Erin Rogers, Social Service Coordinator
Maggie Gundersen, Social Service Coordinator
Fuel Assistance - Applications are now here for fuel assistance through Self Help Incorporated. To submit an application, residents must meet with a Senior Center Social Services Coordinator. Please call the senior center to make an appointment. Prior to that meeting, please review this checklist and bring the appropriate information with you to your meeting in order to expedite your application process. Supplemental fuel assistance is also available through the Bellingham-Hopedale-Franklin Supplemental Fuel Assistance Program. Please call the senior center for information.
The MASS Health Buy-In can pay for your Medicare Part B premium if you qualify. Seniors are eligible if monthly income before taxes and deductions for individuals is below $1,313 and assets are below $7,080. For married couples, combined monthly income is below $1,765 and assets are below $10,620. For more information, call Erin Rogers at the number below.
MA Senior Legal Helpline - The Helpline provides FREE legal information, advice and referral services for Massachusetts senior citizens in most areas of civil law, including: Social Security, SSI, Veterans Benefits, consumer issues, Mass Health, Medicare, public benefits, unemployment, foreclosures, guardianship, powers of attorney, bankruptcy, evictions, landlord/tenant, utilities, domestic relations, and long-term care. Call 1-866-778-0939.
Transportation for Medical Appointments to Boston, Worcester and other destinations is now available with GATRA through Kiessling Transit; call 800 698-7676.
Applications For The Following Programs & Benefits Are Available At The Franklin Senior Center: Food Stamps, Handicapped Placards, Homestead Act, Health Care Proxy, Mass Health, Prescription Advantage, and the Elder Home Repair Program; please call for more information.
Tax Deferrals for Senior Home Owners: Seniors (65 years of age or older) who meet certain income guidelines can defer property taxes until they sell their property or pass away. The Town of Franklin now allows elders who are in the tax deferral program to defer water and sewer charges, and betterment fees. For more information about the deferral process, please call the Senior Center or the Assessor’s Office.
You may also qualify for the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit of up to $1,070 if you pay more than 10% of your income in real estate taxes and water and sewer bills. Seniors 65 or over whose property taxes (or 25% of your rent) exceed 10% of their gross annual income may be eligible for a tax credit for this year and the past three years - even if they’ve never filed Massachusetts state income tax forms. Property owners can add 50% of water and sewer fees (if they’re not in your property tax bill) to the total taxes paid. Those who qualify receive the amount by which their taxes exceed 10% of income, up to a maximum of $1070 for tax year 2015, but taxes must be filed to earn this tax credit. For assistance in filing for this credit, call Erin Rogers at 508 520-4945.
SHINE (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders): For information about health insurance issues, call to make an appointment with our SHINE counselor.
Prescription Advantage: Prescription Advantage is a state-run program which helps many seniors pay for their prescription drugs. Eligibility is based on income only and there is no asset limit! If you are a Massachusetts resident, eligible for Medicare, and are:
65 years or older with an annual income at or less than $58,350 for a single person or $78,650 for a married couple
Under 65 years and disabled, with an annual income at or less than $21,940 for a single person or $29,572 for a married couple.
If you are 65 years or older and not eligible for Medicare, you can also join and there is no income limit. There is no charge for joining Prescription Advantage, if you have an annual income at or less than $35,010 for a single person and $47,190 for a married couple. There is a $200 per person annual enrollment fee for those with higher incomes. Call Prescription Advantage today to enroll on the phone or ask for an application form. You can reach Prescription Advantage at 1-800-AGE-INFO (1-800-243-4636), then press or say 2.
Veterans' Benefits: There has been an increase in the amount of Property Tax Exemptions available to certain Disabled Veterans or their survivors. Please call Dale Kurtz, Veterans Agent (508 520-4973) for more information, or to learn more about Veteran’s benefits.
Project Lifesaver provides a wrist bracelet with a radio transmitter to individuals with dementia who are at risk for wandering off. Should the individual wander, the caregiver notifies the police, and a search and rescue team is deployed with a mobile radio receiver to track the signal. To date, all the individuals wearing Project Lifesaver wrist bands have been retrieved safely within 30 minutes. The program is sponsored by the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Office along with TRIAD and the Franklin Rotary has made a generous donation to Project Lifesaver to help serve Franklin residents. The Franklin Police Department has been trained in search and rescue protocol for this program by the Sheriff's office. The cost for the program is nominal and can be waived for low income individuals. For more information, call the Council on Aging at 508 520-4945.
Elder Abuse most likely comes from someone the elder knows. Anyone can report elder abuse with immunity from civil and criminal liability that could result from making a report as long as they report in good faith. Call the Elder Abuse Hotline at 1-800-922-2275.