What Benefits Do I Get at Age 55?

As you approach the age of 55, you may be wondering what benefits are available to you. There are a number of different benefits that you may be eligible for, depending on your circumstances.

At age 55, individuals become eligible for a range of benefits designed to support their health, finances, and overall well-being. These may include retirement account withdrawals without penalty, Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, property tax exemptions, Supplemental Security Income, as well as a plethora of senior discounts on a variety of goods and services.

However, eligibility for these benefits can be influenced by factors such as income, assets, and work history, and it is important to understand requirements, proactively apply, and maintain thorough documentation to access all available aid.

Some of the most common benefits for seniors include Social Security, Medicare, pension, health insurance, retirement savings, and discounts.

What Are the Benefits Available to Seniors at Age 55?

Reaching the age of 55 opens up many benefits for seniors. While eligibility requirements must be met, those approaching retirement age can take advantage of programs and services to support their health, finance, and overall wellbeing. This article will explore the range of benefits available to 55+ seniors and provide guidance on how to access them.

Can I get Social Security at 55?

No, you cannot receive Social Security retirement benefits at age 55. The earliest you can begin to receive Social Security retirement benefits is at age 62, although these benefits are reduced if claimed before reaching your full retirement age, which is typically between 66 and 67.

However, if you are unable to work due to a disability before reaching full retirement age, you may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for These Benefits?

While most benefits kick in between ages 55-65, exact eligibility depends on several factors:

  • Age – Each program has minimum age requirements, most starting at 55 or 60. 
  • Income – Some benefits have income caps or sliding scale subsidies. Total household income from the previous tax year determines eligibility.
  • Assets – Those with significant assets may not qualify for needs-based assistance. Financial holdings including savings accounts, stocks, bonds, and property are considered.
  • Work History – Entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare require paying into the system for a minimum number of working years, usually around 10 years. 

Meeting the age requirement is the first step to benefit eligibility. Those with limited income and assets will qualify for the most aid. A steady work history ensures entitlement to social programs like Social Security and Medicare.

What Are the Different Types of Benefits Available to 55+ Americans?

There are a wide variety of public and private benefits available to Americans 55 and over.

Social Security

  • Retirement Benefits – Available from age 62 but are reduced if claimed before full retirement age (66-67). The maximum benefit is received at 70.
  • Disability Benefits – For those unable to work due to disability before reaching full retirement age. 
  • Survivor’s Benefits – Provided to widows/widowers of qualifying workers.


  • Part A – Hospital/inpatient coverage. Premium-free for most.
  • Part B – Outpatient/medical coverage. Monthly premium applies.
  • Part C – Medicare Advantage plans administered through private insurers.
  • Part D – Prescription drug coverage. Monthly premium applies.

Employment Benefits

  • 401(k)/IRA – Penalty-free retirement account withdrawals starting at 55.
  • Pension Plans – Monthly payments from employer-sponsored defined benefit plans.

Health Insurance

  • COBRA – Extended employer-sponsored health insurance up to 36 months after leaving job.
  • Medicaid – Needs-based health coverage with low or no cost. 
  • Medigap – Supplemental coverage to fill Medicare gaps.

Financial Assistance

  • Property Tax Exemptions – Reduced property taxes for qualifying seniors 65+.
  • Supplemental Security Income – Cash assistance for housing, food, and other necessities. 
  • SNAP – Needs-based aid for purchasing groceries.

Retirement Savings

  • Social Security – Guaranteed monthly income based on lifetime earnings.
  • 401(k)/IRA – Tax-advantaged individual retirement accounts. 
  • Pensions – Monthly income from employer-sponsored plans.

Senior Discounts

Discounts available on:

DiscountMinimum Age
AARP Membership50
National Parks Pass62
Senior rail fares62
Movie theaters55-60

How Do I Apply for These 55+ Benefits?

Seniors must proactively apply for many of the benefits available to them. Here are some tips for navigating the process:

  • Contact Information – Look up the phone number, website, and office locations for the benefit provider. Many applications can be completed online.
  • Application Forms – Request and submit application forms along with all required documentation. Follow all instructions carefully.
  • Local Assistance – Retirement or senior centers can help complete applications. Some offices have counselors who assist with benefit enrollment. 
  • Apply Early – Submit applications up to 3 months in advance of turning 55 or retiring to avoid gaps in coverage.
  • Follow Up – Confirm receipt of application and follow up on status every 30-60 days until approval.

What Are the Documentation Requirements for Applying for These Benefits?

Applications will request a range of documents to verify eligibility:

  • Social Security Card – Provides proof of SSN required for Social Security benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.
  • Birth Certificate – Validates age. Alternatively, a current U.S. passport can confirm age and citizenship.
  • Income Statements – Tax returns, pay stubs, and bank statements prove total household income.
  • Assets Statements – Financial account balances, property deeds, and investment portfolio values help determine available resources. 
  • Medical Records – For disability benefits and Medicaid, medical records prove health condition(s).

