The Benefit Specialist Program is a federal and state mandated advocacy program, funded through the Older Americans Act and State dollars. Benefit Specialists are trained in the areas of benefit and entitlement programs as well as other issues. The Elder Law Center in Madison, Wisconsin provides them in-depth, on-going training and assistance.
The Benefit Specialist works with county residents 60 years of age and older, regardless of financial status.
Who Should Use the Service?
Anyone 60 years of age or older who is having a problem in securing a public or private benefit.
Older persons who just want to know more about any private or public benefit.
Older persons who need help in organizing the paperwork that comes with applying for benefits, and
Older persons who have been denied a benefit that they think they are entitled to receive.
How Can the Benefit Specialists Help?
*Provide accurate and current information on your benefits
*Suggest alternative actions to secure benefits or appeal denial 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 the Benefit Specialists Help With?
*Medicare Supplemental Insurance and Medical Assistance (MA)
*Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Food Stamps
*Social Security and Veteran’s Administration Benefits
*Age Discrimination in Employment
*Homestead Tax Credit
*Other Legal, Benefit and Consumer Problems such as: Housing Problems, Home Service.
How Do I Contact the Benefit Specialist?
All it takes to contact a Benefit Specialist is a phone call. Some questions can be answered over the phone. Appointments can be made to meet at the office of the Benefit Specialist. The phone number is 608-757-5414. Benefit Specialists also perform monthly outreach during scheduled hours at various sites around the County. Call the Benefit Specialist to request information about the scheduled outreach site visits, or click on the Schedule from the left hand menu. If you are home bound, arrangements can be made for a home visit from the Benefit Specialist.
What About Confidentiality?
All files and correspondence are kept locked, and your conversations with the Benefit Specialist will remain confidential. You may be asked to sign a release of information so the Benefit Specialist can inquire on your behalf.
What Is the Cost?
There is no charge for the services a Benefit Specialist provides. However, persons assisted by the program are strongly encouraged to make a donation towards the cost of the service. Service will not be refused or limited in any way if a contribution is not made.