Grants for Seniors in Wisconsin

Key Senior Statistics in Wisconsin (60 and over)
Senior Population: 1,526,889 (25.9%) Senior Population: 1,526,889 (25.9%)
Male: 47.3% Male: 47.3%
Female: 52.7% Female: 52.7%
Median Age: 70 Median Age: 70
Disability: 25% Disability: 25%
With Social Security Income: 76% With Social Security Income: 76%
With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10% With Food Stamp/SNAP Benefits: 10%
Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 10% Below 100% of the Poverty Level: 10%
Data Source: Data Source:
Data is taken from American Community Survey 2022.

Help for Seniors in Wisconsin – 27 Assistance Programs

Wisconsin is a remarkable state with its great natural landscapes, low cost of living, educational opportunities, and welcoming people. Crime rates are lower than the national average in this state. Madison is the capital county and it was announced as the most desirable place to retire by the U.S. News and World Report. Moreover, it is a tax-friendly state for senior residents. Yet, it might be difficult for seniors to afford necessary needs such as utilities and rent. Thus, there are several programs for seniors managed by the federal authorities, the State of Wisconsin, and the local social charity organizations.

State Assistance

In Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services (DHS) oversees initiatives dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors and addressing aging-related concerns. Through various programs and services, DHS aims to empower older adults to lead fulfilling and independent lives. Here’s an overview of the department and some of its key offerings:

Bureau of Aging and Disability Resources (BADR): BADR acts as the central hub for aging and disability services in Wisconsin. It provides information, resources, and support to seniors, adults with disabilities, caregivers, and service providers. The bureau coordinates programs aimed at promoting independence, dignity, and community engagement among older adults.

Elderly Benefit Specialist (EBS) Program: The EBS program offers free and confidential assistance to seniors aged 60 and older, as well as adults with disabilities and their families. Trained benefit specialists provide guidance on topics such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other available benefits and services, helping seniors navigate complex systems and maximize their resources.

SeniorCare Program: SeniorCare is a prescription drug assistance program administered by DHS. It offers affordable prescription drug coverage to Wisconsin residents aged 65 and older, providing low-cost medications and cost-sharing options. SeniorCare helps seniors manage healthcare expenses and maintain access to essential medications.

Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program: The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program advocates for the rights and interests of residents in long-term care facilities. Ombudsmen address complaints, concerns, and ensure quality care and services. They provide education, support, and advocacy to protect seniors’ rights in long-term care settings.

Nutrition Programs: DHS supports nutrition programs offering meals and nutritional support to seniors. These include congregate meal sites, home-delivered meal services, and nutrition education initiatives. By ensuring access to healthy meals, these programs promote seniors’ health and independence.

Prevention of Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation: DHS collaborates to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Through education, training, and outreach efforts, it raises awareness and provides resources for seniors, caregivers, and professionals. DHS works to safeguard seniors and protect their rights and dignity.

Financial Assistance

Social Security Administration (SSA) Benefits: Seniors aged 62 and older may be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits. These benefits provide a steady source of income to seniors who have contributed to the Social Security system through payroll taxes during their working years. The amount of benefits received depends on factors such as earnings history and age of retirement.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI): SSI is a federal program that provides cash assistance to seniors aged 65 and older with limited income and resources. Eligible seniors can receive monthly payments to help cover basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. In Wisconsin, SSI recipients may also qualify for additional state supplements to further supplement their income.

Wisconsin Works (W-2) Program: The W-2 program provides temporary cash assistance to low-income individuals and families, including seniors with dependent children. Participants in the program receive financial aid to help them meet essential needs while working towards self-sufficiency through employment and job training opportunities. W-2 aims to assist seniors in achieving financial stability and independence.

Wisconsin Emergency Assistance (EA) Program: The EA program offers cash assistance to seniors facing sudden and unexpected financial crises, such as homelessness, utility shutoffs, or natural disasters. Eligible seniors can receive emergency funds to address immediate needs and stabilize their living situations. The EA program aims to prevent further hardship and ensure the well-being of seniors in times of crisis.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): TANF provides cash assistance to low-income families with dependent children, including households with seniors serving as caregivers. Eligible seniors can receive financial aid to help support their families and meet the needs of their children. TANF aims to promote family stability and self-sufficiency among vulnerable populations, including seniors.

