LABG Benefits Enrollment Center Extends Lifeline for Vulnerable Communities

A woman stands at the pharmacy counter

Legal Aid of the Bluegrass (LABG) has received funding through the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to serve as Kentucky’s Benefits Enrollment Center (BEC). Established with the mission of improving the quality of life for those on fixed incomes, the BEC acts as a guiding light for people seeking access to crucial assistance programs. 

At its core, the BEC aids people facing financial constraints, offering support in screening, and applying for money-savings programs. The LABG BEC helps seniors expand their budgets by accessing government benefits that help with additional health insurance coverage, access to medication, food, and utility assistance. These programs include the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), Medicare Savings Program (MSP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  

Among the myriad of programs the BEC assists with, the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) or Medicare Extra Help stands out, significantly reducing medication costs for beneficiaries. From October 2022 through December 2023, the LABG BEC assisted 422 people benefiting from this program alone, with the collective savings amounting to around $2 million. 

Since its inception in 2011, the LABG BEC has been instrumental in realizing the goals of ensuring fairness, protecting families, and changing lives. With a focus on assisting older adults and marginalized populations, LABG’s BEC channels its resources to those who need them most, amplifying its impact through dedicated staff and strategic partnerships. 

Applying for benefits can be very difficult and there are lots of steps to follow. Often people who do not have assistance get lost in the system and give up. "The BEC is not just about filling out forms; it's about accompanying individuals on their journey from start to finish," emphasizes Angela Zeek, Manager of the Health and Government Benefits Unit at LABG.  "Through our efforts, we strive to empower individuals and improve their quality of life by ensuring they have access to the support they deserve."

Despite its profound impact, BEC's presence is not ubiquitous. As part of a competitive national grant process, BEC’s operate in select states, with agencies required to demonstrate the pressing need within their communities. Currently, the NCOA supports 90 BECs across 39 states, each serving as a beacon of hope for vulnerable populations.

LABG’s BEC also maintains contact with those it has assisted to ensure benefits were approved, and renewal of applicable benefits is completed annually. The BEC operates in the following Kentucky counties: Anderson, Bath, Boone, Bourbon, Boyd, Boyle, Campbell, Carroll, Carter, Clark, Estill, Fayette, Franklin, Gallatin, Garrard, Grant, Greenup, Harrison, Jessamine, Kenton, Lawrence, Lincoln, Madison, Mercer, Menifee, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicolas, Owen, Pendleton, Powell, Rowan, Scott, Woodford. 

Seniors can call 1-866-513-3051 to speak to LABG’s dedicated BEC staff. 

Need Legal Help

Legal aid protects the rights of people living at or near poverty with legal problems such as:  housing, consumer, family and public benefits. We ensure access to justice for all people, including veterans, the elderly, those who are disabled and victims of domestic violence. You can call us to apply for assistance Monday through Thursday 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. or Friday 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Calls are answered in the order they are received. You may also apply online by clicking "Apply For Help" below. 


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