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Legal Aid recruiting community volunteers to assist with public benefit screenings

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) is seeking volunteers to help low-income individuals apply for public benefits through its Mobile Benefit Bank program. The LAWO Mobile Benefit Bank has assisted more than 5,000 individuals, helping them to receive more than $3.5 million in benefits since 2009.

 

Most people who are dealing with issues like hunger, unemployment and utility shutoffs find seeking help overwhelming. Many people, particularly seniors, are often reluctant to ask for assistance.

"We are looking for individuals who are willing to volunteer a few hours each month, are comfortable being trained to use the Ohio Benefit Bank software, and are willing to meet with individuals to help them apply for public benefits," says LAWO Attorney, Lisa Mantel, supervisor of the Mobile Benefit Bank.

LAWO staff will train volunteers and supply them with the mobile technology needed to access the Ohio Benefit Bank online software. Volunteers will travel to area churches, libraries, senior centers and homeless shelters, to explain the process and assist those struggling to get the help to which they are entitled.

"We're asking our volunteers to help our clients by going out into the community and helping us educate people on the benefits they are eligible for and to help them get the process started," says Mantel.

"The way it works is a volunteer sits down with clients, asks them standardized questions, and enters the information into the Ohio Benefit Bank software. Clients can apply for programs such as food stamps, cash assistance, home energy assistance, the Golden Buckeye Card, childcare assistance, help with prescriptions, and more," Mantel adds.

To learn more about volunteering with LAWO and the Mobile Benefit Bank, contact Alexandra Scarborough at (419) 930-2367 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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LAWO is a non-profit legal aid law firm that provides free legal services in 32-counties of western Ohio, from offices located in Dayton, Defiance, Findlay, Lima, Sandusky, Springfield, and Toledo. For more information about LAWO, contact Patricia J. Robb, Communications Director at (419) 930-2517 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.