Employment Assistance

The State of Wisconsin General Assistance Fund was formed and has been financed by the State of Wisconsin as a relief fund. Further information can be accessed by clicking on the following link or dial 608 267 3905.

Wisconsin Older Worker Program is a senior employment service that was constituted and has been run by state agencies. People who are 55 years of age or older and looking for part-time jobs are qualified for this program. This program offers courses and training for the applicants who aim to improve their skills and abilities or who want to learn something new. The program mostly finds temporary or part-time job opportunities for eligible seniors. These employment positions are mostly compatible with the qualifications of the applicant. Read more at or call 608 789 5645. Discover the most appropriate part-time job options for your retirement needs by exploring our list of the best part-time jobs for seniors.

Housing and Rent Assistance

Wisconsin Subsidized Apartments for the Elderly are privately owned apartments that are located in mid-rise and high buildings and garden houses. These private houses are mostly sponsored by different state agencies and local non-governmental organizations. Seniors who need housing assistance because of their economic status and who are 62 years of age or older are eligible for these apartments. The rent of these apartments is determined by the total income of the applicant. For more information, please visit or make a phone call at 800 955 2232.

Wisconsin Section 8-The Housing Choice Voucher Program is one of the most popular federally-funded programs across the state. The federal government offers several benefits for low and moderate-income households and individuals who require rent assistance. Older citizens who are in economic hardship and need rental support are qualified for this benefit. The house, apartment, or flat will be chosen by the beneficiaries and almost 70 percent of the rent will be paid by the program. Because there is a long waiting list, it is better to apply as early as possible. Find out more information at or by phone at 800 955 2232.

Salvation Army of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization and it aims to help anyone in need across the state with various services and programs. Senior residents who are 60 years of age and older and in need of decent, nice and affordable housing support are encouraged to get in touch with this establishment. The Salvation Army of Wisconsin promotes seven housing programs and two emergency shelters for people. These programs are Diversion, Holly House, Rapid Rehousing, Hose-Ability, Rise Program, Pathway of Hope, Dane County Assists with New Starts (Dawns), and Rapid Rehousing Expansion. To see which one is the most available option for you, please follow the link or contact 414 302 4300. In addition to the Salvation Army, these are the top ten senior charities in the country that provide support to seniors.

Wisconsin Help for Homeowners: WI-DOA (Wisconsin Department of Administration) offers Wisconsin seniors support to help them pay their overdue housing bills, but only if they are meeting the low-income requirements. The program is open for both senior homeowners who pay the mortgage and those who don’t. More details are available at

Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program: The purpose of this program is to offer older adults with rental assistance. Seniors suffering the loss of income may qualify for additional benefits. To qualify for support, have an income not exceeding 80% of the county median income, suffer homelessness or are at risk of doing so, and have lost a source of income. More details are available at

Home Repair Assistance

USDA’s Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in Wisconsin: USDA’s Single Family Housing Repair Loans & Grants in Wisconsin or Section 504 Home Repair program offers home repair support to low-income senior homeowners in Wisconsin through grants. The goal of the program is to help seniors remove safety and health hazards. Older adults can receive up to $10,000 to modify their homes. To qualify for assistance, one must be the homeowner and occupy the house, be unable to acquire credit anywhere else, meet low-income limits, and be at least 62. One must also demonstrate the inability to repay a home repair loan. The program grants must be repaid if the senior homeowner resells or changes the ownership of the property within three years of receiving assistance. The program’s applications are done through the local Rural Development (RD) offices available at Visit for more information.

Healthcare Assistance

Medicare: About 650,000 residents of Wisconsin are using Medicare, a program dedicated to meeting the medical needs of older adults aged 65+ and seniors living with disabilities. There are several Medicare plans that the elderly can choose from, and one should opt for one that best suit certain lifestyles and medical needs. Seniors living with disabilities who do not need much coverage can opt for Original Medicare. Those whose lifestyles and medical conditions need comprehensive insurance coverage should go for Medicare Advantage Plan.

