County announces new benefits screening call center
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski today announced a new initiative to connect low to moderate income County residents with critical federal, state and local benefits. Residents can call 311 to be referred to trained counselors for a comprehensive screening process.
The CASH Campaign of Maryland, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic advancement, will serve as the County’s lead partner for this initiative.
“This pandemic provides unfortunate reminders every day that too many of our residents are struggling, particularly those who have lost jobs or income,” Olszewski said. “This new service ensures that our residents have a one-stop-shop to help them determine which benefits might be available to help them weather this crisis.”
• Maryland Utility Assistance
• NeedyMeds (discount pharmacy program)
• Discounted Cellular and Landline Programs
• Maryland Children’s Health Program
• Child Care Subsidy Program
• Child Support Payment Incentive
• Free and Reduced Price School Meals
• Head Start and Early Head Start
• Renters and Homeowners Tax Credit
• Child Tax Credit
•Earned Income Tax Credit callers complete an application and navigate the process to receive the help they need. CASH can also help County residents develop a plan to strengthen their economic stability through financial coaching and financial education classes—all offered remotely, by phone and for free. All conversations with the CASH team are confidential.
“CASH is excited to work with Baltimore County more closely to ensure that residents are getting connected to the resources and help they need. Many families are struggling to make ends meet as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19 and getting the help they need can be really overwhelming,” said Sara Johnson, Co-Founder and COO of the CASH Campaign. “CASH is here to be a guide. Our benefits access program is free and confidential, so we encourage people to take advantage of this service. It’s really encouraging to see County leadership and their teams working to streamline access to programs like ours.”
The Benefits Screening Call Center is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Baltimore County and Baltimore County Public Schools have distributed more than four million meals to residents facing food insecurity since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, Olszewski has committed millions for the County’s efforts to help residents avoid eviction.