The Center for Benefits Access helps organizations enroll seniors and younger adults with disabilities with limited means into the benefits programs for which they are eligible so that they can remain healthy and improve the quality of their lives.

The Center accomplishes its mission by:

  • Providing tools and resources that help local, state, and regional organizations to find, counsel, and assist seniors and younger adults with disabilities to apply for and enroll in the benefits for which they may be eligible.
  • Generating and disseminating new knowledge about best practices and cost effective strategies for benefits outreach and enrollment.

Benefits programs

Along with its partners, the Center works to maximize enrollment in a variety of public and private benefits. Our main programs of interest are:

  • Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS)
  • Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly known as Food Stamps)
  • Medicaid
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAPs, where they exist)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

Funding

The Center for Benefits Access is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living (ACL). The content and view expressed herein are those of NCOA and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, ACL.

Grantee support

The Center is the national resource center for grantees under the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA).

We also establish and support Benefits Enrollment Centers (BECs) across the country.

Training and technical assistance

The Center can offer training and technical assistance on a wide range of benefits access issues. We do this through several means:

  • Webinars on topics including changes to benefits programs, strategies for outreach and enrollment, Medicare benefits, and more.
  • Conferences and workshops at numerous national, regional, and state conferences throughout the year.
  • Publications, including case studies, promising practices, success stories, and other periodic reports. The majority of these publications can be found in our Resource Library and Promising Practices Clearinghouse.
  • Data visualization tools that help professionals understand areas of need in their communities.
  • Individualized support.

Contact us

  • Leslie Fried, Director, Center for Benefits Access
  • Lura Barber, Director, Senior Hunger Initiatives; Contact regarding: SNAP, pension rights, online benefits application systems
  • Brandy Bauer, Communications Manager; Contact regarding: publications, website, promising practices, media
  • Maggie Flowers, Senior Program Manager; Contact regarding: BECs, Savvy Saving Seniors, Economic Security Initiative
  • Erin Kee, Program Specialist; Contact regarding: Senior SNAP Initiative
  • Conor McGovern, Senior Program Associate – Research; Contact regarding: MIPPA, data reporting and analysis
  • Barbara Shaheed, Senior Coordinator; Contact regarding: logistical and administrative support, including webinar registration
  • Melissa Simpson, Program Manager; Contact regarding: MIPPA technical assistance, Medicare and policy questions

General inquiries can be directed to centerforbenefits@ncoa.org.