Benefits and Bills Revamp Gives Peace of Mind

Betsy was referred to Financial Pathways by a friend who knew Betsy’s finances bordered on disaster. Her power bill was late, her car insurance about to lapse, and credit card bills were piling up. With regular income of less than $800 a month and a poorly insulated rented house, utility bills ate up more than half her income. Forced to use credit cards to buy groceries and facing late fees and penalties, Betsy was ready to give up.

The first meeting with a senior financial counselor revealed that Betsy was eligible for Medicaid and Food Stamps. Working with Crisis Control, the counselor helped Betsy prevent the cutoff of her power and catch up her bill. Through the counselor, Betsy learned about local subsidized apartment for seniors. She moved, greatly lowering her monthly expenses. Over the next months the counselor convinced her car insurance company to switch her to a monthly (not twice-annual) payment schedule and helped her successfully apply for Medicaid and food stamps.

Today Betsy is able to pay for her basic living expenses in a timely manner and is gradually paying off her credit cards. As Betsy’s quality of life improved and her stress over money decreased, her spirits have lifted. Financial Pathways remains available as a resource to Betsy, helping her make sure that she takes advantages of all the services she is eligible to receive.

To read about a senior couple in Winston Salem who were able to use a reverse mortgage to financially recover from the husband’s serious illness, see the cover story on our annual report.