Beyond Food and Medicine: Other Benefits to Boost Your Budget


In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people used NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp® to get help to afford food and prescription medications during this troubling economic time.

While the economy is slowly recovering, it’s important to know that BenefitsCheckUp® can connect older adults, caregivers, and the professionals who serve them to a wide range of other financial and social supports. With thousands of public and private benefits programs, this free, confidential online tool can identify resources to boost your budget and participation in the community.

Employment, volunteering, and skills building

BenefitsCheckUp® contains dozens of employment programs that can help you to assess your career objectives and find a resource that can enhance your job search. You can also find assistance improving your potential employment through training and/or free online job search resources.

grandfather and grandson with milk

The Foster Grandparent Program is one of several volunteer opportunities you can learn about in BenefitsCheckUp.

If you’re not ready or wanting to reenter the paid workforce, there are a number of volunteer programs that will enable you to use your skills in service to your community:

  • The Senior Companion Program offers volunteer opportunities to provide community service activities serving seniors with physical, mental, or emotional impairments. Services may include short-term care assistance, non-medical personal care, and social or recreational activities.
  • The Foster Grandparent Program provides you with an opportunity to volunteer to help children with special needs.
  • If you are a business professional interested in being a mentor to others, there are two programs that may be of interest to you: Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) and Active Corps of Executives (ACE).

In addition, search BenefitsCheckUp for educational programs that can provide free college tuition, skills improvement, or other continuing education resources.

Help for caregivers

Caring for an older adult or person with disabilities can take its toll—emotionally, physically, and financially. Fortunately, there are programs that offer information and assistance specifically for caregivers.

If you have a loved one entering or residing in a long-term care facility, use BenefitsCheckUp® to connect to your local Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. This program can help you choose a long-term care facility, understand residents’ rights, and help if you or a family member has a problem in a long-term care facility.

BenefitsCheckUp® also contains dozens of programs that offer waivers or financial assistance to utilize adult day service programs and respite care, particularly for those with Alzheimer’s Disease. The screening tool includes information on programs that provide chore and homemaker services to seniors on a sliding fee scale.

Don’t discount other savings

Did you know that BenefitsCheckUp® also contains links to find discounts on recreational activities?

  • For individuals with disabilities, the America the Beautiful Access Pass offers a free lifetime entrance permit to visit national parks, monuments, and recreation areas which normally charge entrance fees. It also provides a discount on federal use fees for facilities and services such as: camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours.
  • Older adults aged 62+ can purchase a discounted America the Beautiful Senior Annual or Lifetime Passes to the National Parks & Federal Recreation Lands. These passes are for national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges which normally charge entrance fees.

Whether you’re looking to save money on critical needs such as health care, food, and housing, or looking for new opportunities for employment and socialization, BenefitsCheckUp® can help you identify a wide variety of programs that may meet your needs.

Conduct a screening now.

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