Aging & Disabled Resource Center (ADRC)
2020 Medicare Open Enrollment: Oct. 15-Dec. 7, 2020
Due to social distancing guidelines, we will be conducting all of our comparisons remotely vs. face to face this year. If you are interested in having a comparison done, please call 815-622-9230, ext. 194, and leave your name and phone number. We will then call you back to initiate your comparison. Please note that our comparisons will fill up quickly and we serve clients on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are in need of a comparison done immediately after October 15th, please contact 1-800-MEDICARE to complete an over-the-phone comparison.
DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, WE ARE NOT ACCEPTING IN-PERSON APPOINTMENTS. PLEASE CALL 815-622-9230 TO REACH OUR OUTREACH STAFF VIA PHONE.
The Whiteside County Senior Center ADRC's staff strives to link older adults and disabled persons to programs to help them maintain their independence in the community and keep them at home. We also strive to advocate and educate the older adult and disabled population.
Our resource specialists assess the problems and capabilities of our clients; provide current information on programs or services available to our clients within their communities; link our clients to the programs or services with the client's consent; make referrals to other programs; and follow up with the client based on the client's needs.
- Mondays from 9am-2pm
- No walk-ins for Medicare counseling October 15-December 7
- Tuesday-Friday from 9am-2pm
- Monday-Friday from 9am-2pm for Medicare counseling October 15-December 7
- Medicare counseling
- Appointments in Morrison, Erie, Prophetstown or Fulton
Please contact us in advance to find out what you need to bring on walk-in day or for your appointment. You cannot be charged any fees for getting help from the ADRC, but we do accept donations for our services, as well as general donations. We also receive grant funding provided by the Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging (NWIAAA). Visit NWIAAA at nwilaaa.org.
Contact us at (815) 622-6230, ext. 194.
Accuracy is important! The ADRC staff helps many people to connect to many benefit programs available. Most of the applications we help fill out are for state and federal programs, which have very specific requirements. If the ADRC staff ask for specific things, it is a good idea to provide that information for them. We do not make the program requirements but are required to follow them. Applicants who fail to provide accurate information may not be approved for the program, be terminated from a program, be forced to pay back money, or be subject to punishment under state or federal laws.
Medicare & Insurance
Medicare Choices ClassCheck the Calendar for our next Medicare Choices class, offered monthly except in October and November. This class will educate you on the basics of Medicare, and also goes over your choices. We welcome those who are new to Medicare and those who want to learn their options available with Medicare. To sign up, please call ahead.
Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP) Medicare CounselingSHIP is a division of the Illinois Department on Aging. They train volunteers to provide counseling on insurance such as Medicare. We provide free Medicare counseling, along the above-mentioned Medicare Choices class to help those new to Medicare and those who want to learn more about their options with Medicare. For more on SHIP, visit illinois.gov/aging/ship.
Medicare Advantage Disenrollment PeriodThe Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period starts on January 1. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries can disenroll from a Medicare Advantage plan and go back to original Medicare. If the Medicare Advantage plan has prescription coverage beneficiaries will be able to enroll in a stand-alone Medicare Part D plan. If beneficiaries missed the December 7 Annual Enrollment Period to get Medicare Part D for prescriptions or to switch Medicare Advantage plans, unfortunately they will have to wait for the next annual enrollment period, October 15-December 7, unless they qualify for a special election. Extra Help or the Low Income Subsidy for Medicare Part D does qualify for a special election to change plans outside of the Annual Enrollment Period.
Taxes & Exemptions
Keep Tax FormsJanuary is the time when tax forms such as W-2, 1099 and SSA-1099 are sent out to in the mail. These forms report income from the previous year. These forms are important and it is strongly suggested to keep these forms for at least three years, even if there is no need to file income taxes. If an envelope comes in the mail that says "Important Tax Information" on the outside, please open it and keep it. We may ask for these forms to help you apply for several programs.
Senior Citizen Tax Assessment Freeze & Homestead ExemptionIf you have qualified for the Senior Citizen Tax Assessment Freeze and/or Senior Homestead Exemption (PTAX 340 & PTAX 329) in the past, you will receive your forms in the mail from the Whiteside County Assessment Office early in the year. We can help fill out and notorize these forms on Mondays from 9am-2pm. As with any program, it is important to bring the necessary information with you to complete these forms. If you file income taxes, please complete your taxes before coming in for help with your forms. If you do not file income taxes, you will need to bring your most recent year's income statements. A driver's license or state ID will also be necessary for us to notarize your forms. Please call the ADRC office if you have any questions.
License Plate Discount Application (Benefit Access Application) & Ride Free Transit CardThe Benefit Access Program is a program that gives those age 65 and older, or those under 65 years old and on disability, a discount on their license plate sticker. This application needs to be renewed every two years. To apply or to renew your application for the license plate discount, the ADRC takes walk-ins on Mondays from 9am-2pm. Please bring your previous year's completed taxes or income statements, your driver's license or state ID, vehicle registration and Social Security card. If you are on disability, please bring proof of disability.
Cellular Phone Hearing Assistance, Amplified & Captioning TelephonesIllinois Telecommunications Access Corporation (ITAC) has added a program to help those with cellular service who are having trouble hearing on the phone. The program also provides free amplified telephones and captioning telephones to Illinois residents who are hard of hearing. You must be certified as hard of hearing, live in Illinois, and have a service that remits to the program. Whiteside County Senior Center (WCSC) is a selection center for ITAC. To apply, bring your landline or cellular phone bill with all the pages. Your cellular phone must be bluetooth capable. If you are not sure if your phone has bluetooth or if you have a prepaid cellular service, bring in the cell phone. We will also need proof of address (driver's license, state ID or a bill with your name and address on it). In addition, recently added is a landline model, Clarity XLCB7, and it has the ability to bluetooth to a cell phone as well as work as a landline phone. There is no cost to participate in the ITAC program. Call (888) 622-9230, ext. 194, or visit ITAC at itactty.org.
Caregiver AssistanceIf you are caring for someone who is age 60 or older, the Whiteside County Senior Center offers assistance. One form of this caregiver assistance is called Respite. If approved, the caregiver will receive a limited amount of time either in the Senior Center, or the Senior Center will provide a paid caregiver to stay with your loved one so you can take a much-needed break.
Another type of funding to help caregivers is called Caregiver Gap. Caregiver Gap can be used in a variety of ways, such as gas cards to help with the cost of taking your loved one to medical appointments. The Senior Center does not hand out or reimburse anyone with money, and there are limits to the program.
Caregivers applying for Caregiver Gap or Respite will be interviewed in person and must complete an application. These assistance programs are only available when funding is available from the Northwestern Illinois Area Agency on Aging (NWIAAA). NWIAAA must approve the application for a caregiver to receive assistance. We also provide information on resources available to help caregivers, as well as referrals to support groups in the area.