATEL): The purpose of ATEL is to avail landline devices and wireless communication devices that are specifically designed to serve the needs of older adults and those living with disabilities. Landline devices include emergency devices, captioning telephones, amplified telephones, and hands-free speakerphones. Wireless communication devices include Jitterbug, Lucia, iPad, iPhone, and Google Pixel. To qualify for this program’s support, seniors must have hearing problems, a disability to deliver a speech, or are deaf, thus reducing their ability to operate the standard phone. The applying seniors’ incomes must not exceed 250% of the federal poverty line. Find out more at
  • AccessWireless: The purpose of this program is to provide seniors, older adults with disabilities, elderly veterans, and their families and caregivers with access to cell phones and wireless devices. Find out more at
  • RAZ Mobility: The purpose of this service is to make information about accessibility and the use of digital devices available to make the process simpler for the elderly. More information is available at
  • National Cristina Foundation: This organization is behind championing the reuse of tech devices and operates under a platform where people can donate used equipment they no longer need. These devices are then made available for seniors. The goal is to help bridge the technological divide among seniors and older adults living with disabilities. Read more about the program at
  • Telehealth Access for Seniors: This is a nonprofit dedicated to offering the elderly Rhode Islanders tech devices, information, and the technical support they need to connect with their physicians through telehealth and to their family and friends through the internet. The organization also connects seniors with apps they can use to have access to wellness tools for them to remain healthy and age stronger. More information is available at

Access to Internet Connection: The goal of this service is to increase internet connectivity among seniors, older adults with disabilities, and their loved ones. These programs ensure increased internet connectivity among seniors:

  • Lifeline Wireless Telephone Service: This program provides free service plans to low-income elderly Rhode Islanders and those eligible for various state resources. The plans vary, and seniors and their loved ones should choose one, depending on their needs. The plans allow for unlimited minutes, free texting, internet access through data allowance, and free cell phones. Note that you will find some providers offering some of these services, and others won’t. If they do, the number of minutes, free texts, or amount of data is also going to vary. Read more at
  • Public Wi-Fi is accessible across the state, and seniors can always stay connected, by finding a Wi-Fi location near them. One can also check the list of libraries and colleges with accessible outdoor Wi-Fi that older adults can use to stay connected with their loved ones. There are local libraries, including Warwick, Barrington, and the Providence Community Library offer their Wi-Fi hotspots for loans. Visit to learn more about the service.

Training Programs to Enhance Seniors’ Skills: The goal of these programs is to create platforms that promote social engagement through digital connection and literacy among seniors.

  • University of Rhode Island Cyber for Seniors: This program connects the elderly with college students who can help them with technical support so that they can stay up to date with technological advancements. The seniors can engage in these cybers by asking questions about operating their own devices and apps. They can also learn about the technical programs they’d like to use. This program enables seniors to connect easily with their families and friends and allows them to have access to the local programs and support from organizations available online. Read more at
  • Senior Planet: is operated by Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) and offers courses, activities, and programs to help seniors make new connections, save money, and learn new skills to improve their lives. Read more at
  • Generations On-Line: This is a national nonprofit dedicated to offering seniors free internet training to enhance their tech skills. Learn more about it at
  • Other resources include AARP TEK Workshops, TechBoomers, and URI Geriatric Education Center.

Online Content: These are resources available in writing and audiovisuals to help seniors stay connected and updated.

  • The Village Common of RI (TVC) works to alter the way of life of older people in Rhode Island, their goal is to change the experiences the residents go through as they get older by creating support communities and offering direct assistance to attain long-term sustainability among older adults. Read more at
  • Well Connected and Bien Connectado are online communities consisting of participants, facilitators, partners, and volunteers who want to support and stay connected with one another.

Health and Human Services for Older Adults: The Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) offers several options for getting the care they need while living in their homes or retirement communities. These options are safe and secure. EOHHS agencies are operating throughout the state, and seniors or their loved ones should learn about their programs and services to help enhance their quality of life. The office only serves elderly citizens aged 65+.

Financial Assistance

Rhode Island Catholic Charities is one of the most efficient non-profit organizations that aims to bring numerous benefits for people in need. It has two services for older people which are Elder Services and Senior Care/Special Care: Residential Nursing Facilities. It also presents different grants and cash assistance when it is necessary. Seniors who need monetary aid should make contact with this establishment through or dial 401 278 4500. Here are a few well-known prominent churches that assist seniors with limited or no financial resources.

Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly was established and has been sponsored by the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging. The aim of this program is to provide cash assistance for seniors who are not able to afford their drug expenses and prescription. People who are 65 years of age or older are qualified for this cash support. To see more information, please go to or make a connection with 401 462 0560.

Rhode Island Works is a financial support program designed to help seniors raising kids in high school or younger children. The program connects members with services, including child care, transportation, and educational services to help them achieve long-term financial stability. Learn more about the program at

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program supports the elderly Rhode Islanders with financial needs to pay for daily services, like clothing, food, transport, and housing, among others. Applicants must meet the low-income limits. Visit for more information.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Rhode Island Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program was created and has been subsidized by the Department of Administration, Division of Planning, Office of Housing and Community Development. This is a rent and housing assistance service to avoid homelessness throughout the state. Senior citizens who are in a financial crisis are qualified for this benefit. It assists beneficiaries with various amounts of grants for up to 18 months. To learn more about this program, please visit or make a phone call at 401 422 5766.

Rhode Island Housing Choice Voucher Program-Section 8 is financed by the federal authorities to provide housing assistance for low and middle-income families. Seniors who are having financial difficulties are prioritized by this program. Eligible candidates will be able to choose the house, apartment, or flat by their will and compatible with the rules and regulations of Section 8. The amount that needs to be paid by the tenants can range from 30 percent to 40 percent. The rest of the rent will be covered by the program. Since there is always a waiting list, it is better to apply as soon as possible. To learn more, please visit or contact 844 459 3600.

Salvation Army of Rhode Island is a highly efficient non-governmental organization in the region. It has various programs and services such as helping disaster survivors, combating addiction, providing food support and shelters. Anyone in need of rent and housing assistance can get in touch with the Salvation Army of Rhode Island. The organization presents different solutions for each case. Explore more opportunities through the following link give them a call at 401 831 9126. More nonprofit organizations are popping up around the country. These are some of the most trustworthy 10 Organizations that Assist Seniors.

Building Homes Rhode Island: This is a state program whose purpose is to create safe housing through affordable apartments and modest single-family homes. The program is funded by the state’s Housing Resources Commission. More information is available at

Neighborhood Opportunities Program :This program was created to provide low-income seniors and older adults living with disabilities with access to homes. The program subsidized the rental cost of low-income seniors, making housing affordable to eligible seniors. Find out more at

Home Repair Grants

Home Repair Assistance for the Elderly: Senior Rhode Islanders can qualify for home improvement grants to help meet their home repair needs through Rhode Island Housing. More information is available at

Habitat for Humanity is an organization helping to build homes and may also help with emergency home repair needs. The seniors must demonstrate the urgent need for assistance. That is, their homes must have health or safety hazards that should be dealt with immediately.

USDA’s Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants program provides low-income seniors with up to $10,000 in grants to help them remove health and safety hazards from their homes. The grants are not repaid unless the senior resell or changes the ownership of the property within three years of receiving financial assistance. To qualify for support, older adults must prove that they are homeowners and occupy the residence, meet low-income limits, and demonstrate an inability to access credits from other sources. Find out more at

In addition to eliminating homelessness in Rhode Island, there are home repair funds available to keep senior residents’ houses maintained and comfortable.

Healthcare Assistance

Rhode Island’s Global Consumer Choice Compact Waiver was created and has been run by the State of Rhode Island Executive Office for Health and Human Services for older citizens. This waiver was specifically designed for people who are 65 years of age and older and want to remain at their homes rather than moving into a nursing home. Eligible candidates will benefit from various healthcare services. Find out more information at or contact 1 401 462 0316.

Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services is a division that was constituted by the State of Rhode Island to provide healthcare assistance for low and moderate-income individuals. Seniors citizens who have a disability or illness are encouraged to consult this division for healthcare support. The division may send a personal caregiver for the ones who are living at their homes or in a nursing center. The main purpose of this branch is to ensure that senior residents can live independently instead of moving to a nursing home. The link to their official website is as follows or get in touch with 1 855 840 4774.

