Elk Grove Township introduces new position to aid older adults
In response to the growing needs of senior citizens who utilize state and federal assistance programs, Elk Grove Township has introduced a new position in their Social Services Department -- the Older Adult Programming and Benefits Specialist.
There are a significant number of state programs available to seniors. These programs include SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, Low Income Household Water Assistance Program) and SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) for Medicare.
Unfortunately, understanding and properly applying for these programs is not always easy.
"Many of the state and federal benefit programs have applications that are difficult for our older adult population to complete. So now we have a dedicated person to help them through the process," said Corey Dewey, Social Services and Community Outreach director with Elk Grove Township.
She pointed out that while the township does not process applications on behalf of seniors, the benefits specialist ensures that applications are properly completed and submitted, and can also assist in resolving any issues that may arise after the application is submitted.
Dewey highlighted SHIP as a program that can be very beneficial to all seniors. Through SHIP, the benefits specialist provides Medicare beneficiaries and their caregivers free counseling regarding their Medicare insurance options.
Seniors are given information about the available Medicare plans and are assisted in identifying and applying for the plan that is the best fit given their medical needs, budget and the availability of doctors.
Another program that can be very valuable for seniors is LIHEAP, which is a federally funded program that assists lower income families with winter energy costs, according to Dewey.
"If you qualify for LIHEAP, you can get assistance with your ComEd and Nicor bills and with minor heating repairs," she said.
Dewey says there are many valuable programs which seniors often ignore because they think they are not eligible. This is often not the case, and she encourages all seniors to contact the township at (224) 265-6111 to determine their benefit eligibility.
She particularly urges anyone who is potentially in need of LIHEAP assistance to call today for eligibility pre-screening. The processing of LIHEAP applications will start in the beginning of September. Funds can potentially be depleted before the May 31, 2023, cut off, so it is advisable to submit applications as early as possible.
For information on all of the services provided through Elk Grove Township, visit ElkGroveTownship.com.
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