Maintaining thorough records makes the application process smoother. Contact benefit providers to understand exactly which documents are needed before applying.

What Are the Common Misconceptions About Benefits for Seniors?

There are some prevalent myths about benefits that deter seniors from seeking the help available to them.

Myth: Benefits are only for the very poor

Many programs serve middle-class recipients. Eligibility is based on multiple factors beyond income alone.

Myth: Benefits provide enough to live on

Most only supplement retirement income. Additional savings and support are needed.

Myth: The application process is confusing

Free counseling helps navigate the process. Document requirements are clearly outlined.

Benefits serve Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum. Seniors should not let misconceptions deter them from seeking the support they deserve.

How Can Seniors Get the Most Out of the Benefits Available to Them?

Seniors can take several steps to get the most value from the benefits available to them:

  • Understand requirements – Review guidelines to ensure your eligibility.
  • Research options – Identify all benefit programs open to you. 
  • Apply early – Enroll as soon as possible to avoid gaps in coverage.
  • Maintain records – Keep all documentation in organized files.
  • Seek guidance – Consult experts to ensure you are accessing your full entitlement.
  • Plan ahead – Discuss benefits with family members and include in financial plans.

With some diligence, seniors can access benefits to remain healthy, active, and financially secure in their later years.


Reaching age 55 opens up a range of assistance to American seniors. While each program has specific eligibility criteria, most older adults can qualify for some level of benefits. These can include Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, senior discounts, financial assistance, and more. Understanding requirements, proactively applying, and maintaining thorough documentation will allow seniors to access all available aid. With the right benefits in place, the transition to retirement and later life can be an enjoyable and financially stable one.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I get Social Security benefits at 55?

Social security retirement benefits can be started as soon as you turn 62. You are eligible to receive full benefits only when you retire at full age. Your benefit amount will rise if you wait until your full retirement age to receive your benefits.

  • How old is senior discount at Publix?

Publix. Select locations in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina offer a 10% discount for seniors 60+ every Wednesday.

  • At what age does health start to decline?

According to Duke University School of Medicine, physical decline starts in the 50s. It gets worse as you age.

  • Is age 55 considered a senior?

Generally, though, you enter the senior demographic once you reach 55. When you turn 65, you will be the oldest age to retire from your job. But, retirement is no longer a factor for senior citizens.

  • What age is senior citizen in NJ?

Persons 65 years and over, blind or handicapped as determined by Social Security Administration are eligible to be considered.

  • What age is considered senior citizen in New Jersey?

Persons 65 years and over, blind or handicapped as determined by Social Security Administration are eligible to be considered.

  • Can I retire at 50 and collect Social Security?

Although you can begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 (the benefit amount is lower than the full amount), it’s possible to start getting them as soon as your 62nd birthday.

  • What age does a man stop getting a hard on?

Although ED is more common as we age, there are no natural aging factors that make it more prevalent. There’s also no limit to how old you can get healthy erections. On the other hand, ED is possible at any age. ED can be caused by certain health conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.

  • Can I retire at 55 and work part time?

Due to financial necessity, many people work at least partially after retiring. One reason is the elimination of many defined-benefit retirement plans. Many workers who rely on Social Security for their retirement income feel that they cannot choose but to find a job part-time.

  • What age is considered senior citizen in Georgia?

Are 65 or over. A valid Georgia identification document, such as a driver’s licence or birth certificate is required.

  • How do I claim the Rule of 55?

The Rule of 55 is for everyone. You must leave your job within the year you reach 55 to be eligible for the Rule of 55. Workers between the ages of 55 and 59 1/2 can withdraw their 401(k) funds without penalty if they leave work during this time period.

  • What is the age for a senior discount?

When you turn 50, senior citizen discounts will generally be available. Some stores may ask you to reach a specific age. Usually, this is between 55 and 65 years.

  • What is the senior discount for NJ E ZPass?

ENROLLED SECURITY DRIVERS SAVE 50% Senior drivers 65 and over who are enrolled in NJ E-ZPass accounts can receive a 50% discount from the DRPA. Senior drivers who are enrolled in E-ZPass receive a $2.50 discount, which equals 50% off the current toll for passenger vehicles.

  • Does ShopRite give senior discounts?

SENIOR CITIZEN TUEDAYS*: 5% Discount for Price Plus Card members 62 and older. For more information, please visit the store.

  • Is 55 years old considered old?

These definitions make it clear that 55 years old in 1920 is considered to be “middle-aged” and 65 years old in today’s 1920s.

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