HUNTINGTON - In these troubled times of economic decline, there are many local residents that find themselves needing assistance with paying for prescription drugs, utility bills, rent, meals and even property taxes.
If you are 55 years of age or older or younger than that with a limited income or a disability, a program has been set up to help you discover benefits you may be missing.
Benefits Check Up is a service of the National Council on Aging that has compiled information on local, state and federal programs that can help many people who are struggling with expenses. There are numerous programs that assist the public already in place, but according to the Council on Aging they are hard to locate and say that public knowledge of their existence is in some cases, very low.
This helpful program packed with beneficial information can be accessed by going to their website, www.BenefitsCheckUp.org. There you will find a questionnaire that takes just a few minutes of your time to complete. This is a free service and your answers are always kept private and are not shared with other agencies or sites.
The Benefits Check Up website can find you programs that can assist with costs relating to prescription drugs, heating bills, housing/rent, employment, meal programs, medical costs and in-home services. It can also help you locate tax relief, Veteran’s benefits, volunteer work along with many other sources of information and resources. To get the most help, you are advised to click on the “Find Benefits Programs” on the website and fill out the “Comprehensive” questionnaire.
The program provides assistance for those over the age of 55 who are covered under the Medicare plan that helps find ways to reduce prescription costs, which is a matter of great concern for many local residents who find themselves with limited income and high medication costs. For several individuals, it sometimes comes down to paying your electric bill and buying groceries vs. paying for needed medication that comes with a hefty price tag.
On the website, you will find two choices that lead to prescription savings. If you are someone with limited income and resources, you may be eligible for extra help with Medicare prescription drug costs, but you need to apply for this online. You can use the Benefits Check Up site to see in a matter of minutes if you qualify for the additional assistance.
Using the “Prescription Drug Assistance” category on the website, you can easily discover the combination of prescription savings programs – both public and private – that works best for you. These include government programs such as the Medicare prescription drug coverage (also known as Part D), state prescription assistance programs and also those provided through private companies.
If you don’t have a computer at home or if you feel you don’t have the training and knowledge to complete these steps on your own, you are encouraged to visit your public library or senior citizens center that have computers available to the public, or ask a trusted friend or family member to assist you with completing the questionnaire. Make sure to fill out the confidential questionnaire in its entirety.
Regardless of the options you choose on the website in regards to your personal needs, you are assured to receive a helpful report that will lead you to benefits you may be missing.
Benefits Check Up is a service of the National Council on Aging, a national non-profit service and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. Since 2001, more than 2 million people have used it to locate benefits available to them that were valued at more than $7 million. In several areas of the country, NCOA works with local partners to reach out and help seniors and others with limited incomes find the benefits they deserve.
For more information regarding this program or if you are unable to access the website listed above, you may call the Southwestern Community Action Council’s Huntington office at either 304-525-5151 or 1-800-319-7131, or the Ashland, Ky. office at 606-329-8057 to have your questions answered or to receive personal assistance.