Sadly, there remain many seniors in our area living in incredibly poor conditions, without access to the care they need to maximize their quality of life in their golden years. What makes these circumstances particularly distressing is that resources exist to help many of these elders–often they just don’t know where to go to find them. Ensuring that seniors and their loved ones take advantage of the legal tools and programs available specifically to help them is part of the work done by each New York elder law attorney at our firm.
In addition to having the aid of legal professionals with these matters, seniors and their families can discover some of the potential benefits available on their own. From transportation and housekeeping to complimentary medical check-ups, there are many federal programs available to seniors that go unused. One helpful starting point is an article published this week in the Wall Street Journal entitled, “Find Benefits for Seniors.” The article points the way to a helpful tool from the National Council on Aging that seeks to connect seniors and their families with the government resources set aside to help meet basis needs for things like getting proper health care, paying utilities, and even buying food.
The tool is known as “Benefits Check Up”–you can take a look at the site here. It is a database that incorporates information about more than 2,000 state and federal programs. Residents can put in their location, explain their specific financial situation, and then get information on which of those programs are intended to provide support for them. The online site has been around for ten years, but it has undergone a range of improvements in that time. Recently, it was revamped to include information about property-tax relief programs and potential help for those who are at risk of foreclosure. This is important, because our New York elder law attorneys appreciate that the housing crisis hit many seniors hard, particular those on fixed incomes.
For those more comfortable talking about these issues over the phone, the National Council on Aging also has a hot-line where much of this information can be explored. The hotline number is 800-677-1116. Before calling it is helpful to have some information on hand to help accurately determine what programs one might qualify for. This includes estimates from all income sources (pensions, investments, Social Security, etc.) as well as expense estimates for things like housing, medicine, and utilities.
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