Duncan: Free benefits assistance interviews available in Sun City

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The Mission of the Sun City Community Assistance Network is to, “Connect people with resources to enhance their standard of living.”

In other words, Sun City CAN helps people save money on things like property taxes, income taxes, utilities, Medicare premiums, prescription drugs and other things.

Many benefits go unclaimed simply because people are unaware that the benefits exist. In an effort to shed light on some of the help that is available to low-income seniors, I will write a guest commentary each month about a different senior help program.

Assistance interviews

Sun City Community Assistance Network provides a variety of free services, but perhaps none is more valuable and appreciated than our Benefits Assistance program, which finds entitlements for our clients.

Trained counselors assist low-income residents find and apply for federal, state and local programs.

Typically, these are programs that the person does not know about. For instance, few people know that certain Arizona widows and widowers are eligible for a reduction of their property taxes or that single persons older than 65 with a monthly income less than $1.426 are entitled to free Medicare, or that some low-income renters can get a refund on the property taxes their landlord pays on their apartment or house.

Some of the programs that the counselors connect people with include utility discounts, prescription drug assistance, food stamps (now called SNAP), Medicare help, Social Security assistance, condo water rebate checks, free fire department lock boxes and others. The counselors also help with Social Security applications, signing up for Medicare and health insurance issues.

Low-income residents who are experiencing a documented crisis can also be eligible to have up to $800 paid on their APS bill or $400 on their Southwest Gas bill.

Last year, CAN’s Benefits Assistance counselors helped more than 500 people. It is simple, it is free, it is fast and it is private.

If you would like to schedule a free benefits assistance interview, call the Sun City CAN office at 623-933-7530. The CAN office is located at 10195 W. Coggins Ave., Sun City. You do not have to be a Sun City resident to schedule an appointment!

Editor’s Note: Hugh Duncan is Sun City CAN board president.

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