New Bedford Organizations Making Seniors Aware of Benefits
New Bedford's Council On Aging and Coastline Elderly Services are teaming up to deliver financial benefits to local seniors.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that only 2 out of every 5 seniors that are eligible for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits are enrolled in the program.
Debra Lee, Director of the City's Council On Aging tells WBSM News many seniors either don't know they're eligible, or are hesitant to collect benefits. "They're so used to doing (things) for themselves and 'somebody else needs it more than I do.' And a lot of them are really struggling....It's a pride issue. But SNAP benefits, like Social Security, are something they're entitled to," says Lee.
The COA and Coastline are now meeting with seniors throughout the city, and screening them for eligibility with the National Council On Aging's online BenefitsCheckUp Tool.