- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 17 January 2019
Benefits counselors with LifePath are volunteers who assist elders and people with disabilities with learning about the benefits to which they are entitled and filling out applications.
“LifePath focuses so much on helping the elders stay as independent as they can in their lives,” says one volunteer benefits counselor.
“It’s just nice to be able to reassure them that there is help out there,” says another.
Volunteer benefits counselors from all over Franklin County and the four Worcester County towns of Athol, Petersham, Phillipston, and Royalston in the North Quabbin help their neighbors access benefits programs offering assistance with home repair, weatherization, fuel assistance, disability modifications, foreclosure protection, utility discounts, and SNAP (food stamps). Usually meeting in an elder’s home or other setting of their choice, the counselors will work with an elder to assess their needs, explain what they can expect, help gather the necessary paperwork, and begin application processes.
Benefits counselors agree that LifePath has been a supportive setting for their volunteer experience. “I feel like I can call on somebody,” says one volunteer. Volunteers receive initial training and continue to grow their knowledge with workshops throughout the year.
Volunteers who are interested in assisting with administrative tasks in LifePath’s Greenfield office are also needed in the Benefits Counseling program.