Have you had a benefits checkup recently?
Finding resources and applying for assistance can be a daunting task for seniors and their families. Understanding the complicated language and the proper documentation required to apply is overwhelming. Our community has an abundance of resources available to support the journey that is aging. Unfortunately, many seniors aren’t aware of local programs designed to help with medications, health care, housing and other support services.
To address this problem, Volunteers of America (VOA), working with the Region 10 Area Agency on Aging, has just opened AdvantAge Health Resource centers in Delta and Montrose. These centers offer free assistance, funded through VOA, matching clients with resource programs and to help fill out applications.
“It’s really important to help people live their most successful life, and the new centers offer one-stop assistance to make it easier,” said VOA Case Manager Stacie Brown, coordinator of the new AdvantAge program.
Case managers provide resource information, assist with benefit applications and give referrals to other programs, such as Region 10’s Medicare assistance program. The centers have already received assistance referrals from other community agencies, such as the Center for Mental Health.
Brown, who has coordinated resources in Colorado for 19 years, said that the services the center provides are not only for seniors, but anyone.
“There are no income requirements, nor do people applying for assistance have to be on Medicaid or Medicare,” she said.
The centers also provide assistance with filling out both Single Entry Point applications for both counties. This document enables applicants who need long-term care and are eligible for Medicaid to receive a number of services from the counties’ health and human services departments, Brown said.
Each center is also a state-certified application assistance site that can help people complete Medicaid’s long-term care forms.
Since opening in May, the AdvantAge Health Resource centers have already helped more than 50 people in person, and have answered numerous telephone inquiries. Brown will continue to divide her time between the Delta and Montrose locations until the program hires a case manager in Delta. She will then work exclusively from Montrose.
Clients can set an appointment by telephone or walk in for services. Case managers will also do home visits if it’s difficult for the applicant to come to a center. If the case manager is not in, both centers are equipped with an inquiry box where visitors can leave messages.
The Delta AdvantAge Health Resource Center is located at the Senior CommUnity Meals office, 350 Stafford Lane. The Montrose AdvantAge Health Resource Center is located at Proximity Space, 210 E. Main St. Of- fice hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, visit www.volunteersofamerica.org.
What to bring if you go
To apply for Food Assistance and Colorado Works, applicants must supply a birth certificate; a photo ID; a Social Security card; verification of all income, including bank statements (checking and savings); and, if applicable, divorce decrees and/or support orders, name changes (court order) and verification of pregnancy and due date.
To apply for Adult Medicaid, Old Age Pension and Long Term Care, applicants must also supply burial policies, insurance policies, oil or mineral rights, rent receipts or mortgage statements, property tax statements, trust agreements, vehicle registration and verification of income or other benefits.
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