Department of Family Services – Older Adults

CONTACT INFORMATION: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
703-324-7948 TTY 711
12011 Government Center Parkway, Suite 708
Fairfax, VA 22035
Trina Mayhan-Webb

Now It’s a Snap to Apply for SNAP

Article by the Public Assistance and Employment Services Division of DFS

(Posted 2022 March)

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According to the National Council on Aging, 3 out of 5 older adults who qualify for food assistance (SNAP) are missing out on the benefit. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps you and your family buy food using a special debit card called an EBT Card. Your card will have money loaded on it. The amount will vary depending on your household specifications and income. You can use the card, which works just like a regular debit card, at most grocery stores, certain senior centers, and some meal delivery services such as Meals on Wheels. You can even use it to order groceries online.

The time has been extended for eligible households to receive benefits for 36 months, 12 months longer than the previous deadline.

Some eligible older adults may be reluctant to apply for SNAP because due to their social security, they often only qualify for the minimum benefit of $20 per month. What many people don’t know is that if they have medical expenses, their SNAP amount could increase substantially. The medical expense deduction is one way for older adults and adults with disabilities to maximize what counts toward meeting the net income test, and to ensure they are receiving all the benefits for which they are eligible. 

If you would like someone else to act on your behalf, you may select a trusted friend, relative or neighbor to be your representative. The representative may:

  • Apply for benefits for you.
  • Receive your notices and correspondence.
  • Use benefits on your behalf.

You may name a representative on the application form. If you want to name an authorized representative at any time after you have submitted your application, you just need to write a note for the Fairfax County Public Assistance and Employment Services Division. In the note:

  • List the name, address and phone number of the person you are naming;
  • List the duties you want that person to perform;
  • Sign and date the note.

Apply for SNAP and more by calling 1-8335-CALL-VA (1-833-522-5582) or 
apply online.

This article is part of the Golden Gazette monthly newsletter which covers a variety of topics and community news concerning older adults and caregivers in Fairfax County. Are you new to the Golden Gazette? Don’t miss out on future newsletters! Subscribe to get the electronic or free printed version mailed to you. Have a suggestion for a topic? Share it in an email or call 703-324-GOLD (4653).

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