Benefits Data Trust
Purpose Prize Fellow 2008
Helping low-income older adults cut red tape to receive benefits due them.
Warren Kantor managed financial services institutions during a long career. Trying to obtain property rebates for his elderly mother opened his eyes to the tremendous difficulties facing older adults in receiving benefits. In 2002, at 61, he created the Foundation to Benefit Our Seniors in Philadelphia, and in 2005, founded a national program, the Benefits Data Trust, to help older adults apply for and receive the government benefits due them Fewer than half of eligible older adults are now enrolled to receive the government benefits to which they are entitled. Benefits Data Trust uses all the techniques and vendors of the direct nail and credit card industries to identify, find and enroll these individuals in the programs holding benefits for them. Benefits Data Trust enrolled older adults in over 125,000 benefit programs in 2006 and 2007. It costs the organization about $100 in expenses to obtain an average benefit of $3,000 per person per year for 10 years: $30,000 cumulative benefits to the individual. AARP, Kaiser Permanente, The Department of Aging of Pennsylvania, Medicare (CMS), and United Health Care have all contracted with Benefits Data Trust to help them find eligible recipients of their services. “I realized I could help thousands of people by using my organizational and professional skills for a social purpose.”