My 89 year old Dad just passed away and Mom's income will be much less without him. They were struggling when he was alive and now it will be even harder. Mom is 86 and she refuses to accept go on medicaid.
Can I apply without her knowing? I have access to all the information that I would need. The only other problem would be that she would see the mail from medicaid. I don't know what to do.

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Theresa, who handled the money or budget in your parent's household? If it was Dad, then your Mom probably still thinks everything is status quo... many forget that when a spouse passes on, that there will be only one social security check to live off of. Check with social security to see if your Mom can get your Dad's amount instead of what she is currently getting.

Are you thinking that in the near future that Mom would need to go into a retirement facility and that she would need Medicaid to help with the cost? You are doing the right thing checking on it now, instead of later, that way you can plan what to do next.
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First contact Social Security and see if she can get SSI or a widow's increase.
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What are you thinking that Medicaid is going to provide for her?

If she is still living independently & not needing care services like in a NH, then Medicare and her MediGap policy should pay for her care costs for the most part.

Are you thinking she could get SNAP? I'd go on-line to see what the income guidelines are for SNAP. If she is getting average SS payment, she probably has too much income for it. Most SNAP is for a parent who does not work or works only low income part time and with a couple of kids, so their overall income is low enough to qualify.

If this is about getting foodstuffs, most areas has some sort of Meals on WHeels for elderly and without qualifications. They just pay a nominal amount for the meals or ask for a waiver not to pay. MOW is pretty flexible on this. Some churches or neighborhood organizations, identify seniors to get things from their food pantry on a regular basis. I'd contact your Area Agency on Aging to see what programs are in your area. All cities have AoA as they are within your Council of Governments - COG's are federally supported regional planning body which acts as a clearinghouse for federal, state & corporate matching programs or grants.

Make sure she is getting whatever elderly or senior rates or discounts are available on her property, utilities, etc. If she just flat cannot afford her home, then it will need to be sold unless you can pay for all on it for the rest of mom's lifetime. Do a reality check on where she stands financially. There may be hard decisions to be made. Good luck.
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More information is needed to be able to give you a complete answer. Answer to the final paragraph:
If she does not have dementia or other diminished capacity and you don't have POA, you cannot apply for Medicaid without her consent. You do not have legal standing to do so for an independent person who does not want the services.
With more information, perhaps some other options would be available.
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