Benefits Counseling and Application Assistance, Information and Referral
Services include health insurance counseling, application assistance for home energy programs offered by Community Action Pioneer Valley, and help with accessing food, meals, and volunteer help with shopping. Outreach workers can answer some questions about services for older people and their caregivers. If we don't know the answer, we will refer you to another community organization or government department.
Outreach Coordinators are available to meet with individuals, groups and families at their Easthampton work site, the Enrichment Center or at an Easthampton residence. This program is a free public service, funded through the City of Easthampton.
Please call 413-527-6151 to speak with our Outreach Coordinators. Home visits to home bound Easthampton seniors, caregivers and family members by appointment. Flexible hours available.
Some services are scheduled through the Reception desk (press zero), some directly with Outreach (press 136 or 137).
Health Insurance Counseling
- SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) Program: provides free health insurance information and counseling to all Massachusetts residents with Medicare and their caregivers. People who have Medicare or who are about to become eligible for Medicare can meet with a counselor to learn about benefits and options available. An ECOA Outreach SHINE counselor will review programs that help people with limited income to pay health care costs.
- MassHealth: The ECOA can provide information about applications. See a Certified MassHealth Counselor to help you manage your application.
- To learn more about how to access MassHealth: https://www.mass.gov/information-for-masshealth-applicants
- For the Senior Guide to Health Care Coverage: https://www.mass.gov/doc/senior-guide-to-health-care-coverage-4/download
- For a Certified MassHealth counselor:
- Cooley Dickinson Hospital Hampshire Health Connect Financial Counselors (by phone only)
Home Energy Programs- Connecting you with Community Action Fuel Assistance
- Outreach staff will help you fill out an application and maintain certification for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Known commonly as Fuel Assistance, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides eligible households with help in paying a portion of winter heating bills. Now taking applications through 4/30/22 for FUEL ASSISTANCE COVERAGE 11/1/21-4/30/22.
- Outreach staff will connect you with the Heating System Repair & Replacement Program (HEARTWAP). The Heating System Repair and Replacement Program provides emergency heating system repair and replacement services to low-income households.
- Outreach staff will connect you with the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program provides eligible households with full-scale home energy conservation services. THIS PROGRAM HAS A WAITING LIST.
- Outreach staff can help you fill out an application for limited emergency fuel assistance funds distributed by the Friends of the Council on Aging. Amounts are between $300 to $500 and first time applicants are prioritized.
Outreach staff can help you with:
- Learning to shop for groceries online with your EBT card
- Connecting with volunteers who can help pick up and deliver groceries and prescription or go shopping with you
- Highland Valley Elder Services meals (for those not using Meals on Wheels)
- Information about food assistance
- Senior Fruit Share
- Brown Bag Delivery from the Food Bank
- Using the Food Pantry at Easthampton Community Center
- Using your HIP benefit