$900 Grocery Stimulus for Seniors: Is It Coming or Not?


In this article, we will explore the topic of a $900 grocery stimulus for seniors and provide detailed information about its availability. Additionally, we will discuss the Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit, eligibility criteria, and covered items. Furthermore, we will touch upon the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and how seniors can apply for them.

The $900 Grocery Stimulus for Seniors

Currently, there is no national $900 grocery stimulus for seniors. Despite some discussions and rumors about a possible stimulus payment, no federal funding has been allocated for such purposes in 2022 or 2023.

However, it’s important to note that there was a significant increase in Social Security benefits for 2023, which may provide some relief for seniors on a fixed income.

Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit

While the $900 grocery stimulus may not be available, some Medicare Advantage plans offer a Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit to assist seniors in purchasing healthy foods. This benefit provides funds on a food card, which can be used at most retailers to buy nutritionally rich items.

The amount loaded onto the food card can vary based on eligibility factors. As of 2023, the average monthly amount loaded onto the card is $150, according to RetireGuide. However, it’s important to note that the funds on the card do not roll over from one month to the next, so they must be used within the allotted time.

Eligibility for the Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit

The Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit is typically reserved for Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans (SNPs). The most common types of SNPs are Dual Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) and Chronic Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs).

C-SNPs cater to individuals with chronic conditions or severe medical needs, making them eligible for Medicare. On the other hand, D-SNPs are for individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, meeting age and disability requirements as well as financial need.

It’s important to note that not every Medicare Advantage Plan includes the Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit. The availability of this benefit may also depend on the specific agreement between Medicare and the private insurer. Seniors should check with their insurer, and if possible, consult with an elder law attorney or social worker to determine which plans offer the most beneficial coverage.

Covered Items for the Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit

The Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit covers various healthy whole foods, ingredients, and certain ready-made items. Seniors can use the funds on their food card to purchase the following:

  • Beans
  • Bread
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned vegetables
  • Cereal
  • Dairy
  • Flour
  • Fresh fruit
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen meals
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Legumes
  • Meat
  • Nutrition bars
  • Nutrition shakes
  • Pasta
  • Salad kits
  • Seafood
  • Soup
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Vitamin-enriched water
  • Water

It’s important to note that the purpose of the Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit is to encourage healthy eating. Therefore, certain indulgences and vices are not covered by the food card. These include alcohol, baby formula, candy, chips, cigarettes, coffee shop purchases, desserts, non-food items, pet food, pre-baked goods, and tobacco.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Benefits

Another option for seniors facing financial difficulties in purchasing groceries is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps. SNAP is a federal government program designed to assist low-income individuals and families in buying food.

Eligible recipients of SNAP benefits receive an EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) card, which functions like a debit card and can be used to purchase food at authorized stores. The availability of SNAP benefits depends on factors such as residence, resources, and other eligibility criteria.

Seniors and disabled persons have a separate application process for SNAP benefits. To determine eligibility and apply for SNAP benefits, individuals should check the requirements specified by their state of residence. Online eligibility checks are available to help seniors determine if they qualify for assistance.

SNAP benefits can be used at a variety of places that accept EBT cards. For instance, popular grocery stores like Trader Joe’s accept SNAP benefits, and even discount stores like Dollar Tree participate in the program. In addition, SNAP benefits can be used with coupons, and some states allow recipients to spend their benefits online.


While the $900 grocery stimulus for seniors is not currently available on a national level, there are alternative options to help seniors stretch their grocery budgets. The Medicare Grocery Allowance Benefit offered by certain Medicare Advantage plans provides funds on a food card for the purchase of healthy items. Additionally, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits offer assistance to low-income individuals and families, including seniors, in purchasing food. Seniors should explore these options and consult with relevant professionals to determine the best course of action based on their individual circumstances.