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Benefits Counseling

Benefit specialists provide trusted and confidential advice to older adults and people with disabilities about benefits, including health care, disability income, and programs that could save them money.

There are two different types of benefit specialists at the ADRC:

The services benefit specialists provide are free. They do not sell anything and are not paid by a company or plan. Their only goal is to help you identify and apply for programs and health care that will best meet your needs.

To find a Tribal Nation benefit specialist, click here.

Individuals who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or Deaf-Blind, can find a Deaf disability benefit specialist here

Programs a Benefit Specialist can help with:
  • Medicaid
  • Medicare
  • Social Security Disability (SSDI)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Prescription Drug Coverage
  • FoodShare
  • Private insurance
  • Housing & utility issues
  • Low-income tax credits
How can a Benefit Specialist help:
  • Provide accurate information on public and private benefit programs.
  • Conduct a “benefits check-up” and help determine which benefits and programs a person may be entitled to.
  • Assist with filling out applications for benefits.
  • Assist with appeals for denials or reduction of benefits (Social Security Disability, Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Savings Program, FoodShare).
  • Assist with Social Security overpayments.
  • Resolve medical billing issues.
  • Answer general health care questions (drug coverage, Medicaid, Medicare plans, Marketplace plans, coordination of benefits with COBRA, retiree coverage).
  • Answer retirement planning questions.

For more information about Social Security Retirement and how to apply, click here.

For more information about Social Security disability benefits and how to apply, click here.

Medicare Counseling:

Our benefit specialists are trained through the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) to provide Medicare counseling. They can help with Medicare: 

  • Costs
  • Eligibility
  • Enrollment
  • Plan options
  • Programs that can lower costs

For more information about Medicare including how to apply, click here

Employment & Benefits:

Are you working with a disability or thinking about returning to work? A work incentives benefit specialist can help you make informed decisions about employment. They help you understand how your earnings can affect disability benefits, what are the special rules about returning to work, and how you can benefit from working. Work incentives benefit specialists can also explain Social Security’s Ticket to Work program which provides free job support to people with disabilities who want to work.

There are several ways to find a work incentives benefit specialist:

  • Visit the Ticket to Work website, call 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY), or email [email protected]
  • If you are currently working with the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) you can ask your counselor   
  • If you are currently enrolled in the Family Care or IRIS program, you can ask your case manager or consultant