Community volunteers needed to assist with public benefit screenings

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is seeking volunteers to help low-income individuals apply for public benefits through its Mobile Benefit Bank program. The LAWO Mobile Benefit Bank has assisted more than 5,000 individuals, helping them receive more than $3.5 million in benefits since 2009. The prospect of people often dealing with issues like hunger, unemployment and utility shutoffs, find seeking help overwhelming. Many people, particularly seniors, are often reluctant to ask for assistance.

LAWO staff will train volunteers and supply them with mobile technology needed to access online software – the Ohio Benefit Bank. Volunteers will travel to area churches, libraries, senior centers and homeless shelters, to explain the process to those who are in need of assistance.

     How does the mobile bank work? LAWO Attorney, Lisa Mantel, supervisor of the Mobile Benefit Bank explains, “A client sits down with a volunteer who asks them standardized questions, and enters the information into the Ohio Benefit Bank software. Clients can apply for programs such as food stamps, cash assistance, home energy assistance, the Golden Buckeye Card, childcare assistance, help with prescriptions, and more.”

To learn more about volunteering with LAWO and the Mobile Benefit Bank,

contact Alexandra Scarborough at 419-930-2367 or email ascarborough@lawolaw.com.

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