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May 25, 2016 10:33PM
Disclaimer: I am only a human being who's heard and read dozens of stories about these topics. I am not a professional, but an interested observer. Please check out everything with your trusted legal and financial advisors before taking any leaps. You may want to contact your employer's human resources department, an accountant, an elder care attorney and the Social Security Administration (at least to find out if you have enough work quarters and what your disability income rate would be).
Also, this is USA specific and will possibly change if the ACA changes.
SSI & SSDI
Just to clarify - there are two different social security programs for the disabled - Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Income (SSDI).
SSI is both needs and assets based, you must meet the disability requirements and have low assets:
SSI Resources Limits for 2016: Individual $2,000, Couple $3,000
SSDI is needs based and requires that a certain number of work quarters in a certain time period. Many teachers and public employees have separate disability insurance systems and work earnings aren't credited to Social Security. Also, people who work under the table, for a spouse's/family business or work at home may not have enough earnings credited to be eligible SSDI.
MEDICAID AND MEDICARE
Once SSI is approved, income starts immediately and usually Medicaid coverage does too (no separate application process in most states).
With SSDI there's a 5-month wait period after disability date for income and a further 24 month wait for Medicare coverage after that.
MEDICAID ASSET RESTRICTIONS ELIMINATED, BUT MAYBE NOT FOR DUAL-ELIGIBLES AND LONG-TERM CARE
Medicaid has income restrictions, but not asset restrictions, thanks to the ACA:
One small, but critical, aspect of the Medicaid expansion is the elimination of the Medicaid asset limit. This provision will allow millions of low-income families to both get the health coverage they need and maintain or build a modest savings cushion. The Medicaid expansion has been rejected by half of the states but the elimination of the asset test applies to all states, not only those that have adopted the expansion. States will still have discretion to impose limits on elderly and disabled beneficiaries, but the majority of Medicaid enrollees will now be able to save freely.
Hello 2014, Goodbye Medicaid Asset Limit
By Aleta Sprague
JAN. 2, 2014
Essentially, the Medicaid expansion under the ACA will broaden Medicaid eligibility for low-income, non-elderly adults without regard to assets. A major exception for that age group are those with incomes above the threshold but with high out-of-pocket medical costs. Such individuals will be required to spend their assets down to the existing asset limit, which varies by state and is typically a few thousand dollars.
There are a few other caveats. Existing rules, including the asset tests, will continue to apply for individuals obtaining Medicaid eligibility through another program (e.g. foster care children, or SSI/SSDI recipients) and the elderly.
Bye-Bye Medicaid Asset Test
April 13, 2010
DUAL ELIGIBLE BENEFICIARIES (MEDICAID AND MEDICARE)
About 9 million people in the United States are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid, including low-income seniors and younger people with disabilities. These dual eligible beneficiaries have complex and often costly health care needs…
Medicaid provides health coverage to more than 4.6 million low-income seniors, nearly all of whom are also enrolled in Medicare. Medicaid also provides coverage to 3.7 million people with disabilities who are enrolled in Medicare. In total, 8.3 million people are "dually eligible" and enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, composing more than 17% of all Medicaid enrollees. Individuals who are enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare, by federal statute, can be covered for both optional and mandatory categories.
Dual Eligibles – Medicaid and Medicare coverage
Seniors & Medicare and Medicaid Enrollees
MEDICAID, ASSETS AND LONG-TERM CARE
Also, if you're thinking of going into long-term care or have parent(s) who may need it, the asset spend down rules are stringent and worth planning for years in advance:
In order to be eligible for Medicaid, applicants must have no more than $2,000 in "countable" assets (the dollar figure may be slightly more, depending on the state). Applicants for Medicaid and their spouses may protect savings by spending them on non-countable assets. The following are examples of such expenditures:
prepaying funeral expenses
paying off a mortgage
making repairs to a home
replacing an old automobile
updating home furnishings
paying for more care at home
buying a new home
In the case of married couples, it is often important that any spend-down steps be taken only after the unhealthy spouse moves to a nursing home if this would affect the community spouse's resource allowance.
Spending Down Assets to Qualify for Medicaid
Social Security and medical coverage is extremely complex and worth planning for while you are well enough and have the time and focus to do it.
best healing wishes, Stephanie
Grateful to be here. Advanced breast cancer for 25 years, engage holistic approaches. Am dealing with ascites and many mets. Am on hospice.