Inaugural national campaign connects eligible older adults to billions in benefits
Arlington, VA (July 1, 2020) – The National Council on Aging (NCOA), a trusted national leader working to ensure every person can age well, is partnering with community-based organizations nationwide to launch Boost Your Budget™ Week, July 13-17, 2020.
The first-ever national campaign leverages people power and digital power to connect thousands of eligible older adults to billions of dollars in federal, state, and local benefits to help them pay for daily needs.
An estimated $30 billion in public and private benefits go unclaimed every year because older adults don’t know about them or how to apply. Boost Your Budget Week aims to enroll older adults who are struggling to make ends meet into benefits that help them afford food, medicine, rent, utilities, and more.
“We believe no older adult should have to choose between paying for food or paying for medicine at the end of the month,” said Josh Hodges, NCOA Chief Customer Officer. “Every person has the right to age in their community with dignity and economic security—and having access to benefits can make all the difference, even more so during a global pandemic.”
As part of Boost Your Budget Week, staff and volunteers at dozens of community-based organizations around the country are educating older adults about benefits and helping them apply. These local agencies are part of NCOA’s national network of Benefits Enrollment Centers, funded through the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL).
Staff and volunteers are using NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp® to screen older adults for benefits. BenefitsCheckUp is a free online tool that features more than 2,500 benefits programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps), the Medicare Low-Income Subsidy, Medicare Savings Programs, and tax relief. Since 2001, 8.7 million people have used BenefitsCheckUp to find over $35.7 billion in benefits.
“For older adults on fixed incomes, benefits can mean not having to cut pills in half or skip medication dosages, being able to afford nutritious food, and having the means to keep their home adequately heated or cooled,” said Hodges. “We’re leveraging people and technology, so older Americans don’t have to make that terrible choice.”
In addition to ACL, Anthem, Inc., a leading health benefits company, is supporting Boost Your Budget Week in several communities. “At Anthem, we are deeply committed to supporting individuals during this time of uncertainty and are here for the communities we serve,” said Bill Roth, President of Anthem’s Medicare business. “We proudly support this initiative because we are committed to providing access to the resources and tools people need, as well as improving the lives of people and the health of communities, in both good and challenging times.”
To start a free benefits screening, visit www.ncoa.org/Boost.
This project was supported, in part, by grant #90MINC0001-03-01 from the U.S. Administration on Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services, Washington DC 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a trusted national leader working to ensure that every person can age well. Since 1950, our mission has not changed: Improve the lives of millions of older adults, especially those who are struggling. NCOA empowers people with the best solutions to improve their own health and economic security—and we strengthen government programs that we all depend on as we age. Every year, millions of people use our signature programs BenefitsCheckUp®, My Medicare Matters®, and the Aging Mastery Program® to age well. By offering online tools and collaborating with a nationwide network of partners, NCOA is working to improve the lives of 40 million older adults by 2030. Learn more at ncoa.org and @NCOAging.