SNAP Case Study

Here is an actual outreach case that shows both how significant financial relief can be realized by low-income elders, when dedicated, trained staff with sufficient time can lend the comprehensive help older adults need to complete ALL the steps related with financial relief programs.

An outreach specialist of a council on aging visited a 79 year old widow who asked for help with a fuel assistance application. Her only income was her monthly Social Security check of $1,146 and she lived in subsidized housing, paying $221/month in rent.  The Council on Aging (COA) outreach worker completed the fuel assistance application, took photo copies of all required verification documents, and brought the completed application to the proper office.  Six days later, the woman was found eligible to receive $475 for fuel assistance to offset her annual heating (electric) bill. In order to receive a permanent 25% utility discount, the outreach worker sent a separate request form via fax to the local utility company.

Then, the COA outreach worker suggested the woman consider applying for SNAP benefits.  The woman agreed, so the outreach worker made a second home visit to complete the SNAP application and photograph verification documents including her medical deduction verification documents such as insurance premiums and pharmacy bills.  The application was faxed to the Department of Transitional Services.  Three weeks later, the woman was found eligible for the maximum amount of SNAP benefits – $194/month.

A few days later, when her EBT card is received in the mail, the COA outreach worker helped her set up her PIN.  Finally, as the woman can no longer drive a car, the outreach worker arranged for a volunteer driver to drive her to the supermarket and assist with shopping.

The COA outreach worker arranged for the SHINE Counselor to help the woman enroll into the Medicare Extra Help program. Now her Part D premiums, deductibles, and copayments are all paid for which will mean a large financial benefit for the woman.

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Massachusetts Councils
on Aging

116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306
Easthampton, MA 01027
Telephone: 413-527-6425
Fax: 413-527-7138