Grants for Seniors in Vermont

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Rachel

Key Senior Statistics in Vermont (60 and over)
Senior Population: 193,012 (29.8%) Senior Population: 193,012 (29.8%)
Male: 47.1% Male: 47.1%
Female: 52.9% Female: 52.9%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 26% Disability: 26%
With Social Security Income: 74% With Social Security Income: 74%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 9% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 9%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022. Please check our detailed page about Senior Statistics in Vermont for more data and information.

Help for Seniors in Vermont – 26 Assistance Programs

Vermont is one of the most preferable states by senior citizens with its low crime rates and affordable cost of living. The cost of living in this state is cheaper than the national average. It has a lot of nice and quiet small towns for seniors to enjoy. However, the cold winter may be hard for some seniors and they may need help to live independently. There are plenty of programs and services for senior residents which are provided by the State of Vermont, the federal authorities, and the local charity organizations.


Financial Assistance

Vermont Choices for Care is both a financial and health assistance program that was formed by the State of Vermont for seniors who cannot afford their long-term care expenses. Qualified candidates can benefit from personal caregivers in a senior living unit and their expenses will be covered by this service. Seniors who are not able to pay their medical bills and at 65 years of age or older are eligible for this benefit. The link to their official website is as follows https://asd.vermont.gov/services/choices-for-care-program or contact 802 241 0294.

Catholic Charities of Vermont is a local social service organization for individuals who need help. It presents an Emergency Aid Program for people to afford their basic needs. Elder citizens who require emergency monetary aid may consult this organization. See more information at https://www.vermontcatholic.org/ministries-programs/catholic-charities/ or by phone at 802 658 6110. There are many other churches that offer services and programs to help seniors in their community. It’s always a good idea to reach out to local churches to see what services and programs they offer.


Housing and Rent Assistance

Vermont Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program was established and has been managed by the federal government for low and moderate-income tenants who are having problems paying their rent. Seniors in financial struggle and cannot afford their rent are qualified for this rental support. The aim of this program is to make sure that everyone in the community lives in a safe, decent, and affordable house. Eligible seniors will be able to decide on the house, flat, or apartment by their wish. Roughly 70 percent of the rent will be paid by this program and the rest is the responsibility of beneficiaries. For further information, please visit https://www.vsha.org/vsha-programs/rental-assistance-program/ or dial 800 955 2232.

Section 8 Home Ownership Program: Administered by Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA), the Section 8 Home Ownership Program allows participants of the Section 8 House Choice Voucher Program to convert rental vouchers to Home Ownership Vouchers. Seniors eligible can use their vouchers to settle expenses related to homeownership, including taxes, insurance, and mortgage. To qualify for this program support, one must be HCVP participant, meet low-income and age limits, be a homeowner, have assets not exceeding $2,000. Once application is submitted to VSHA, they review it, when approved for support, the senior applicant is referred to a qualified HomeOwnership Center. At the Center, senior homeowners receive education and counseling on homeownership. The goal is to help older adults through their journey of becoming successful homeowners. Visit https://www.vsha.org/vsha-programs/section-8-home-ownership-program/ for more information.

Vermont Shelter Plus Care Program was founded and has been subsidized by the State of Vermont for low and middle-income individuals and families across the state. Particularly seniors with disabilities who are at risk of homelessness or who are already homeless are eligible for this program. The most important point of this benefit is that eligible seniors can live in these shelters as long as they want. Find out more details at http://www.vtaffordablehousing.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/VSHA-S+C-Program-Guide-82614.pdf or reach out to the program at 802 828 6440.

Vermont Salvation Army is one of the non-governmental organizations in Vermont. It offers various programs and services for people in need. Besides contributing to the community by providing food support, educational assistance, financial help, it also offers rent assistance for residents in need. Older citizens who are struggling to pay their rents are one of the priority groups. To learn more, please follow the link https://nne.salvationarmy.org/rutland or call 802 775 5150. Aside from the Salvation Army, there are other charities that focus on helping seniors in various ways to overcome challenges related to aging.

