Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Manitoba.
Income tax preparation can seem daunting to most people. Fortunately, 211 Service Navigators have many local referrals to help the public with income tax.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a female senior who was upset because she had missed the deadline to complete her income taxes by April 30th. She explained that she was a senior with mobility issues, had no transportation or support and did not know how to have her income tax done, as she did not have the money to pay for tax preparation.
The 211 Service Navigator first provided emotional support because the caller was so upset. The Service Navigator told the caller that she did the right thing by calling 211 and that she would look into options/solutions with her. The Service Navigator brainstormed and probed to know a little bit more about her situation and how she had completed her income tax in previous years. She found out that the caller used to have assistance from a friend, but her friend had passed away. The caller could not go out because of mobility issues, so she felt really helpless.
The Service Navigator explained that most volunteer tax clinics would accept dropped-off forms. After brainstorming for a while, the caller said she had a caregiver for several hours per week and she could drop off her documents at a tax clinic for her. She was provided with a list of volunteers who are doing income tax after tax season that she could contact. The caller was really grateful and admitted that she had been so panicked that she had not thought about her caregiver. She thanked the Service Navigator for taking the time to have a conversation with her and to have provided the list.
Sometimes a 211 call takes an unexpected turn. Since Service Navigators take time to create rapport with their callers, sometimes callers will reveal other needs that they have. Fortunately, Service Navigators have a wide range of referrals, and can help with many types of needs.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from a senior living in Winnipeg. She started off by requesting assistance with getting her taxes done. The Service Navigator located multiple options for senior-specific tax assistance for the caller.
He made the caller feel comfortable enough to discuss other needs she might have, at which point she opened up about also needing food assistance. The Service Navigator told her that he could help her to obtain that kind of help too. She was happy and surprised because she did not know that 211 provided services like that. The call transitioned to finding food resources for the woman.
The Service Navigator located multiple food banks in her area that were within walking distance, as she had told him that she did not drive. He also found an agency that could help with delivering food hampers. The caller was very thankful for the resources provided. She had not been aware that 211 could help with such a range of issues and was glad that calling 211 was an option for her.