  • Original Medicare: Includes Medicare Part A and Part B. Part A is the hospital insurance, covering hospital stays, lab tests, and hospice care. Part B, on the other hand, covers medical visits to doctors’ offices and home healthcare. Some also cover cancer screenings and mental issues, such as depression.
  • Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C): These are plans that older adults can use as an alternative to the Original Medicare, and are available in private health insurance companies approved by Medicare. These plans must also provide Original Medicare coverage. Medicare Advantage Plans offer additional coverages, including prescription drugs, vision care, and dental care. Some insurance companies extend their services to cover adult daycare services.
  • Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Coverage): While many Medicare Advantage Plans offer Medicare Part D, one can add Medicare Prescription Drugs to the Original Medicare. All Medicare beneficiaries can apply for Part D, but there is a fine paid by those who fail to enroll the first they are eligible.

For more information about Medicare in Wisconsin, please visit

Wisconsin Medicaid: Wisconsin Medicaid is a health insurance program dedicated to older adults aged at least 65 and seniors with disabilities. The program provides free and low-cost health insurance coverage to low-income seniors qualifying for assistance. To be eligible for healthcare support, seniors must be U.S. citizens, legal aliens, or permanent residents. Other eligibility requirements include meeting Wisconsin residency requirements and needing healthcare assistance. Wisconsin’s Medicaid is also known as BadgerCare. For more information, please visit

Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): PACE works to offer a wide range of long-term care services, healthcare, medical support, and prescription drug assistance to allow older adults to live as independently as possible. More information is available here.

Wisconsin Medicare Helpline was created and has been managed by the Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care for people who need medical information. Elder citizens who are worried about their health conditions may call this free helpline. Reach out to this Medicare Counseling at or get in touch with 800 242 1060.

The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Wisconsin provides necessary information and equipment for seniors who need help counseling. Older residents who are deaf or hard of hearing can directly make connections with this office. Eligible people may benefit from other services that this department presents. Explore more opportunities through the following link or by dialing at 608 261 7823.

Dental health problems among seniors often stem from aging, and unfortunately, many seniors tend to neglect visiting the dentist. However, this should not be the case, as there are funds designated specifically for dental treatments. To learn more about how senior individuals can avail of these services, check out Dental Grants in Wisconsin.

Utility Bills Assistance

Wisconsin Utility Bill Assistance was founded and has been managed by the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program for persons who need help paying their utility bills. Seniors who are in financial hardship and looking for help are urged to consult this program. Apart from providing certain amounts of discount on heating and electric bills. Eligible candidates can benefit from emergency monetary aid if it is necessary.

Wisconsin Focus on Energy is a local non-profit organization that aims to contribute to society by helping people who need help with bills like utility expenses. Senior citizens who are having a hard time economically are qualified for this benefit regardless of who their provider is. Wisconsin Focus on Energy also provides energy efficient repair and improvements at their homes like the insulation, sealing air leaks, and heating system update. For further information and to apply, please click the link or contact 800 762 7077. Besides the Wisconsin Utility Bill Assistance and Wisconsin Focus on Energy, there are numerous programs and services that offer assistance with bills for elderly individuals with low or moderate income.

Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP): WHEAP combines the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and the Public Benefits Energy Assistance Program (PBEAP). WHEAP helps low-income older adults with paying their heating and electric energy bills. The level of assistance received depends on the size of the seniors’ households, incomes, and energy costs. Participants of SNAP, SSI, and TANF automatically qualify for assistance. Read more at

Lifeline Program: Lifeline Program offers assistance to low-income seniors through their telephone service providers. Through the program, qualified older adults receive free cell phone services. You qualify for monthly discounts, older adults must have incomes not exceeding 135% of the federal income guideline. Seniors may also qualify for free smartphones and free monthly phone service through the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Read more at

Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP): LIHWAP provides low-income seniors with financial support to help them cover their water and wastewater bills. The grants are not directly awarded to low-income older adults. They are distributed to agencies who then offer help at the local level, and to those who qualify for the program assistance. One must meet the low-income limits, be responsible for water or wastewater bills, and be a resident of Wisconsin to qualify for support. Read more at

Food Assistance

Wisconsin’s Elderly Nutrition Program was created and has been subsidized by the State of Wisconsin for low and moderate-income older people across the state. Residents who are 60 years of age or older and who need healthy and nutritious food but cannot afford it are the main target of the benefit. Eligible people are served nutritious food, vegetables, and fruit at their homes. They may also benefit from home-delivered hot, cold, and frozen meals. The link to their official website is as follows or get in touch with 608 219 3357. Apart from Wisconsin’s Elderly Nutrition Program, various food programs for seniors have been established throughout the country to address the nutritional requirements of senior citizens with low income.

