AARP’s Benefits QuickLINK is a web-based screening tool that can help people assess what public assistance programs they might be eligible for and now that tool is coming to Albuquerque and Santa Fe as part of a new pilot program.
“Navigating through all the public assistance programs that are available can be daunting and confusing,” said Gene Varela, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director of Community Outreach. “Many people don’t know what programs are out there or what they might qualify for, let alone how to sign up for such programs.”
AARP developed the Benefits QuickLINK tool so people can go online, and through a very simple process, learn if they qualify for programs such as food benefits, prescription drug assistance and other state programs. But now people in or near Santa Fe and Albuquerque who don’t have a computer or need help navigating the site can get some in-person assistance.
“The AARP Foundation decided it would be beneficial to reach out to people directly and came up with the idea of partnering the Benefits QuickLINK tool with the AARP Tax Aide Program, both are administered by the Foundation,” Varela said.
Specially trained volunteers will be on hand at two Tax Aide sites through the tax season to help screen people using the Benefits QuickLINK tool. The Albuquerque site is located at the AARP Information Center, 1930 Juan Tabo Blvd. NE, 505-830-3096, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Santa Fe site is at the Boys and Girls Club, 730 Alto Street, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“People can go to one of these sites and visit in person with a volunteer, who is trained to use the Benefits QuickLINK tool, whether or not they are using the Tax Aide Program to get their taxes done. But if they want to get their taxes done too and utilize both services that’s great too,” Varela said.
Another benefit to linking the two programs is to let people, who are utilizing the Tax Aide Program, know about the Benefits QuickLINK program.
For more information on the Benefits QuickLINK tool visit www.aarp.org/quicklink. For more information on the Benefits QuickLINK pilot program contact Gene Varela at 505-946-3604 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.