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Benefits Counselors
Who are they and do I need one?

By Sandra Fusion, Staff Writer
(Page 3 of 3)

Where do they work?

Benefits counselors do not always work for the AAA. Because the AAAs were empowered by the Older Americans Act, you can search for a certified benefits counselor through these agencies. However, there are other organizations that employ benefits counselors. Some of these examples include your local human service offices, county welfare offices, and community-based organizations that serve the elderly and/or disabled.

Another method you can use to find a benefits counselor is by calling an information and referral helpline. In more than 46 percent of the United States, you can dial 2-1-1 and reach a trained professional who can identify organizations in your community where benefits counselors work. If your area does not have access to 2-1-1, usually there is one point of entry into the human service system. Some places call it a helpline while others call it information and referral. To find out if your community has access to 2-1-1, you can look online at www.211.org. The nationwide status map can also give insight into where to call if your area is not served by 2-1-1.

Learning about available benefits for yourself or someone else can be challenging. For this reason alone, it is important to have a trained professional review your situation and point out avenues you may not have considered investigating.

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