FoodShare Wisconsin: Also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the FoodShare program helps seniors have access to food items they need to thrive in their communities. FoodShare was established to eliminate hunger among low-income seniors and enhance nutrition and health among them. the program offers monthly benefits to older adults who meet the program requirements, which include retired and not able to work, older disabled, low-income, and meet residency and citizenship requirements. through this program, low-income seniors can have access to food benefits, education, and training on how to prepare healthy meals, and how to maintain nutrition. The benefits are provided on EBT cards, which program participants use like ATM cards to buy the food items they need from participating vendors or grocery stores. For more details about the program please visit

Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP): The SFMNP provides eligible seniors with coupons that can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and honey from authorized farmers’ markets and roadside stands. This program encourages healthy eating habits and supports local farmers.

Meals on Wheels: Meals on Wheels is a nationwide program that delivers nutritious meals to seniors who are homebound or unable to prepare meals for themselves. In Wisconsin, various local organizations and agencies operate Meals on Wheels programs, ensuring that seniors receive regular, balanced meals.

Congregate Meal Sites: Congregate meal sites offer nutritious meals in a group setting, providing seniors with an opportunity to socialize while enjoying balanced meals. These sites are often located in community centers, senior centers, or other communal spaces.

Home-Delivered Meal Services: Home-delivered meal services deliver nutritious meals directly to the homes of seniors who are unable to attend congregate meal sites. Volunteers or paid staff members deliver meals to seniors’ residences, ensuring they receive regular access to nutritious food.

Transportation Assistance

County Elderly and Disabled Transportation Assistance: The purpose of this program is to offer counties funding to help them deliver transportation services to low-income older adults and seniors living with disabilities. The goal of the program is to promote self-sufficiency among low-income seniors in Wisconsin by helping them afford transportation benefits. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation administers this program. The program funds are distributed to various counties and agencies that then deliver transportation support services to eligible low-income seniors. For more information about the program, please visit

Specialized Van Transportation Program: This program offers transportation support to seniors aged 60+ and older adults with disabilities or their spouses. Older adults using the program can get to nutrition sites, local senior centers, medical appointments, shopping, employment, and social events. Older adults in need of such services must call between 24 hours and 48 hours in advance. Seniors contribute $2 per ride, as those heading to nutrition sites are given a discount of $0.50. These services are available in St. Croix County, especially Baldwin, Deer Park, Glenwood City, Hammond, Hudson, New Richmond, Roberts, Somerset, and Woodville. More information is available at

Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: Through the Non-Medical Emergency Transportation program, older adults participating in Medicaid can qualify for assistance with free rides to various destinations, including picking up prescription drugs, hospital facilities, an appointment with doctors or other healthcare professionals, medical checkups, and more. For more details, please visit

Transportation Assistance – Fond du Lac County: Fondu du Lac County offers transportation support to seniors not able to use the normal bus routes to get to their destinations. To qualify for assistance, one must be at least 60 or an older adult with disabilities. For more details, please visit

Charities and Nonprofits’ Assistance for Seniors

Catholic Charities – In-Home Services: Catholic Charities has been offering in-home support services to seniors and older adults with disabilities in Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties for more than 25 years. In-home care services are designed to help older adults and those living with disabilities thrive independently in clean, safe, homes. The goal of this program is to delay the institutionalization of seniors in nursing homes by allowing them to remain in their own homes for as long as they can. The Catholic Charities services include:

  • Conducting In-Home social work assessments to collect detailed information about the health, emotional status, and social functioning of clients. This helps to identify whether seniors are self-sufficient or safe in their homes.
  • Connect seniors with additional resources and services through information and referrals to other Catholic Charities programs, government agencies, non-profits, and local churches.
  • Offer direct services for two hours every day to help clients with their daily tasks, such as grocery shopping, laundry assistance, light housekeeping, and meal preparation, among others.

