Benefits Enrollment Program


Note:  This is a description of Utah Legal Services' Benefit Enrollment Program.  For information about Public Benefit issues on our website, click here.


Many families and individuals who are eligible for “safety net” programs either are not aware of or don’t pursue the benefits to which they are entitled.  In difficult economic times the basic critical needs these programs provide are essential and more people become eligible.  There are dozens of programs designed to provide cash assistance, food, shelter, utility assistance, and medical coverage but each has unique eligibility requirements.  Completing applications, providing required information, understanding responses from program administrators and challenging improper denials can be significant barriers to successful enrollment. 

Utah Legal Services’ Benefit Enrollment Project (BEP) can assist individuals gain critical knowledge, skills and tools to apply for the public benefits to which they are entitled and desperately need. ULS continues to be in a distinctive position to ensure that individuals contacting our agency receive the benefit of other services and programs, to serve as a one-stop shop for individuals needing assistance with a variety of public benefits. 

We encourage you to call us to see if we can help you.  We take new calls between the hours of 9:00 am and 2:00 pm, Monday through Friday.  For information on what to expect when you call, click here.  For office locations and phone numbers, click here.  You may also click here for general legal information and other possible resources. 

ULS also helps with these other types of cases:


Other information available:

assisted "Lisa" who is a disabled lady on Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI); wheelchair-bound and on oxygen 24/7.  "Lisa" received a $42,000 settlement last fall, paid as a result of a death from cancer.  "Lisa" reported the settlement to the Social Security Administration (SSA) as required, but she didn’t understand the rules regarding disposing of a resource.  "Lisa" spent the majority of the money wisely, as required—she bought herself a home to live in, prepaid some expenses for a year, bought some furniture, bought a freezer, filled it with food, etc.  Unfortunately, she also gave approximately $13,000 away to various family members for one reason or another. 

 

As a result, she incurred an SSI overpayment for the months she was over the resource limit of $2,000.  Utah Legal Services was able to get the overpayment waived, but then the really bad news—SSA sanctioned her for giving away part of her resources.  She was terminated from SSI for 19 months.  Of course, she also had no money left from her settlement.  This would have been an extremely harsh blow to her, since she has no other income, is disabled, and relies on oxygen and multiple medications to sustain her life.  ULS called SSA and pointed out their provision in statute which allows an “out” for undue hardship.  Within 30 minutes, ULS received a call from SSA letting us know that "Lisa" would receive the two months’ benefits that had been withheld already, and her benefits would start again immediately.