Medicaid Eligibility: Uninsured seniors with low income will have their resources, income, and healthcare needs determine if they are eligible for the program assistance. If determined that they qualify for support, seniors will receive a letter offering them a choice for enrolment in a Rhody Health Care Plan. The elderly Rhode Islanders qualifying may also receive dental care. More information is available at

Medicaid Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS): Medicaid LTSS helps seniors with chronic infections or disabilities, making them unable to take care of themselves all the time. This program covers both medical care and non-medical care services that help eligible seniors with their daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming, and taking meals. Seniors can receive these services from the comfort of their homes or in assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Attain the age of at least 65.
  • Have resources (cash, savings, etc.) below $4,000.
  • Meet low-income limits in your area. Seniors with over $878 monthly income may partly contribute to their long-term care expenses.

Prescription Drug Assistance: Prescription Drug Assistance helps seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Programs such as Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage, Partnership for Prescription Assistance, and Veterans Administration assist seniors by paying part of the expenses associated with prescription drugs.

The State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP): SHIP provides counseling services and information to help seniors determine the right Medicare coverage that meets their needs and circumstances. The program also assists low-income seniors to apply for Medicaid, Medicare Savings Program, and Low-Income Subsidy – a program designed to reduce seniors’ healthcare costs. Visit for more information.

Medicare Premium Payment Program (MPPP): MPPP provides Medicare Premium assistance to low-income seniors who don’t have Medicare. The program supports the elderly Rhode Islanders aged 65+ and older adults living with disabilities to cover premiums associated with Medicare Part A and Part B, as well as co-payments and deductibles. Medicare Part A is for hospital insurance coverage, while Part B covers physician services, outpatient services, and durable equipment. Eligibility is based on seniors’ resources and income information. Read more at

Aging is frequently the cause of dental health issues in seniors. The majority of elderly people avoid visiting the dentist. Given that the money is designated especially for dental care, this shouldn’t be the case. To find out more about how older citizens can obtain these services, go visit Dental Grants in Rhode Island.

Utility Bills Assistance

Rhode Island Works Program was created and has been financed by the State of Rhode Island Department of Human Services for people in economic hardship. Elder citizens are one of the priority groups and they can receive approximately $554 cash assistance to pay their utility bills monthly. The total income and size of the household are significant for this program. To learn more information and apply, please go to or reach out at 1 800 697 4347 or 1 800 745 5555 (for the ones who are hearing impaired).

Rhode Island Good Neighbor Energy Fund is a local initiative that was established by different local energy companies and has been run by the United Way of Rhode Island. The main aim of this fund is to assist individuals in financial need with the payment of their energy expenses. Seniors who do not receive any federal or state assistance to cover their utility bills are eligible for this benefit. Further information can be accessed by clicking on the following link or call 401 831 1119. Every state offers extra assistance for elderly paying their power costs. Help with Bills widens your alternatives.

RI Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP): RI LIHEAP helps low-income seniors pay their heating bills. There are two programs under LIHEAP:

  • Heating Assistance: The program helps seniors with their heating expenses through grants payable to the heating fuel service provider or utility company.
  • Crisis Assistance: Designed to help older adults resolve heating emergencies: cut off from heating sources for failure to pay overdue bills, inability to pay for deliverable fuel, or heating system failure.

More information about LIHEAP is available at

Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP): LIHWAP offers federal grants to enable seniors to have access to safe drinking water and water services. Older adults qualifying for the program support receive a one-time payment, given directly to the household’s utility service provider. There is a Crisis program under LIHWAP that provide emergency grants to eligible seniors and their loved ones. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Have past due bills with a balance of more than $150.
  • Have received a notice of disconnection from the vendor.
  • Are at risk of having their water services terminated.

Find out more about LIHWAP at

Food Assistance

The Ocean State Senior Dining Program was created and has been managed by the State of Rhode Island for low and moderate-income seniors. People who are 60 years of age or older are qualified for this food assistance program. Eligible seniors will be receiving nutritionally balanced meals five days a week. Seniors, their spouses, and even family members may benefit from this program. It is the largest food support program in the state. Apart from providing home-delivery food, the program also provides transportation services for those who wish to have their meals in a dining center or meal sites. To see in detail and apply, please follow the link or give a phone call at 401 437 1000 or 401 847 7821.

Rhode Island Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was formed and has been subsidized by the federal government for seniors who are not able to cook or have healthy food at their homes. Seniors who are 60 years old or above are eligible to apply for this benefit. To see more information, please click the link or call 1 800 745 5555. More senior feeding programs are being formed in order to make it easy for people in need to obtain nutritional food and meals.

Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island: The purpose of this program is to help homebound older adults and those with disabilities stay safe, healthy, and happy by delivering meals to their homes. The goal is to do away with food insecurity and social isolation among seniors posing a high risk. Read more at

Transportation Assistance for Seniors

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services: The purpose of this program is to provide transportation support to Medicaid senior participants looking to get to various facilities to collect their Medicaid benefits but have no transport means to get there. The program offers assistance through Medical Transportation Management, Inc., their vendor. MTM works with various transportation providers to provide senior Medicaid participants with this benefit. The program also assists older adults 60+ who have no access to transportation means for non-emergency medical appointments and other services they may need. Read more at

Elderly Transportation Program (ETP): ETP offers curb-to-curb transportation assistance to seniors aged 60+ with no means or access to transportation. The program allows participants access to various community services, like grocery stores or farmers’ markets, healthcare/medical appointments, and social gatherings. Find out more about the program Elderly Transportation Program (ETP).

Reduced Fare Bus Pass Program: These are no-fare or reduced fare passes given to seniors 65+ and low-income older adults with disabilities. More information is available Reduced Fare Bus Pass Program.

Assistance from Nonprofits and Charities for Seniors

National Council on Aging helps thousands of seniors apply for government benefits. They also provide financial support to low-income older adults to enable them to pay for utilities, medicine, and other housing expenses. Read more at

Sanctuary for Senior Dogs’ purpose is to help dogs in need of a quiet and loving home. The dogs are then matched with older adults in need of a dog companion. Dogs are a great way of having a companion and providing comfort to seniors, especially the homebound older adults receiving care for suffering from stroke, Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s. Find out more at

Actions for Older Persons, Inc focuses on services and programs aiming at counseling and providing work opportunities to seniors with low income. They offer advisory services in matters relating to end-of-life plans, business, and insurance issues. Learn more about the program at

Assistance for Senior Veterans

The Rhode Island Office of Veterans Services acts as the advocate for the rights and interests of veterans. The goal is to reduce homelessness and poverty among senior veterans. The office also ensures that the older veterans receive the medical care they need to age healthy and strong. Learn more about the program at

Rhode Island Tax Benefits for Retired Military Members. Seniors aged 65 can qualify for up to $15,000 in tax reductions. Other eligibility requirements include meeting income limits and must be receiving a federally taxable pension. Learn more about taxes on military retired pay.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance programs are available for seniors in Rhode Island? Seniors in Rhode Island can benefit from the Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly (RIPAE) for prescription drug assistance, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) for help with heating and utility bills, and the Senior Services Grant for various services including transportation and nutrition.

2. How can seniors apply for Medicaid in Rhode Island? Medicaid applications can be submitted online through HealthSource RI, by mail, or in person at a Department of Human Services (DHS) office. Applicants need to provide documentation proving income, assets, residency, and age.

3. What housing assistance is available for seniors in Rhode Island? The Rhode Island Housing agency offers the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) for rental assistance and information on affordable senior housing developments. There are also home repair grants and loans available for seniors to improve home safety and accessibility.

4. Can seniors receive assistance with utility bills in Rhode Island? Yes, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial support to seniors struggling with heating and cooling expenses, ensuring a safe and comfortable living environment.

5. How do seniors get help with prescription medications in Rhode Island? The Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Elderly (RIPAE) program offers subsidies for prescription medications to eligible seniors, complementing Medicare Part D coverage.

6. Are there property tax relief programs for seniors in Rhode Island? Rhode Island offers a property tax relief program for seniors, which includes exemptions, credits, or deferrals depending on the municipality. Seniors should inquire at their local tax assessor’s office for specific options.

7. What in-home care services can seniors access in Rhode Island? Through programs like the Home and Community Care Services, Rhode Island provides in-home care, personal care assistance, and other supportive services to help seniors maintain independence in their own homes.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Rhode Island? The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) offers reduced fares for seniors on buses and trolleys. Additionally, local Area Agencies on Aging provide transportation services for medical appointments and essential errands.

9. What nutritional programs support seniors in Rhode Island? Seniors can access nutritious meals through the Elderly Nutrition Program, which includes both congregate dining at local senior centers and home-delivered meals for homebound seniors.

10. How can seniors in Rhode Island receive legal assistance? Legal assistance for seniors in Rhode Island is available through the Rhode Island Legal Services, offering free legal advice and representation on issues such as healthcare, housing, consumer protection, and elder rights.