Programs that provide assistance for people who are having difficulty understanding and/or obtaining grants, payments, services or other benefits for which they are eligible. The programs may help people understand the eligibility criteria for benefits, the benefits provided by the program, the payment process and the rights of beneficiaries; provide consultation and advice; help them complete benefits application forms; negotiate on their behalf with benefits administration staff; and/or represent them in administrative processes or judicial litigation. Included are benefits counselling organizations that offer a range of advocacy services and legal aid programs that offer more formalized legal assistance.
Programs that offer an interactive decision support process that helps individuals in need of long term care and their families understand their strengths, needs, preferences and unique circumstances and weigh the pros and cons of available alternatives. The consultation includes a discussion of the factors to consider when making long term care decisions, information about the range of long term care support options available in their community (such as personal care, transportation and medication management) and resources that can help them pay for services. The program also provides decision support to help identify next steps in the process and help in connecting with services, if needed. The service is generally available to older adults and adults of any age who have a disability; can be of benefit to people using their own resources to pay for services; and may be provided over the telephone or in person (at home, at an agency, in a hospital, at a rehabilitation or nursing facility or in another setting of the person's choosing). The objective of the program is to allow people to live as independently as possible in the setting of their choice.
Programs that provide financial assistance in the form of cash grants or purchase of services for eligible low-income and indigent individuals and families to ensure that they have a basic income and access to essential medical, nutritional and supportive services.
Programs that provide assistance for people who are experiencing an unexpected financial crisis and have insufficient resources to obtain essential services or to meet expenses in situations where financial assistance related to their specific circumstance is unavailable. Monetary assistance may be in the form of immediate cash, loans, cheques or vouchers.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.