In addition to providing information and referrals, several services are provided to qualified seniors, elderly, and disabled by the Area Agency on Aging in West Virginia. While most of the resources offer information, referrals and advice, some people are provided short term financial assistance for dealing with a crisis or an emergency.
West Virginia Free Senior Legal Aid includes counsel, representation, and advice. This resource is offered to individuals who are age 60 and older. Qualifications need to be met, including income. A focus is on those who are socially or economically disadvantaged, live in rural areas, and disabled seniors. Senior Legal Aid is an excellent resource for information on laws and regulations in West Virginia as well as outreach materials.
Legal aid can help with one or more of the following, including filing bankruptcy, debt collection, Consumer Issues, General Medicaid, Housing/Utilities, Social Security, Medicare, and Wills/Estate Planning services.
The Area Agency on Aging can help seniors apply for Low Income Energy Bill Assistance Program. Applications for this utility bill assistance program may be obtained at local West Virginia Community Action agencies, DHHR offices, or senior centers that will be operated by an Area Agency on Aging.
The federal government Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) assists eligible low income households with the cost of paying for their home heating or maybe even cooling bills. A focus is on helping seniors, the elderly, and disabled. Applicants of the program can receive payments to utility companies or direct cash payments on their behalf. A crisis component of LIHEAP is also available for low income or working poor households without resources facing the loss of a heating source. Eligibility for the West Virginia program is based on a combination and a wide number of factors, including total heating costs, household income, and their type of heating payment.
LIEAP is paid for by a federal block grant that is provided to the state of West Virginia. The program's total amount of the payment and duration is dependent on the amount of the federal government grant. Applicants who apply for LIEAP at an Area Agency on Aging office may be referred to Weatherization for additional assistance.
Food assistance for seniors are offered from two primary programs. They include transportation to grocery stores, physicians’ appointments, pharmacies, and the senior center. Free food and nutrition is also provided both in the home and at senior centers.
Medicaid Aged and Disabled Waiver offers community and in-home services to individuals 18 years of age and older who are financially or medically eligible. Medical eligibility is based on a functional assessment by a medical professional that coordinates with the WV Area Agency on Aging. Financial assistance and overall program eligibility is determined at the county Department of Health and Human Resources offices in the state.
Medicaid Personal Care also offers hands-on, in-home services to people who are determined to be financially and medically eligible. Medical assessment is completed by a local doctor or physician.
The West Virginia Lighthouse program was created to assist those seniors who have functional needs in their homes, but whose assets or income disqualify them for government health care including Medicaid services. The Lighthouse Program is available in each county in West Virginia. It is paid for and funded entirely by state monies. It provides support in four areas, including housekeeping, personal care, mobility, and food and nutrition.
West Virginia State Health Insurance Assistance Program offers families and individuals with objective, free, and confidential assistance. Aid is offered to West Virginia Medicare beneficiaries and their families, and SHIP can provide information about their Medicare benefits, medical debt and bill programs, supplement plans, Medicare supplement insurance companies and monthly rate comparisons, long-term care insurance plans. Some components may offer seniors help with paying Medicare costs. Call the SHIP program at 1-877-987-4463.
West Virginia SHIP is part of a wide network of national health insurance assistance programs, which receive financial assistance from the federal Medicare agency as well as Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Senior Centers operate in some towns and counties in West Virginia. They serve as one stop shop services, and provide assistance, information, and services to the elderly. The concept of Senior Centers came about so that citizens in these areas could stop by their local Area Agency on Aging or community office to apply for services and financial aid which includes Emergency Medication Assistance, Utility Assistance, Weatherization Services, Money for Security Deposits, and Short and Medium Term Rental Assistance.
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