Term Benefits Assistance
Code FT-1000
Definition Programs that provide assistance for people who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining grants, payments, services or other benefits for which they are eligible. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counseling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
Created 3/8/94
Changed 3/6/18
Use References Benefits Advocacy
Benefits Counseling
Entitlement Counseling
See Also References Advocacy/Ombudsman Volunteer Opportunities (PX-1850.4000-030)
Benefits Screening (PH-0700)
Public Assistance Programs (NL)
External Classification Terms Claims Filing Assistance (UW
Legal, Consumer and Public Safety Services (USA LE-450)
Legal/Public Safety (CAN LP-450)
Legal Services (NTE I80)
Ombudsman for Income Security and Economic Opportunity (UW
Specialized Law Practice Areas (NPC I06)
Related Concepts Advocacy/Rights Protection
Ex-Offender/Reentry Services
Financial Services/Benefits
Facet Service
Comments NOTE: A lot of different types of programs help people complete and file application/enrollment forms for various types of benefits and/or are authorized, usually by contract, to do eligibility determinations for a specific program. Note that for some programs, eligibility determinations can only be handled by a government agency. With so many different types of players, it is sometimes difficult to decide which Taxonomy term to select. Here are some guidelines: Use the Benefits Assistance terms in the FT-1000 section for application assistance provided by programs devoted primarily to advocacy for people to ensure that they understand and receive the benefits for which they are eligible. Use Benefits Screening (PH-0700) for programs that provide application assistance in the context of a general assessment of an individual's eligibility for a wide variety of benefits. Use the application/enrollment terms in the NL and NS sections of the Taxonomy for both federal, state, provincial or county offices tasked with benefits application/enrollment processing and eligibility determinations. Use Certificates/Forms Assistance (FT-1020) for assistance with any of the wide variety of forms, certificates and other official documents that people need to read and understand or complete and file that do not have a high enough profile to be covered by a dedicated Taxonomy term. Specific to Health Insurance, use LH-3500.4900 Medicaid Information/Counseling (LH-3500.4900) and Medicare Information/Counseling (LH-3500.5000) for programs that offer information and guidance for people who may qualify for these benefits with the objective of empowering them to make informed choices. Help may include information about the programs themselves (eligibility requirements, specific benefits covered, rights of beneficiaries, coverage denials and appeals) as well as help with enrollment and assistance in completing related forms.
Bibliographic References

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