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Rebecca Bennett (right) received help from the Benefit Bank of Indiana thanks to Andrea Bennett, a Purdue Extension family nutrition program assistant in Hendricks County.

Rebecca Bennett (right) received help from the Benefit Bank of Indiana thanks to Andrea Flood, a Purdue Extension family nutrition program assistant in Hendricks County.

 
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Hendricks County Educator helps connect citizens to benefits

Rebecca Bennett wanted to turn her life around, but she had no idea how to start.

During a Purdue Extension-Hendricks County nutrition program at the domestic violence shelter in Danville, she heard about the Benefit Bank of Indiana. The program helps Hoosiers collect some of the more than $1.1 billion in work supports that go unclaimed in the state each year, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, federal financial aid for college, and income tax refunds.

Bennett asked about getting help with her taxes. Andrea Flood, a Purdue Extension family nutrition program assistant, not only helped with those taxes, but past taxes as well, maximizing Bennett's refund. Then Bennett and Flood used the Benefit Bank to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) so she is now financially able to attend Ivy Tech Community College.

"I’m living in a domestic shelter and trying to get my life together. I have a 13-year-old son, and I want to show him that I can do better," Bennett said. "The Benefit Bank and Andrea helped me do that."

Bennett bought a computer that she will use to help with her business management classes, which she will start in January.

"I wouldn't be where I am today without this program," Bennett said. "I wish more people knew about it because it can help them, too."

 
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