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The Elder Index measures the cost of older adults' basic expenses: housing, food, medical care, and transportation.
Seniors - no matter what their source of income - often struggle to make ends meet in Santa Cruz County. Neither the median Social Security payment nor the maximum Supplemental Security Income payment is enough to cover seniors' basic needs.
While support programs can help, many use the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPL) to determine eligibility. The problem is that the FPL is the same dollar amount across the country, and does not reflect today's cost of living. The result? Thousands of economically insecure seniors fall through the cracks of our public systems with too much income to qualify for help, but not enough to get by.