Home Repair Grants

There are also several programs that offer home repair grants to older adults who are eligible homeowners that need to make essential repairs or modifications to their homes but cannot afford to pay for them.

Section 505 Home Repair Program: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers a hope repair support to senior homeowners through their program, Section 505 Home Repair Program. Older adults can get up to $10,000 as grants to help them remove health and safety hazards. To qualify for the home improvement support, one must attain the age of at least 62, be ethe homeowner and occupy the house, unable to obtain affordable credit from anywhere else, and meet the low-income limits in your county. Check the low-income limits here. Grants are repaid if the senior homeowner sell the property within three years of receiving the assistance funds. Applications for support are done through the nearby RD office every year. Visit https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/single-family-housing-programs/single-family-housing-repair-loans-grants/vt for more information.

Older adults can also get home repair support from the home improvement program, which offer loans and programs to low-income senior homeowners. See more at https://www.hud.gov/states/vermont/homeownership/homerepairs.

Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP): Through this program, the Vermonters can obtain grants up to $50,000 for home repairs. The purpose of these funds is to property owners bring their vacant housing units to Vermont Rental Housing Health Code standards. The goal is to help make more housing units available to reduce the risk of homelessness low-income seniors. The grants are given as follows:

  • Up to $30,000 for renovating 0–2-bedroom unit.
  • Up to $50,000 for renovating a three or more bedroomed unit.
  • Up to $50,000 to build new units, including accessory dwelling units.

To qualify for the grants, the available housing units must have remained unoccupied for at least 90 days before applying for assistance. A match is required, usually at least 20% of the grants applied for. The match can be in form of in-kind or owned materials. Participants of the program must also agree to the HUD ‘s proposed rent terms, usually at or below the market rate. Read more at https://accd.vermont.gov/housing/vermont-housing-improvement-program.

Healthcare Assistance

Vermont Medicare was created and has been led by the Vermont Association of Area Agencies on Aging. People who are 65 years of age or older and need health care are eligible for this Medicare. The services of this program include Medicare supplemental insurance, long-term care insurance, information about medical expenses, hospital insurance, medical insurance, and prescription drug coverage. For more information, please follow the link https://www.vermont4a.org/medicare-information or call the Helpline at 800 642 5119.

Adult Day Centers Vermont offers daytime services for older people to make sure that they can live at their homes instead of a nursing home or an adult facility center. Seniors who need social activities, entertainment, healthy meals, transportation assistance, health assistance, and personal care are encouraged to visit these centers. To find out the closest center to you, please visit https://asd.vermont.gov/services/adult-day-services or by phone at 802 241 0294.

Vermont Medicaid for the Aged, Blind, and Disabled (MABD): Vermont Medicaid is for seniors aged at least 65 and older disabled. The program covers the seniors’ medical care and services, including doctor visits, hospital care, vision and dental care, prescription medications, long-term care in assisted living facility, nursing home, or at home. The coverage may also include physical therapy. Eligibility requirements include:

  • Be a resident of Vermont
  • Be at least 65, blind, or disabled. The older people with disability must meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of disability.
  • Meet low-income and resource limits. See guidelines here.

Visit https://dvha.vermont.gov/members/medicaid/medicaid-aged-blind-or-disabled-mabd for information on how to apply for the program assistance.

Medicaid and Long-Term Care: The Long-Term Care Medicaid Program in Vermont is called Choices for Care. Seniors eligible for the program support will have their long-term care services paid by Medicaid. The setting for assistance can be at home or home of another person, approved residential care facility, and approved nursing home. One must be meet Vermont residency requirements, be at least 65 or eligible of Medicaid, meet income limits, and meet the clinical criteria for a nursing home care level. Find out more at http://asd.vermont.gov/services/choices-for-care-program.

There are several resources available to cover dental grants and low-cost dental services to seniors who need help covering the cost of dental care.

