skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Monday, June 24, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Underused programs could assist with older Washingtonians' budgets

play audio
Play

Friday, December 1, 2023   

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused. An assistance program like the Senior Property Tax Exemption is a prime example.

King County Assessor John Wilson cited the median value for a home in his county as about $790,000. If someone qualifies for a full exemption, Wilson estimates they would save almost $5,000 a year.

"$5,000 a year savings in property taxes is nothing to to be trifled with," said Wilson, "but the shame of it is, a lot of folks don't know that program even exists."

The Washington Legislature has expanded the Senior Property Tax Exemption program by increasing the economic threshold, he added. In 2024, his office estimates as many as 30,000 more people will apply for the program.

Other programs can also help. The state's charity care law directs hospitals to provide financial assistance to low-income patients. The Affordable Connectivity Program helps people get a discount on their broadband internet service.

And bigger federal programs, like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provide crucial assistance, but only about 64% of eligible older Washingtonians use it.

Wilson is convinced there's an unnecessary stigma surrounding assistance.

"I know from talking to seniors, what you hear sometimes is, 'Well, yeah, but I just feel kind of awkward asking for it,'" he recounted. "Or they feel like it is some kind of tacit admission that, 'I've failed somehow.'"

Wilson believes government at various levels needs do a better job of raising awareness for these programs, too.

"There are so many economic pressures that are weighing on people now," he noted, "and there is a safety net out there, but we don't do always a really good job of showing people, 'Here's how you can access it -- and here, by the way, are the various things you're eligible for.'"

Online tools can also help people find the programs they're eligible for, such as Benefitscheckup.org from the National Council on Aging.



get more stories like this via email

more stories
The 2024 Summer U.S. Conference of Mayors in Kansas City, Mo., will be under the leadership of its president, Mayor Hillary Schieve of Reno, Nev., and host Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas.
(SeanPavonePhoto/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Some Michigan mayors are out of the office this week - but still working for their cities. They're at the 92nd meeting of the United States …


Social Issues

play sound

Summer is here, but some Wisconsin households juggling higher consumer costs and other basic needs might feel like a vacation is out of reach…

Social Issues

play sound

An interim North Dakota legislative committee this week got an update from state leaders on potential moves to reconnect kids in foster care with thei…


Social Issues

play sound

More employers are offering benefits to adoptive parents, according to a new survey by the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption. The amount of paid …

About a quarter of Americans hold unfavorable views of both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. (Christian Delbert/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Arizona Court of Appeals recently dismissed a case brought by Republican Arizona attorney general candidate Abraham Hamadeh, Republican Cochise …

Social Issues

play sound

North Carolina's business community is alarmed after Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson praised the controversial House Bill 2, known as the "Bathroom Bill," at …

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the group Radical Elders are participating in a Chicago tech conference this weekend to explain the impact of technology on older Americans…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021