About the Center for Benefits Access

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.

Take a tour

Find out more about the Center’s activities and what it can offer by taking a tour of our website and Resource Library.

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)

We assist professionals and consumers to apply for and enroll in these programs both through personalized benefits counseling in their communities, and online via our free online screening tool, BenefitsCheckUp®.


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 views 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.
  • Presentations 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.
  • Updating and maintaining our online screening tool, BenefitsCheckUp®.
  • Individualized support.

Contact us

  • Leslie Fried, Senior Director, Center for Benefits Access
  • Brandy Bauer, Associate Director, Center for Benefits Access; Contact regarding: publications, website, promising practices
  • Angela Bonham, Program Associate; Contact for Northeast BEC/SNAP grantees
  • Randy Feliciano, Senior Program Manager; Contact for Western and Southwestern BEC/SNAP grantees, Center Advisory Committee
  • Ann Kayrish, Senior Program Manager; Contact regarding: Medicare policy, MIPPA TA
  • Erin Kee, Director of Programs; Contact regarding: Senior SNAP Initiative, BECs
  • Lauren Popham, Associate Director, Data Analysis and Evaluation; Contact regarding: Reporting, data
  • Barbara Shaheed, Senior Coordinator; Contact regarding: BenefitsCheckUp, logistical and administrative support, including contracts
  • Xavier Vaughn, Program Associate; Contact for Midwest and Southeastern BEC/SNAP grantees, grant reporting

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