Hidden Poor Highest Among Elder Black and Latino Households

Nearly one in five adults over age 65 in California, that is, around 772,000 elders, endure financial hardship, unable to afford basic needs, but often ineligible for government assistance, according to a new study out this week by theUCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

The study highlights the plight of what it calls the “hidden poor,” which it defines as those who live in the gap between the federal poverty level and the Elder Index’s poverty measure, which is considered a more accurate estimate of what it takes to have a decent standard of living. The Elder Index accounts for geographic differences in costs for housing, medical care, food and transportation. The national federal poverty level guidelines say a single elderly adult living alone should be able to live on $10,890 a year, while the Elder Index estimates that a person in California on average requires $23,364.


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