Benefit Specialist

Program Contact
Laura Schimberg (ages 60+) or
Cathy Bonvicini (ages 18-59)

Ph: 262-284-8120
Toll Free: 866-537-4261

A Benefit Specialist is a person trained to help older adults or adults with disabilities who are having a problem with their private or government benefits by cutting through the "red tape" of the various federal, state, and county systems. They help figure out what benefits they are entitled to and tell them what they must do to receive them. The ADRC of Ozaukee County Benefit Specialists receive on-going training in the areas of benefit and entitlement programs, as well as legal issues affecting older adults. A SeniorLaw Attorney provides supervision and support to the Elder Benefit Specialist, a GWAAR attorney provides supervision and support for the Disability Benefit Specialist. 

Eligibility


Ozaukee County residents who are having a problem securing a public or private benefit are eligible for help from the ADRC of Ozaukee County Benefit Specialist.

Who should seek help from the Benefit Specialist?
Persons who:
  • Have been denied a benefit that they think they are entitled to receive
  • Need help organizing the paperwork and applying for benefits
  • Want to know more about their benefits
The Benefit Specialist is an advocate who can:
  • Advocate on the person's behalf with other involved parties.
  • Explain benefit programs and qualifications.
  • Explain what legal action or other possible solution is required and, if necessary, make a referral to an attorney or other agency.
  • Help cut the "red tape" of complicated paperwork by providing assistance and accurate information over the phone or in person.
  • Suggest actions that can be taken to secure benefits or appeal negative decisions related to public benefits and insurance payments.
Representation may take the form of paper reviews and reconsideration through the appeals process, including in-person hearing before an administrative law judge or a hearing officer.

In which specific areas can a person expect assistance from the Benefit Specialist?


Services provided include information, assistance, and advocacy on a variety of topics, including such area as:
  • Consumer / Finance - Collection practices and unfair sales practices or fraud
  • Disability Applications - Disability appeals or benefits
  • Health Care - Medicare, Medicare Supplement Insurance, Medicare Part D/advantage plans, WI SeniorCare, billing problems, and Medicaid.
  • Housing - Landlord / tenant issues
  • Income Maintenance - Social Security / Disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Energy Assistance, and Food Stamps
  • Medicare 101 Workshop - Informational workshops for those nearing retirement, recently retired, or with general questions about programs. (Registration required)
The Ozaukee County Elder Benefit Specialist Program is funded by Title III of the Federal Older Americans Act, the State of Wisconsin Elder Benefit Assistance Program, Ozaukee County, and donations. Because Ozaukee County's Elder Benefit Specialist Program is operated under the Older American's Act's guidelines, there are no charges for services. Donations are accepted and encouraged in order to provide additional services to clients.