Benefit Specialist

What is a benefit specialist?

A Benefit Specialist is a person trained to help older persons 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 older persons with the extensive and complicated paperwork that is often required in the benefit programs. They help older persons figure out what benefits they are entitled to and tell them what they must do to receive them. Benefit Specialists are continually trained and monitored by attorneys knowledgeable in elder law. The attorneys are also available, through the Benefit Specialist, to assist older persons in need of legal representation on benefit matters.

Who should seek help from a benefit specialist?

  • Older persons who just want to know more about any private or public benefit
  • Older persons who need help in organizing the paperwork and applying for benefits
  • Older persons who have been denied a benefit that they think they are entitled to

A Benefit Specialist can:

  • Provide accurate and current information on your benefits
  • Suggest alternative actions that 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?

  • Credit Card Problems
  • Community-based long term care
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Senior Care
  • Medicare
  • Medicare Supplemental Insurance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Social Security
  • Medical Assistance
  • Consumer Problems
  • Homestead Tax Credit
  • Supportive Home Services
  • Food Stamps
  • Veteran's Administration Benefits
  • Other Legal Benefit Problems

What does the Benefit Specialist service cost?

The program is supported with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the federal Older Americans Act and United Way Blackhawk Region. There is no charge for the services but persons 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 service. Service will not be refused of limited in any way if a contribution is not made.