Welcome to Vilas County Commission on Aging

The Vilas County Commission on Aging provides supportive and advocacy services to county residents 60 and older to meet their community needs.

What is a Benefit Specialist?

A benefit specialist is a person trained to help older persons understand and access private or government benefits. Benefit specialists are often called "red tape cutters" because they help older persons with the extensive and complicated paperwork that is often required of benefit programs. They assist older persons to determine what benefits they are entitled to and what they must do to receive them. Benefit Specialists receive ongoing training and are monitored by attorneys knowledgeable in elder law. The attorneys are also available to assist older persons in need of legal advice on certain benefit matters.

Who Should Seek Help from a Benefit Specialist?

Older persons who want to know more about any private or public benefit; Older persons who need help in organizing the paperwork and applying for benefits; or Older persons who have been denied a benefit they think they are entitled to receive.

What Can a Benefit Specialist Help You With?

Who is Eligible for Benefit Specialist Services?

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

What Does a Benefit Specialist Service Cost?

The program is supported with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the federal Older Americans Act. There is no charge for the services but persons assisted by the program are encouraged to make a donation towards the cost of the service. All donated funds will be used to expand the service. Service will not be refused or limited in any way if a contribution is not made.

Who Provides Benefit Specialist Services?

The services of the benefit specialist are either provided directly, or contracted to another agency by county and tribal aging units. The area agencies on aging are responsible for contracting for attorney support for benefit specialists. The State Bureau of Aging & Long Term Care Resources in the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services coordinates the program statewide.