Older adults and caregivers should have an easier time finding up to 2,000 benefits and programs under the National Council on Aging’s enhanced BenefitsCheckUp website. NCOA on Monday launched the new and improved website, which connects seniors to programs that help them pay for food, medication, utilities and a variety of other services.
NCOA President and CEO Ramsey Alwin said the upgraded website comes at a crucial time when rising inflation is taking a bigger bite out of the finances of aging Americans.
“We completely redesigned BenefitsCheckUp to make it even easier for older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers to find the resources they need to age with dignity,” Alwinn said in a statement. “No one should have to choose between paying for medication or food.”
According to the nonprofit Feeding America, 5.2 million seniors [68%] were food insecure in 2020.
NCOA created BenefitsCheckUp more than 20 years ago because millions of seniors were missing out on public and private benefits because they had no idea they even existed. Since then, the organization has connected seniors with a variety of programs including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicare Savings Programs, Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help), Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Affordable Connectivity Program.
One of the programs BenefitsCheckUP could connect seniors to is the government’s Aging Connected program that helps low-income seniors pay for internet and broadband services. It could also connect them to a number of state programs that help low-income seniors pay their utility bills.
Seniors accessing the website will be able to get free and confidential eligibility checks by program and category; create an account to keep track of the programs they use; and get support through a call center that can put them in touch with 85 agencies in 41 states.