By the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) – Area Agency on Aging
Eligibility, Process & Cost
For what services am I eligible?
The services available to you depend on many different factors, including your age, where you live, and your assets and income. Based on these requirements, some services may not be available to you, or may be available to you for a cost.
It can be difficult to determine whether you are eligible for a service on your own. If you live in the Atlanta region, you can give us a call and our skilled counselors will answer your eligibility questions at no cost. Empowerline serves the City of Atlanta as well as Cherokee County, Clayton County, Cobb County, DeKalb County, Douglas County, Fayette County, Fulton County, Gwinnett County, Henry County, and Rockdale County. If you don’t live in the Atlanta region, you can find an agency to help you on n4a.org.
Where do I start?
The process is a little different for each service, but there are typically three steps:
Step 1. Contact Empowerline
We can help you understand the right services for your situation and how to access the support you need. You can reach one of our trained counselors and ask for help for yourself or a loved one. Our counselors are trained experts, certified by the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems.
Just pick up the phone or click on our live chat feature. Before you connect, be prepared to share the date of birth and any goals, symptoms, conditions, or obstacles for yourself or the person for whom you are calling. If you would like to access services paid for by public funds, the counselor may ask you for information regarding the income and available resources of the older person or individual with disabilities who need access to services.
You are in safe hands. Our systems are secure and your information will be kept entirely confidential – our counselors comply with federal privacy rules. We will not share any of your information without your permission.
Step 2. We will connect you
Together, we will determine the resources and services that best fit your needs. If you are able to pay privately, we will provide you with information on how to contact service providers to meet your goals and needs.
If you need assistance paying for services, we will schedule a 30 to 45-minute screening to make sure you are eligible. For the screening, be prepared to share information on your financial situation, any existing insurance policies, and your day-to-day activities for which you need assistance.
There is often high demand for publicly funded services. Because of this, even if you are eligible to receive no-cost or reduced-cost assistance, you may be placed on a needs-based waiting list – but we won’t forget about you. If you are on the waitlist for a long time, we will check back in to reassess your situation and determine whether you need to be moved higher on the list. You can also contact us at any time to let us know if your situation has changed.
Step 3. Receive assistance
If you are paying privately, you can usually contact a service provider immediately to get services started.
If you need no-cost or reduced-cost assistance, when funding becomes available to assist you, we will give you a call within one week. A representative (called a “case manager”) will visit you to conduct a final face-to-face assessment, work with you to determine the exact services you need and then work to get services started so you can begin to receive the help you need. Your case manager can continue to keep tabs on you – as your or your care partner’s needs change, we will follow up to see if there is any additional support we can identify for your situation.
How much do the services cost and how do I pay for them?
It costs nothing to contact Empowerline and explore your options. The costs of services depend on which services you need and your financial situation. Support can be funded by your own income or savings, by public funds, by an insurance company, by veterans benefits or other publicly funded programs, or by your caregivers. You have three cost options to receive long-term solutions:
No cost – If you meet low-income requirements, you may be able to receive all the help you need at no cost.
Cost-shared – If you do not meet low-income requirements but still cannot afford the full cost of a service, you may be able to receive the help you need at a reduced cost.
Full cost – If you are able to pay for the full cost of a service, we can provide you with information regarding how to access a service and the necessary payment methods.
Call our phone line to speak with a skilled counselor who can help you identify the best solution to fit your financial needs, or read more on how to manage paying for your care.
This article was originally published by ARC’s Empowerline. To learn more, visit https://www.empowerline.org/.
This information is brought to you by a RRF Foundation on Aging grant received by the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians and the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) – Agency on Aging.