For full information on becoming a Community Assister, contact one of the ESD Resource System Coordinators:
Overview of the Program:
Community Assisters agree to serve as a contact point for applicants and recipients of the Department for Children and Families/Economic Services Division’s (DCF/ESD) benefits. These benefits may include one or any combination of programs including Reach Up, 3SquaresVT, health care and Fuel Assistance.
A letter of agreement will clearly outline the assister’s level of participation, including designating whether they will provide services for the general public or their organization's clients only.
A Community Assister may choose to have their name and address advertised on the Vermont 211 website, DCF website, or other website pages (click here for an example of current listings).
Examples of different forms of support that Community Assisters provide include:
- Use of computers and / or Internet connection to access My Benefits online
- Use of telephone to contact ESD’s Benefits Service Center (1-800-479-6151)
- Source of paper application including envelope to ESD’s Application and Document Processing Center
- Source of ESD brochures
- Use of fax machine to fax verification documents to ESD
- Use of printer to print ESD documents
- Assistance with application and/or recertification process
- Assistance with reporting changes, verification documents, etc.
- Act as Alternate Reporter with client permission
The Economic Services Division offers the following resources to Community Assisters:
- Refurbished computer. If the Assister chooses to utilize one of these designated computers, they will be responsible for posting and allowing access to the My Benefits website, for the use of accessing resource information and completing the online application.
- Training on ESD system. Training includes: application process and availability of benefits and services administered by DCF/ESD, use of www.myBenefits.vt.gov, and/or use or disclosure of confidential information.
- Ongoing contact. Ongoing support includes: benefit program updates, systems updates, problem solving, coordination, outreach materials such as brochures, and monitoring.
All Community Assisters need to provide the following assurances:
- Protected Health Information: The Community Assister shall maintain the privacy and security of all individually identifiable health information acquired by or provided to it as a part of the performance of this agreement. The community partner shall follow federal and state law relating to privacy and security of individually identifiable health information as applicable, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and its federal regulations.
- Other Confidential Consumer Information: The Community Assister agrees to comply with any applicable state or federal law concerning access to information. The Community Assister shall ensure that all of its employees performing services under this agreement understand the sensitive nature of the information that they may have access to and sign an affirmation of understanding regarding the information’s confidential and non-public nature.