WILMINGTON, MA — During his Annual Budget Presentation earlier this week, Town Manager Jeff Hull announced his intention to add a full-time case worker position to be shared between the Wilmington Veterans Department and Wilmington Elderly Services Department.
“The Veterans Services and Elderly Services Departments have expressed concern about their ability to meet the demands of their clients for timely service and follow-up,” said Town Manager Jeff Hull in his annual budget message. “In many instances, both departments are responding to the same constituency — seniors are who veterans.”
Hull stressed that both departments are being confronted with growing workloads. The Veterans Department is currently managing more than 400 active cases, involving a variety of claims at both the state and federal levels. The Elderly Services Department, meanwhile, is seeing the senior population in town boom — a 27.9% increase (4,045 to 5,176) between 2010 and 2017 — with the trend projected to continue. As a result, the Department, which currently only has one case manager on staff, has seen its request for case management rise dramatically.
“The new case worker will split their time between both departments in making home visits to seniors and Veterans and conducting follow-up visits or calls to ensure that residents are obtaining their medications, attending doctor’s appointments, and identifying other assistance that may be available,” explained Hull. “The case worker will assist by working with residents to complete documentation to obtain benefits such as fuel assistance, food through the supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP), financial assistance and medical coverage.”
This full-time position would cost $43,898.
The Town Manager and Veterans Director will discuss the proposal with the Finance Committee on Thursday, February 14, 2019 at 7pm at Wilmington Town Hall.
Voters will ultimately have the final say over the Fiscal Year 2020 budget at the Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10:30am in the Wilmington High School Auditorium.
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