Many seniors rely on Social Security as their only source of income, which oftentimes is not enough to maintain the normal expenses of living (let alone emergency expenses) making them especially vulnerable when unexpected challenges arise. Over the past several years, we have received requests from vulnerable seniors seeking help to maintain their independence in their own home. These requests are often costly and include the need for ramps to be built, updated heating, plumbing, water and roofing repairs. Other requests include help paying for medications, utilities, food and other shelter needs.

Our goal is to increase the amount of financial support to the Senior Essential Needs Fund to support seniors in Benzie County. The requested grant funds would be used to bring peace of mind to those in desperate need of shelter repairs, utilities, food and medical needs, etc.

All that is required is to complete an application, show proof of residence and household income. Call us at 231.525.0600.

2019 Benzie County Senior Essential Needs Fund

Eligibility Requirements and Terms:                                                                      

  • You or your spouse must be a current resident of Benzie County (Proof of Residency is required)
  • Must be 60 years old and older
  • Full disclosure of all sources of income are required; i.e., most recent federal income tax return, social security, bank, pension statements, etc. and the total of annual gross income must be below 200% of poverty level for applicant to be considered. (Income lower than $24,980 for one in household, $32,820 for two in household, etc.)
  • Recognizing the fund’s limited resources, the person seeking assistance will first be encouraged to investigate other potential avenues of assistance within the community. You will need to bring proof of visits and/or assistance from other resources in the community
  • Real estate ownership will be verified using the county database
  • Home repair applications will be considered only for homeowners. Home repairs for rental units/homes will not be considered.
  • Applications for automobile repair require a copy of the vehicle title proving ownership.
  • Please provide a copy of the invoice/bill to be considered with this application. Upon approval of application, full or partial payment is made directly to the business, service provider or agency
  • Access to the Benzie County Senior Essential Needs Fund is limited to once per year per family.
  • Categories for assistance include (but are not limited to):
    • Health – Prescription medications, immediate health needs or treatments, medical transportation expenses, dental, vision & hearing needs
    • Safety & Welfare – Utilities, transportation, environmental home safety, repairs, contributions to major appliances
  • A request for emergency funds may be initiated by a Benzie Senior Resources staff member, a referring organization or the client or client’s family/friends