Refusing to give up on a vulnerable older adult
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Refusing to give up on a vulnerable older adult


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Learn more about the two-year Economic Security Initiative demonstration, and other clients who were helped in communities across the country.

Mr. K, 61, came to the Economic Security Initiative (ESI) through a referral from an AgeOptions Information and Assistance counselor. He had no income, was in desperate need of medication, and had not made a mortgage payment in many months.

No stranger to social service agencies, Mr. K had trouble keeping appointments because of a traumatic brain injury and severe rheumatoid arthritis. He had no insurance, had tried unsuccessfully to get Social Security Disability benefits, and could not afford transportation to the county hospital. Many counselors had given up on him in frustration because they would provide him with extensive assistance, but due to his disability, he was unable to follow through on anything he promised.

14 hours = $18,000 in benefits

An ESI counselor connected Mr. K to an attorney to represent him in his disability case. He was finally approved for SSDI and now earns $1,147 monthly. The counselor also helped Mr. K enroll into patient assistance programs and secure an interim dosage of his medication from a local doctor’s office before his application was approved.

The ESI counselor straightened out his food stamp case so that he was able to receive $200 in monthly benefits. An application was completed for the Health Benefits for Workers with Disabilities program and once that is approved, he should get health benefits from the state of Illinois. He was also enrolled in the PACE Para-Transit system, so he is able to get transportation to and from his medical appointments.

After spending over 14 hours working with Mr. K, the counselor helped him secure benefits valued at over $18,000/yr. Mr. K reported that he has added weight to his thin frame, is taking his medications regularly, and has begun to make mortgage payments again.

Mr. K is displaying better cognitive ability as well. He now follows through with the tasks he needs to accomplish, is an active member of his church, and has reported that he has started dating someone. He is overjoyed with the difference the ESI program has made in his life.


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