Vernon County

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What is a Benefit Specialist?

A Benefit Specialist is a person trained to help older persons who are having problems with their private or government benefits. Benefit Specialists are often called 'Red Tape Cutters' because they are experts at helping older persons with the extensive and complicated paperwork that is often required in benefit programs. They figure out what benefits seniors are entitled to and tell them what they must do to receive these benefits. Benefit Specialists are continually trained and monitored by attorneys knowledgeable in elder law. The attorneys are also available to assist older persons in need of legal representation on benefit matters.

Who is eligible for Benefit Specialist Services?

Anyone age 60 years or older who is having a problem in securing a public or private benefit is eligible for the Benefit Specialist Program.

Your Benefit Specialist Can:

  • Provide accurate and current information about your benefits.
  • Suggest alternative actions that you can take yourself to secure benefits or appeal denials of benefits.
  • Advocate on your behalf with the other parties involved.
  • Explain what legal action or other possible solution is required.
  • Refer you to an attorney.

What can a Benefit Specialist Help You With?

  • Medicare
  • Medicare Supplemental Insurance
  • Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI)
  • Social Security
  • Medical Assistance
  • Consumer Problems
  • Age Discrimination in Employment
  • Homestead Tax Credit Housing Problems
  • Supportive Home Services
  • Food Stamps is now Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
  • Veterans Administration Benefits
  • Other Legal and Benefit Problems

To contact Shelley Matson, Elderly Benefit Specialist call 608-637-5201 or e-mail