Overcoming Barriers to Accessing Benefits

The ACES Project, established in 1984 as part of the Community Service Society's Retired & Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), deploys specially-trained volunteers to help low-income New Yorkers access the benefits they're entitled to. The ACES Project has 60 volunteers ages 55 and over, serving at 38 hospitals and community organizations throughout New York City. In 2011, volunteers assisted 5,333 clients with 6,834 public benefit issues. To learn more, download the ACES fact sheet.

Become an ACES Volunteer

ACES volunteers provide information and advocacy assistance on the full range of public benefit programs including Medicaid, Food Stamps, SSI, and Medicare. Our volunteers:

  • Volunteer one day per week in a hospital or community-based agency;
  • Inform clients about public benefits and screen for eligibility;
  • Help clients complete applications and gather the appropriate documentation;
  • Follow-up to ensure clients receive benefits and advocate on their behalf if there are any complications;
  • Make referrals for additional services as needed.

Interested candidates ages 55 and over are encouraged to submit an online application.  If selected for the program, individuals must successfully complete the training and pass the ACES exam.  A site placement must be identified before an individual is accepted into the program.  Read our volunteer description to learn more.

Partner with the ACES Project—Host a Volunteer

The ACES project has created strong partnerships with dozens of health and social service organizations, hospitals, workforce development programs, and other agencies throughout the five boroughs.  By hosting a volunteer at your agency for a minimum of one day per week, you will be offering your clients access to comprehensive public benefits counseling that can have a real impact on their economic security. 

If you would like to learn more about hosting an ACES volunteer at your organization, please fill out our contact form and review our site requirements

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