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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 3392 (June 24, 2023).

6 Pa. Code § 20.33. Benefits counseling.

§ 20.33. Benefits counseling.

 (a)  General.

   (1)  The family-centered assessment of caregiving needs and stresses required under §  20.32 (relating to assessments and care management) forms the basis for the provision of comprehensive counseling about resources and benefits appropriate to meet the specific needs of each caregiving family. This includes Federal, State and local, formal and informal resources and assistance in gaining access to these resources.

   (2)  Caregivers may be people from a wide range of family circumstances. The benefit and resource information relevant to a caregiver’s needs may be different from that which is relevant to traditional area agency on aging clients. Benefits counseling may need to assist caregivers in securing resources to address a wide variety of problems in areas ranging from day care for young children to mental health, drug and alcohol abuse or vocational rehabilitation.

 (b)  Service activities. Benefits counseling services include the following activities:

   (1)  Review of existing assessment documentation, and intensive exploration of additional resources or entitlements, or both.

   (2)  Providing comprehensive relevant information regarding resources or making referrals to resources, or both. This may be through caseworker/client discussion, the provision of telephone contacts, pamphlets or direct referral.

   (3)  Exploring resources and benefits, including the following:

     (i)   MH/MR Programs.

     (ii)   Drug and alcohol programs.

     (iii)   Insurance programs/policies.

     (iv)   Specific disease related organizations—cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and the like.

     (v)   Support groups.

     (vi)   Veterans Administration programs.

     (vii)   Healthy Horizons.

     (viii)   Social Security.

     (ix)   SSI.

     (x)   Food Stamps.

     (xi)   PACE.

     (xii)   Property Tax/Rent Rebate.

     (xiii)   LIHEAP (energy assistance).

     (xiv)   Medical Assistance.

     (xv)   Housing programs.

     (xvi)   Weatherization programs.

     (xvii)   Community based soc/rec programs.

     (xviii)   Local city mission services.

     (xix)   Red Cross.

     (xx)   Lions Club.

     (xxi)   Blind Association.

     (xxii)   Transportation programs.

     (xxiii)   Food banks.

     (xxiv)   Community action programs.

     (xxv)   VISTA.

   (4)  Reviewing of medical supply needs and, in the absence of alternative sources, attempting to obtain supplies and equipment on behalf of the caregiver.

   (5)  Assisting with the completion of applications for public benefits programs, such as PACE, Property Tax and Rent Rebate, Veterans Administration benefits, housing programs, and the like.

   (6)  Following-up as appropriate.

 (c)  Exclusions. While benefits counseling may include the exploration of options, resources and services, as well as the potential consequences of either the use or lack of use of them, it may not include recommendations or advice to caregivers on specific providers of purchased services and supplies when there are specific choices available to them.

 (d)  In-service training. Staff assigned to the benefits counseling functions shall receive special in-service training in caregiving needs and available resources.

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