How To Use GovBenefits.Gov

How To Use GovBenefits.GovHow to Use GovBenefits.gov

If you qualify for government benefits, there’s no reason not to take advantage of them. Life is hard enough without foregoing the help that’s available.

The hard part isn’t usually making the decision to use the benefits you apply for, it’s figuring out which ones you qualify for to begin with. Going through the tedious process of applying is only worth your time for the benefits you’re actually a good fit for.

That’s where Benefits.gov comes in. In 2002, the government launched GovBenefits.gov to help make the process of applying for government benefits easier. The website, now updated to Benefits.gov, is devoted to helping citizens better understand what benefits they qualify for and successfully navigate the process of getting them.

Step1: Enter Benefits.gov into your internet browser.

You can also use the older URL GovBenefits.gov if that’s what comes more naturally to you, and it will automatically redirect to Benfits.gov.

Step 2: Click Start Benefit Finder on right side of the screen.

The big yellow button in the top right corner of the screen is where you’ll start your search. It will take you to the benefit finder questionnaire. 

Step 3: Answer all the questions.

This part of the process takes a little time. You’ll need to go through the full list of questions provided on the website, which will ask for information like:

  • The type of benefits you’re interested in
  • Identification information
  • Citizenship status
  • Income
  • Marriage status
  • Household
  • Educational status
  • Health status
  • Work experience

You’ll notice that as you work your way through the questions, the number of Benefits You May Be Eligible For listed in the top right corner will change based on your answers.

Step 4: Click to see the Benefits You May Be Eligible For.

Once you’ve gotten through the full questionnaire, you’ll see a list of categories in the top right that show the types of benefits you may be eligible for. For seniors, this is likely to include Social Security/Retirement, Medicare/Medicaid, and possibly a few other options based on your particular situation.

You can choose to either click on a specific category to just view the benefits eligible within it, or you can click the number in yellow under Benefits You May Be Eligible For to see the full list.

Step 5: Follow instructions to put in applications for those that you qualify for.

Now you’ll come to a page with a list of all the benefits that it may be worth your time to apply for. Their showing up in the list on this website isn’t a guarantee that you are eligible, or that all of them are a good idea to apply for. In many cases, by applying to get one benefit on the list, you can become ineligible for another, so you’ll need to do the research of understanding each one.

Take the time to look through the list and determine:

  • Which benefits you’re confident you do qualify for
  • Which of these are the best fit for your unique needs

Benefits.gov provides you with a lot of information on the benefit, but you’ll have to navigate to another website or use the contact information provided in order to go through the process of applying.

If you’re confused about any of your options, pick up the phone and give the contact listed a call. Government employees are paid to help people like you figure out how to get the benefits you qualify for and you should find someone on the other end of the phone willing to answer your questions and help you through the process.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

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