The ‘Older Adult Programming and Event Specialist’ will help seniors who need assistance navigating online applications and other services and programs.
In response to the growing needs of seniors who utilize assistance programs through the State of Illinois, Elk Grove Township has introduced a new position in their Social Services Department – the Older Adult Programming and Event Specialist. Among the programs available to seniors are SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), LIHEAP (Low Income Heating and Energy Assistance Program), LIWAP (Low Income Water Assistance Program) and SHIP (Senior Health Insurance Program) for Medicare, among others.
“Many of our government assistance programs now require applications to be completed online, and a good number of our senior folks have difficulty with this – so now we have a dedicated person to help them through the process,” said Corey Dewey, Social Services and Outreach Director with Elk Grove Township.
While assistance is provided, the Township does not process applications on behalf of seniors – but can be there to help after the application is completed if any issues arise.
Guidance can also be provided regarding Medicare eligibility and applications through SHIP. Seniors are given information about health plans that best fit their needs, relative to their budget, availability of doctors, and prescriptions.
Dewey says there are some programs that seniors may not think they qualify for, but should apply regardless.
“If you qualify for LIHEAP, you can get assistance with ComEd or Nicor bills. While eligibility is based on income, a lot of people don’t apply because they have not fallen behind in their bill payments yet,” Dewey said. “Even if they are not behind, the benefit is intended to help low income residents utilize their income in different ways through grants that can credit future bills.”
Individuals who want to apply for benefits through LIHEAP can call the Township at 224-265-6111 to get pre-screened for eligibility. The State will begin processing applications in the beginning of September – so don’t wait!
The Township Food Pantry is also available to seniors and any Township resident who is experiencing food insecurity. The pantry recently extended its hours so that more residents, including those who work during the day, can take advantage. For those who want to select their own items, the pantry is now open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays from 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., and on Tuesdays from 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. On Mondays and Fridays, pre-packaged food is available for pickup between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at the Township building, 600 Landemeier Road in Elk Grove Village.
Another upcoming service provided through the Township and available to all residents (regardless of income), is the Secretary of State Mobile Unit on Tuesday, October 4 when driver’s license and State ID renewals can be completed, along with hearing and vision screenings conducted by the Lions Club. For more information, please call the Township at 847-437-0300.