The short answer to this question is yes. Part of the eligibility process is a face-to-face interview. Anyone applying has the right to designate an authorized representative. This person will then have the authority to represent the individual applying throughout the entire process.
In order to represent an elderly parent or relative, you will need to have your parent or relative designate you as their representative in writing. That letter would have to be submitted to the SNAP office when the application is submitted. Depending on the state you live in, this can be mailed, dropped off, or submitted electronically. Check the state’s Medicaid website for your specific options.
Once it is received and approved by the SNAP office, you will have the power to finish the application process. This is an option regardless of where you live and where your elderly relative lives. For example, if you reside in Ohio, and your mother lives in Tennessee, she can still designate you as her representative. However, if a face-to-face interview is required, you’ll have to be present for that.
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Due to the process involved in applying for benefits, it is best to designate someone that lives relatively close. That way, going to interviews, meetings, or dropping off paperwork is not a significant inconvenience for you. A designated representative does not have to be a relative.
If you do not live close to the parent or relative that needs help, you may want to find a trusted individual that does live close to be the representative. It would need to be someone that will be available for the interview and possible subsequent meetings. Although it is not an enormous time commitment, it is a time commitment just the same.
You will have to work with your elderly relative to make sure all the appropriate documentation is prepared and ready for the submission process. This will include monthly expenses and income documentation. If you go to the interview and do not have everything you need, you will have to reschedule the interview, which will lengthen the entire approval process.
As the designated representative, you will also be able to call the SNAP office and ask questions on behalf of your elderly relative. This is helpful in case there is a problem or question, and your relative doesn’t know what to do. The caseworker will have the authority to discuss the situation with you and to answer any questions you may have regarding the relatives benefits.
This will also allow you to take care of reporting if your relative changes addresses, goes into a nursing home, or is hospitalized for any period of time. You will be the go-to person for your relative. The SNAP application process can be lengthy and somewhat overwhelming. Stepping into help can ensure your elderly relative gets the benefits they need and is eating properly.