Utility Bills Assistance

Vermont Warmth Program is a non-profit organization that was created by the local people for the local people. Their mission is to offer financial utility services to those who are low-income or unemployed. Seniors who do not receive any help from the federal or state government are urged to apply for this support to afford their utility bills. The amount of the money may differ based on the current financial situation of the applicant. The link to their official website is as follows https://www.cvoeo.org/?fuseaction=dep_intro&dept_id=16 or contact 800 479 6151.

Green Mountain Power is a local electricity firm that offers discounts on utility bills for low and middle-income households. Senior citizens who are struggling to pay their utility bills can get up to a 10 percent discount on their bills, but it may be more depending on the applicant’s economic situation. Eligible candidates can also be supported by unit repairs, energy-efficient equipment, and the sealing of air leaks. Find out more information at https://greenmountainpower.com/ or give it a call at 888 835 4672.

Aside from Vermont Warmth Program and Green Mountain Power, there are several programs that may also help with bills to seniors who are struggling to pay their bills.

Food Assistance

The Older Vermonter’s Nutrition Coalition was created and has been funded by the Area Agencies on Aging for older people who need meal assistance. Seniors who need healthy and nutritious food according to their diet and cannot afford it are eligible for this benefit. It is the biggest food pantry in this state that helps seniors who are not able to cook for themselves or purchase nice and healthy food. Further information can be accessed by clicking on the following link https://www.vermont4a.org/meals-nutrition or make a phone call at 800 642 5119.

The Vermont Food Stamps Program was formed and has been run both by the State of Vermont and the federal government for older people who need food support. Seniors who are 65 years of age or older are eligible for this program. Qualified people will receive an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT). These cards are allowed to be used at local grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and convenience stores. These cards are similar to credit cards, but the program loads money on the card each month. To learn more, go to https://dcf.vermont.gov/benefits/3SquaresVT or dial 800 479 6151. There are also other several programs nationwide that provide food assistance specifically for seniors who are struggling with food insecurity.

3SquaresVT: This is food program offered by USDA to help seniors have access to healthy foods to qualify for the program support, the household income must not exceed 185% of the Federal Poverty Level, include a senior aged 60+, or an older disabled. Those whose applications are approved will receive monthly benefits to purchase food items at any of the participating farmers’ markets or grocery stores. Visit https://dcf.vermont.gov/esd/applicants/mybenefits to apply for the food assistance program.

Transportation Assistance for Seniors

The Vermont Division of the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living (DAIL) partners with local and state agencies to ensure older adults have access to transportation services.

The Elders and Persons with Disabilities (E&D) Transportation Program helps older adults aged 60 and above and those with disabilities get to their medical appointments, meal sites, shopping, and local adult day facilities. The program is a coordination between public transit providers, human service agency partners, and Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT) offered by Medicaid to organize trips for taking older adults to their desired destinations. The program offer door to door services and is designed to fill the gap left by other transportation programs in the state. The regional transit providers make use many sources to fund this program also ensure that the vehicles are filled to maximum capacity. More details are available at https://vtrans.vermont.gov/public-transit/E-and-D.

Tax Exemptions, Deductions, and Credits for Seniors

Standard Tax Deduction for Seniors: Senior taxpayers aged at least 65 and older blind Vermonters may qualify for an additional tax deduction of $1,000. This is for those who have qualified for and received Vermont Standard Deduction at the federal level. Find more details here.

Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans: Disabled veteran-homeowners may be eligible for property tax exemption, which reduces the assessed home value, thereby lowering the property taxes. This service is also available for the surviving veterans’ spouses who were previously eligible for the exemption, but only if they don’t get remarried. Applications are accepted every year by May 1, through the Vermont Office of Veterans Affairs. Read more at https://tax.vermont.gov/property-owners/exemptions.

Tax Exemptions for Social Security Benefits: Senior Social Security Beneficiaries may qualify for tax exemption on part or the whole benefit if they are eligible. Eligibility for the service depends on the applicant’s filing status and the adjusted gross income. See if you qualify here.

Tax Credit for the Disabled and the Elderly: This tax credit designed to support the elderly Vermonters and the disabled by exempting them from having part of their retirement or disability income taxed. Older adults eligible for the federal Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled may qualify for this tax credit. The credit is 24% of the federal Tax Credit for the Elderly or the Disabled. Find out more at https://tax.vermont.gov/individuals/seniors-and-retirees.

