Innovations in Benefits Outreach Contest Winners Spotlighted at the HCBS Conference

On August 27, 2019, ADvancing States and NCOA honored the award winners for the Innovations in Benefits Outreach: National Contest to Identify Promising Practices in Benefits Outreach to Persons with Disabilities and Older Adults. ADvancing States is pleased to announce that the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services, and Feeding the Gulf Coast accepted their awards and gave presentations about their promising practices at ADvancing State’s 2019 National HCBS Conference.

About the Awardees

The New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services, a state agency serving older adults and persons with disabilities in New Jersey, was selected for the first-place award. New Jersey designed and launched NJSave, an online application to help low-income older adults and individuals with disabilities save on medical care, prescriptions, and other living expenses. New Jersey’s online portal and outreach strategy provide an opportunity to educate and reach more eligible individuals and increase enrollment in benefit programs.

Feeding the Gulf Coast, a non-profit organization serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and other clients in Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida Panhandle, was selected for the second-place award. Feeding the Gulf Coast’s food bag program increased the number of people willing to apply for benefits. The food bag program provides an opportunity to reach individuals who may have previously been hesitant to seek benefits assistance.

Martha Roherty, ADvancing State’s Executive Director, commented, “We are delighted to recognize the New Jersey Division of Aging Services and Feeding the Gulf Coast for their innovative practices that assist older adults and persons with disabilities by connecting them to key public benefit programs. These programs help to improve the financial well-being of individuals, families, and communities. The identification and sharing of promising practices strengthen our understanding of successful outreach strategies. Showcasing these organizations and their practices raises awareness of strategies to increase access to benefit programs.”

About the Contest

ADvancing States and NCOA hosted an Innovations in Benefits Outreach national contest in the spring of 2019 to identify and disseminate promising practices in benefits outreach to persons with disabilities and older adults. Organizations that serve persons with disabilities and older adults play a key role in connecting individuals to benefits that can help them pay for medical care, prescription drugs, food, and heating for their homes. By providing outreach and assistance, disability and aging organizations help to raise awareness and increase enrollment into benefit programs. National, state, and local organizations were encouraged to think broadly about the many ways that they reach out to, engage, educate, and assist individuals in need of benefits assistance. This contest recognizes organizations for their outstanding work in benefits outreach.

CONTACT: Samantha Gardner, 202-898-2578

News date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019