About Benefit Specialists
Our Benefit Specialists can help adults who are elderly or disabled in accessing both private and public programs and benefits, and provide information about consumer rights. They can provide information and advocacy on a wide range of issues and assist with the application and/or appeal process for public and private benefits.
A Benefit Specialist is an advocate who can help “cut the red tape,” which can often be a barrier for persons trying to understand whether they are eligible for assistance. They can also assist persons who have been denied benefits and need to appeal a decision. They can help negotiate with public agencies, medical offices, or insurance companies to assist in the resolution of problems. Many of the benefit issues that seniors and adults with disabilities face are very complex. Benefit Specialists assess the situation and lay out options so that persons can make an informed decision.
We have two types of Benefit Specialists, a Disability Benefit Specialist and an Elder Benefit Specialist. All files, correspondence and conservations with the Benefit Specialists will remain confidential. You may be asked to sign a release of information so the Benefit Specialist can inquire on your behalf. There is no charge for the services provided by the Benefit Specialists.
Disability Benefit Specialist
The Disability Benefit Specialist specializes in assisting persons aged 18-59 with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance use disorders to attain access to needed benefits and programs and can begin working with a youth aged 17 years and 9 months.
How can Disability Benefit Specialists help you?
o Provide information on public and private benefits and programs
o Assist in determining eligibility for benefits and programs you may be entitled to
o Help you fill out applications for benefits, programs and services
o Provide assistance in obtaining or retaining benefits and services
o Provide referrals, assistance and support on other matters including disability rights and the impact of earnings on financial eligibility for public benefits
o In some cases, you may receive representation in formal appeals related to denials of eligibility, termination of benefits or overpayment of public and private benefits
What programs can a Disability Specialist help with?
o Medicaid (Medical Assistance)
o Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
o Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
o Medicare, including Part D
o Prescription drug assistance
o Insurance issues
o Housing and utility issues
o Low-income tax credits
Elder Benefit Specialist
How can Elder Benefit Specialists help you?
o Provide accurate and current information on your benefits
o Suggest alternative actions to secure benefits or appeal denial of benefits
o Advocate on your behalf with the other parties involved
o Explain what legal action or other possible solution is required
What programs can a Elder Specialist help with?
o Medicare and Medicare Supplemental Insurance
o Medical Assistance (MA) and Low Income Subsidy Programs (QMB, SLMB, SLMB+)
o Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
o Senior Care and Medicare Part D
o FoodShare and Energy Assistance
o Other legal, benefit and consumer problems
How do I contact a Benefit Specialist?
All it takes to contact the Disability or Elder Benefit Specialist is a phone call. Some questions can be answered over the phone. Appointments can be made to meet at the office of the Benefit Specialist or arrangements may also be made for home visits. Please call the ADRC to speak with a Benefit Specialist at 608-723-6113.
Helpful Links & Hotline Numbers
>Disability Benefit Specialist Brochure
>Medicare (open 24/7 except on holidays): 800-633-4227
>Social Security Administration: 800-772-1213 or TTY: 608-723-6313
>Disability Rights of Wisconsin
>Greater Wisconsin Agency on Resources, Inc.
>Medigap Helpline: 800-242-1060
>Part D Helpline: 866-456-8211