Assistance from Nonprofits and Charities

Vermont Community Foundation: Established in 1986, Vermont Community Foundation is an association of funds and foundations dedicated to serving the needs of older Vermonters. The goal is to inspire giving and bring people and resources together for the purpose of making a difference in the lives of the elderly. Read more at https://www.vermontcf.org/.

Senior Corps connects senior Vermonters aged 55+ with organizations that need them the most. Through the Senior Corps Programs, the elderly persons may offer their services to individuals, nonprofits, or faith-based organizations with the goal of making a difference in the local communities. Visit https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corps for more details.

HANDS Vermont provides food assistance to seniors aged 50+ in Chittenden County. The organization works with other organizations, businesses, and volunteers to make food available for assistance. Apart from offering hot meals, the organization holds workshops that cover topics such as shopping on a budget, cooking, and healthy eating. They also provide free giftbags every Christmas Day. Some of the organizations involved include Age Well, Temple Sinai, Burlington School Food project, and Penny Cluse Café.

Assistance for Senior Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is Committed to serving the needs of veterans even as they age, and work to address a number of issues, including health and financial challenges facing them. the senior Veterans may qualify for wide-variety of benefits, including disability compensation, education and training, home loans, healthcare, insurance, pensions, and burial. There are two programs offering the elderly Veterans with additional financial benefits:

  • Aid and Attendance (A&A) is for senior veterans in need of assistance with ADLs, including bathing, dressing, and feeding. To qualify, one should be bedridden, reside in a nursing home, or have visual impairment.
  • Housebound program provides increased monthly pension for senior veterans confined in their homes because of permanent disabilities.

Visit https://benefits.va.gov/pension/aid_attendance_housebound.asp to learn more about the benefits.

VA Health Care for Elderly Veterans: VA offers geriatric and long-term care services to senior veterans in need of daily support and assistance of another person, maybe a caregiver. Visit https://www.va.gov/geriatrics/ for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance programs are available for seniors in Vermont? Seniors in Vermont can benefit from the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program for fresh produce, the Fuel Assistance Program for help with heating costs, and the Vermont State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for Medicare counseling and support.

2. How can seniors apply for Medicaid in Vermont? Seniors can apply for Medicaid in Vermont online via the Vermont Health Connect portal, by mail, or in person at local Department for Children and Families (DCF) offices. Required documentation includes proof of age, income, residency, and assets.

3. What housing assistance is available for seniors in Vermont? The Vermont State Housing Authority administers the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program for rental assistance and provides information on affordable housing options for seniors. There are also grants available for home modifications to improve accessibility.

4. Can seniors receive assistance with utility bills in Vermont? Yes, the Fuel Assistance Program offers financial support to seniors struggling with heating costs during the winter months, ensuring they stay warm and safe.

5. How do seniors get help with prescription medications in Vermont? The Vermont Prescription Assistance Program provides aid to seniors for covering the costs of prescription drugs, complementing Medicare Part D coverage.

6. Are there property tax relief programs for seniors in Vermont? The Vermont Property Tax Adjustment Assistance helps eligible seniors reduce their property tax burden based on income criteria, offering significant financial relief.

7. What in-home care services can seniors access in Vermont? Choices for Care, Vermont’s Medicaid-funded long-term care program, offers in-home services such as personal care, meal preparation, and respite care for eligible seniors, supporting independent living.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Vermont? Local Area Agencies on Aging in Vermont provide transportation services for seniors, offering rides for medical appointments, shopping, and other essential activities.

9. What nutritional programs support seniors in Vermont? The Meals on Wheels program and senior meal sites across Vermont offer nutritious meals to seniors, ensuring access to healthy food options and opportunities for social interaction.

10. How can seniors in Vermont receive legal assistance? Vermont Legal Aid offers free legal services to low-income seniors, covering areas such as healthcare, housing, consumer rights, and advance directives.