For more information about the program, please visit

Eras Senior Network: Eras network is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging and supporting older adults and seniors living with disabilities and family caregivers in living meaningful lives. The organization works with volunteers of all ages to help seniors live independently through services, such as weekly friendly phone calls, yard clean-ups, and transportation services to help them get their medical appointments and do grocery shopping. The organization only provides its services in Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties, which are among the areas with the largest number of senior citizens. Visit for more information.

Agrace: Agrace is a nonprofit organization founded in 1978, dedicated to offering personal care, adult daytime care, supportive care, grief support, and hospice care to low-income older adults and those living with disabilities. Read more about the organization at

SSM Health at Home Foundation of Wisconsin: SSM Health at Home Foundation of Wisconsin provides support to low-income seniors facing health-related problems in southern Wisconsin. The organization’s funds go towards supporting families caring for terminally ill individuals, reducing hunger among seniors, and helping the elderly sick or injured persons recover. For more information, please visit

Assistance for Senior Veterans

Wisconsin Veterans Benefits – Aid & Attendance Program: Helping older adults with daily activities can help enhance their quality of life among them. That is why the Veterans Administration’s Aid and Assistance program is there to help senior veterans live quality lives by offering the support they need to thrive. Wisconsin senior veterans and their spouses can qualify for help with Activities of Daily Living through this program. These tasks can include bathing, dressing, feeding, medication management, and transportation to help seniors run errands and attend medical appointments. Seniors eligible for these benefits may also use them to settle payments associated with nursing home care, assisted living, or home care.

Wisconsin’s Department of Veterans Affairs provides Healthcare Aid and Subsistence Aid Grant programs to help senior veterans with financial support. the assistance is only available for those who can demonstrate the need for help after exhausting all the sources. More details are available at

WDVA’s Veteran Outreach and Recovery Program (VORP) helps senior veterans by connecting them with community services, and offering case management support, to assist them to gain treatment and recovery. VORP may have funding available to support treatment and other emergency services. More information is available at

Supplemental Social Security Income (SSI): This program provides monthly cash benefits to low-income seniors who are 65+ and older adults with disabilities. The program benefits are paid by both the federal and state government to support those eligible for assistance. More details are available at

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC): ADRC works to connect seniors with disabilities with the available resources, services, and programs to help them thrive in their communities. The organization offers information about a variety of programs and services, including for the elderly looking for long-term care facilities. Find out more about the program at

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What financial assistance programs are available for seniors in Wisconsin? Seniors in Wisconsin can benefit from the SeniorCare Prescription Drug Assistance Program, the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) for utility bill support, and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program providing vouchers for fresh produce.

2. How can seniors apply for Medicaid in Wisconsin? Seniors can apply for Medicaid online through the ACCESS Wisconsin website, by mail, or in person at local county/tribal agencies. Documentation needed includes proof of income, assets, Wisconsin residency, and age.

3. What housing assistance is available for seniors in Wisconsin? The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) offers the Housing Choice Voucher Program (Section 8) and information on affordable housing for seniors. Additionally, there are programs for home repair and accessibility modifications.

4. Can seniors receive assistance with utility bills in Wisconsin? Yes, the Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program (WHEAP) provides financial aid to help seniors manage heating and cooling costs, ensuring a comfortable living environment.

5. How do seniors get help with prescription medications in Wisconsin? The SeniorCare Prescription Drug Assistance Program helps seniors with the costs of their medications, offering a more affordable alternative to Medicare Part D.

6. Are there property tax relief programs for seniors in Wisconsin? The Wisconsin Property Tax Credit for seniors offers tax relief based on income and property taxes paid, helping to reduce the financial burden on eligible seniors.

7. What in-home care services can seniors access in Wisconsin? Wisconsin’s Family Care and IRIS (Include, Respect, I Self-Direct) programs provide various in-home services, including personal care, meal delivery, and emergency response systems, to support seniors living independently.

8. How can seniors access transportation services in Wisconsin? Many counties in Wisconsin offer transportation services for seniors through local Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs), providing rides to medical appointments, grocery stores, and social activities.

9. What nutritional programs support seniors in Wisconsin? The Elderly Nutrition Program in Wisconsin provides meals at senior centers and home-delivered meals to homebound seniors, ensuring access to nutritious food and social interaction.

10. How can seniors in Wisconsin receive legal assistance? Legal Action of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Judicare offer free legal services to low-income seniors, covering areas such as healthcare, housing, consumer rights, and elder law.