The Red Tape Cutters!

The Aging & Disability Resource Center has Elder Benefit Specialists and  Disability Benefit Specialists available.

What is a Benefit Specialist?
A benefit specialist is a person trained to help seniors and adults with disabilities who are having a problem with their private or government benefits. Benefit specialists are often called "red tape cutters" because they are experts at helping people with the extensive and complicated paperwork often required in benefit programs. They help people figure out the benefits to which they are entitled and how to receive them. Benefit specialists are continually trained and monitored by attorneys knowledgeable in specific areas of the law affecting their clients.

Who should seek help from a Benefit Specialist?
People who just want to know more about any private or public benefit.
People who need help in organizing the paperwork and applying for benefits.
People who have been denied a benefit that they think they are entitled to receive.

The Benefit Specialist can:
Provide accurate and current information on your benefits.
Suggest alternative actions you can take yourself to secure benefits or appeal denials of benefits.
Advocate on your behalf with the other parties involved.
Explain what legal action or other possible solution is required, and if necessary refer you to an appropriate attorney.

What can a Benefit Specialist help you with?
  • Medicare
  • Medicare Part D/prescription drugs options
  • Medicare supplement insurance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security
  • Medical Assistance
  • Consumer problems
  • Age discrimination in employment
  • Homestead Tax Credit
  • Housing problems
  • Supportive home services
  • Food Stamps
  • Veteran's Administration benefits
  • General Relief
  • Other legal and benefit problems

Who is eligible for Benefit Specialist services?
Seniors, adults with disabilities, or their family members or caregivers or who are having a problem in securing a public or private benefit.

What does the service cost?
Elder Benefit Specialist Services are supported with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the federal Older Americans Act. There is no charge for the services but people assisted by the program are encouraged to make a donation towards the cost of the service. All donated funds will be used to expand the program. Service will not be refused or limited in any way if a contribution is not made.


Medicare Extra HelpDo you have trouble paying for your Medicare premiums, co-pays or prescriptions?
The Benefit Specialists at the Aging & Disability Resource Center can confidentially evaluate your potential eligibility using program income and asset guidelines. Note that these guidelines change each year, so if you didn't qualify in the past you may be eligible now.Assets do not include your home, vehicle, possessions or burial allowance of $1,500. Assests include such things as checking, savings, CD's IRA, SSI, VA, pension, earned or unearned income, RRI annuities, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.There are two available programs: Medicare Savings Program (MSP) can help pay for Medicare Part A and B premiums, and possibly the co-insurance and deductibles associated with Medicare; Low Income Subsidy (LIS) for Prescription Drugs can help reduce the cost of prescription drugs.


Please call ahead for benefit specialist appointments
To continue to provide efficient and prompt service to as many clients as possible, we encourage people to call the Aging & Disability Resource Center at 715-346-1401 to make an appointment before coming to the office to see the Elder or Disability Benefit Specialists. This will prevent anyone from having to wait if staff are unavailable, and will help us assist people in a more confidential and timely manner.
Resources:

Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs

https://www.benefitscheckup.org  is an easy-to-use online tool. It can help seniors learn about and enroll in programs that dramatically reduce the cost of prescription drugs, including the new Medicare prescription drug coverage. It can also help them find and enroll in other important government and private company programs. Provided by The National Council on the Aging and developed with the support of the U.S. Administration on Aging and the Department of Health and Human Services, the service has already helped thousands of seniors find the prescription savings programs they need.

Click below for "12 things to know before signing up for Medicare Part D"
http://www.oci.wi.gov/pressrel/1107medptd.htm


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