Under the supported decision-making agreement, you are authorized to help Tom communicate any decisions you help him make as necessary. To do so, you may have to contact family members, medical professionals, financial institutions, or government agencies. Make sure that once Tom makes a decision, you help him do what is necessary to follow up and carry out that decision. But always make sure that if Tom intends to keep any information private, you do not share that information with anyone.
Can Tom get any benefits?
Under the supported decision-making agreement, you might be authorized to help Tom find out if he is eligible for any financial or healthcare benefits from an employer or a government. For instance, you could help Tom apply for other private benefits such as employer pensions or disability, or public benefits such as Medicaid, housing assistance, or food stamps (now known as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or “SNAP”). Use the National Council on Aging benefits check-up at BenefitsCheckUp.org.
The Area Agency on Aging where Tom lives can help you find information. Find the local Area Agency on Aging through the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (“DADS”) at www.dads.state.tx.us/contact/aaa.cfm.