Choosing an Authorized Representative

August 15, 2022

Every application process for government benefits requires a substantial amount of paperwork and a strict procedure to follow. If the applicant is able, they act on their own and work directly with the benefit agency to supply the needed documentation.

Often, especially with long term care benefits, the applicant has limitations making it difficult to do all that is necessary to adhere to this process.  A person named to act on behalf of the applicant is called an Authorized Representative.

This Authorized Representative can be anyone the applicant chooses such as a family member, a social worker, a legal entity, even a friend. Naming an Authorized Representative doesn’t mean this person is taking legal responsibility for the applicant, only that they are allowed to manage the paperwork and speak directly to the benefit agency.

Government benefits provide a specific path to follow when naming a person to speak on behalf of the applicant and/or to manage the application for them. It is important to know these processes and how to obtain the necessary forms.  We have seen many situations where a well-meaning social worker initiates an application for their patient, only to list the patient as their own representative.

In most of these circumstances, the application is denied if the patient is unable handle this burden; to receive phone calls, mail, or gather documentation due to their medical issues. We have also seen where another person is added as the authorized representative but because this person did not have access to the necessary documentation for the process, they also get denied.

So, what are some of the issues that you should consider when naming an Authorized Representative?

Click HERE for some suggestions for choosing an Authorized Representative