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Home >> Solve a Problem >> Benefits & Programs for Seniors

Benefits & Programs for Seniors
Assistance and Advocacy

Benefits are important tools to help seniors stay independent and healthy. Assistance is available to find programs for which a senior is eligible, to obtain benefits and to appeal a denial.

bullet Benefits Check-Up - NCOA
A Service of the National Council On the Aging

NCOA works with national sponsors and government agencies to offer this free service to anyone who wants to see if they may be eligible for public programs and services.

The BenefitsCheckUp is a 50-state (including the District of Columbia) online service to provide public benefit screening. There are hundreds of programs that help seniors in many ways. In fact there are more than 1,000 different benefit programs listed in the BenefitsCheckUp database, ranging from health coverage to supplemental income and help in paying utility bills. Millions of older adults are eligible for benefits, but are not receiving them.

Using BenefitsCheckUp means that you do not have to spend hours of your time searching government agencies to learn about the programs that match your circumstances. Go to BenefitsCheckUp now and find out about programs that may help you stay independent . Up arrow to top of page

bullet What's New

The National Senior Citizens Law Center publishes the latest updates affecting many benefits.

bullet AARP Benefit Update

The AARP Foundation's National Legal Training Project has published the 2003 Update of Public Benefits on their website for viewing or downloading in English and Spanish.

The Update provides figures for 12 public benefits, including Social Security Retirement, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, Medicare, Medicaid--Spousal Impoverishment, Railroad Retirement, QMB, SLMB, QI, QDWI, Food Stamps, and Veterans Benefits. 

bullet California Prescription Drug Discount Program for Medicare Recipients

California Medicare patients need pay no more than Medi-Cal prices for their prescription drugs, thanks to Senate Bill 393. The California Department of Health Services website offers detailed information about this California prescription drug discount program.

The page includes a Calculator for the Medi-Cal price of the top 200 most requested drugs and the full text of SB 393 law providing reduced prescription prices for California Medicare patients.

bullet The Multipurpose Senior Centers

The Multipurpose Senior Centers (MSC) act as a resource for many seniors, helping them gain access to information and assistance. 

Geriatric professionals assess the needs of frail clients, work with them and their families to develop appropriate plans and assist them in obtaining needed services and follow-up. They are familiar with resources and housing available in your community.

To review the list of comprehensive benefits and programs offered by the MSCs, please go to our MSC Services page

Our Find a Multipurpose Senior Center page can help you locate an MSC close to you. Up arrow to top of page

bullet Denial of Benefits

The following agencies can help you solve problems with benefits:

bulletYour local Multipurpose Senior Center (MSC)
is your first step to solving problems related to benefit application and denial. The MSC Case Manager is an expert who had probably encountered a similar problem before and who has established a good relationship with the various government agencies providing benefits for seniors. Up arrow to top of page
bulletBet Tzedek Legal Services
publishes extensive Consumer Guides including
* On-line Guide to Social Security Programs
* On-line Guide to Medicare

and assists low-income seniors who have difficulties obtaining, or are denied, government benefits. Up arrow to top of page
bulletLegal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles Benefits Unit
advocates on behalf of low-income people who have difficulties obtaining, or are denied, government benefits including:
* CALWorks (formerly known as AFCDC)
* Food Stamps
* Foster Care
* Medi-Cal, Medicare and other healthcare programs
* Social Security
* In-Home Supportive Services
* General Relief. Up arrow to top of page
bulletMembers of the U.S. House of Representatives
Your elected representative can help you resolve problems related to Federal benefits (like Social Security). To find your Congressperson, go to the "Write your Representative" page.

Up arrow to top of page


Inside This Page

bullet Benefits Check-Up from
  the National Council on
  Aging (NCOA)
What's new...
bullet AARP benefit update
bullet California discount
  drug program for
  Medicare recipients
The Multipurpose Senior
  Centers can also help
  seniors obtain benefits.
Denial of benefits

Useful Links

bullet Benefits Check-Up
The People's Guide
  to Welfare, health and
  other services
Bet Tzedek Legal Services
Legal Aid Foundation of
  Los Angeles - Benefits

Related Stories

bullet Community-based
  specialized senior
Staying independent
Low-cost and subsidized
  housing for seniors
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We hope you have found this Public Service Web Site to be helpful. Please verify the accuracy of any information or advice you find when using this site. Do not hesitate to
CONTACT US. We welcome your comments and are grateful for your bringing any needed corrections to our attention. 
This site was first published in April, 2001.

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