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How To Get Financial Help

by Matilda Charles

A survey released last month indicated that consumer sentiment was higher than it’s been in quite a while, since the summer of 2021. This is supposed to be a good thing.

The first thing I needed to do was look up the definition of consumer sentiment. It’s how we feel about the state of the economy and our own finances, how positive we are about short-term and long-term economic growth. According to the survey, that positivity occurred everywhere, and income, education, age, and location did not matter.

I’m guessing they didn’t survey participants in my area. However, I did. In one of my informal polls of local friends and acquaintances, I learned that:

  • Going to the grocery store is still an experience filled with tension and anxiety. We never know what prices will be, whether we’ll be able to buy what we need and stick to a budget, or whether we’ll need to have soup and sandwiches for dinner three times this week instead of two.
  • Going to the food bank is still embarrassing, but we do it anyway, usually before making a trip to the grocery store and planning meals around what we get from the food bank.

Then there are basic expenses like utilities and transportation.

If this describes your situation, consider looking into the National Council On Aging Benefits CheckUp. Every year billions of government dollars aren’t claimed, mostly because seniors don’t know about it. Specifically, there is money out there to help us pay for groceries, utilities, prescriptions, etc.

To get help, call the Benefits CheckUp helpline at 800.794.6559. You can also go online directly to benefitscheckup.org to see if you’re eligible for any of the help. You don’t need to sign up. You will still be shown a list of help options. I ended up with a list of over 80 programs.