If you are elderly and live in California, how poor do you have to be to become eligible for public assistance?
Too poor, says a new report issued by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR). The new Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) for California, to be released tomorrow, shows that the Federal Poverty Line (FPL), used to determine income eligibility for most public programs, covers less than half of the basic costs experienced by adults age 65 and older in the state.
The FPL is also used to allocate state and federal resources to local communities, and is an important index. In 2007, the federal poverty guideline for a single, elderly person (age 65 and older) was an annual income of $10,210, and for an older couple, $13,690. But according to the report's calculations, broken down by each California county, a basic annual cost of living for a retired older adult, in good health and living in rental housing, averages $21,011, reaching a high of $27,550 in San Mateo County. For an older couple the average is $30,537, reaching a high of $37,263, again in San Mateo County.
EurekAlert! - Breaking News on February 25, 2008, 10:00pmfrom