Free Tool Helps Older People Pay for Rising Expenses

by Barbara Hadden

If you are an older adult or someone with disabilities struggling to pay day-to-day expenses, a new, free tool can connect you with help.

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) announced on June 27 an improved version of its BenefitsCheckUp website. This tool helps older adults and people with disabilities to find nearly 2,000 benefits programs.

The programs can help those in need to better afford daily expenses such as food, medicine and utilities.

The NCOA launched BenefitsCheckUp in 2001 in the belief that too many seniors do not access help simply because they are unaware it exists. It says that since the tool’s launch, millions of people have used it to find billions in benefits.

Programs you can access with the tool range from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps, to programs that can help you save on Medicare costs and that provide help with paying utilities costs.

The NCOA says BenefitsCheckUp features:

  • “Details on nearly 2,000 federal, state, and local benefits programs in both English and Spanish
  • Free, confidential eligibility checks by specific program or benefits category
  • The ability to create an account for visitors who want to save their results
  • Personalized support via a call center, online chat, email, and NCOA’s network of local Benefit Enrollment Centers—85 agencies in 41 states where individuals can get application support in person”

The tool itself lets you browse for services by ZIP code and the category you are interested in. You can also submit additional information that can help determine whether you are eligible for assistance.

To access the tool, visit BenefitsCheckUp.org.

If you are a senior looking for more help with bills, check out “Where Seniors Can Find Help With High Housing Costs.”

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