Elder Benefit Specialist (EBS) Program
While there are many programs and services available to help older people, often the folks who need them are unaware that they exist or are unsure how to access them. In addition, these programs can be complex making it difficult for older people to understand eligibility guidelines, application processes, and the rules and regulations that govern them.
What is the EBS Program?
Wisconsin's Elder Benefit Specialist Program is a statewide program that offers counseling, assistance, and advocacy in the area of public benefits, health insurance, and consumer law to people who are 60 or older. Benefit specialists are primarily located in county aging offices, which in some counties are part of the human or social service department or an aging and disability resource center. Although located in the county aging office, benefit specialists are trained and their casework supervised by attorneys who specialize in elder law and public benefits. Their services are free, although donations to defray some of the costs associated with the program are welcomed.
Who Can They Help?
Benefit specialists can help older people who just want to know more about any private or public benefit, those who need help in organizing the paperwork and applying for benefits, or those who have been denied a benefit that they think they are entitled to receive.
What Can They Help With?
Examples of programs and issues on which benefit specialists provide assistance are: Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicaid, SeniorCare, Medicare supplement and other health insurance coverage, uncovered health costs, Social Security, SSI, SSI-E, FoodShare, other income benefits, housing benefits and problems, community-based long-term care, debt collection, fraudulent sales, and other consumer problems.
Benefit/Entitlement Information and Resources
How to Choose an Attorney
Medicaid Fact Sheet: Planning for Funeral and Burial Expenses
State Bar of Wisconsin
State of Wisconsin Access Website
Wisconsin Board on Aging and Long-Term Care
Wisconsin Department of Health Services