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Public Benefits in a Nutshell

Public benefits are basically two types: financial means tested or non-financial means tested.

Non-Financial Means Tested Public Benefits

If you become unable to work because you become disabled, and if you meet certain ork history & disability requirements, you can apply for SSA disability (SSDI) payments. Later, you receive Medicare health insurance. You could be Bill Gates of Microsoft, who suddenly is physically or mentally unable to work. He could apply for SSDI, and he would also receive Medicare young. How much you receive is based on your work history. There is no financial eligibility. Think of SSDI as your retirement paid young (+ Medicare). See: http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/index.htm SSA also has a program called the “disabled adult child” (DAC) benefit, which is available when the child’s parent(s) becomes disabled, deceased, or retired. In most cases, the DAC benefits is higher than SSI ($ 721/month in 2014), or higher than the disabled adult child’s SSDI payment, whichever is applicable. The disability must have manifested itself before the age of 22. If DAC is higher than SSI, the SSI is substituted with the DAC financial benefit, but the Medicaid is not lost, if the disabled adult child were on Medicaid. Medicaid becomes secondary to Medicare as Medicare is the DAC health insurance benefit. See: http://www.ssa.gov/dibplan/dqualify10.htm#age22

Financial Means Tested Public Benefits

SSI is a government cash benefit to disabled persons of any age who are indigent. If eligible, the individual receives Medicaid (not Medicare) health insurance. While a disabled child is under 18 and living with their parents, the parents’ income and assets are “deemed” to the child - in other words, the income & assets of the parents are treated as if they were the disabled child’s income & assets. That is why most disabled children living at home are ineligible for SSI until they are 18 years of age. Then, the child’s financial status is analyzed to see if eligible for SSI.

See: http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/ 
See also: http://www.ssa.gov/ssi/text-eligibility-ussi.htm

Some disabled persons may be financially ineligible for SSI, but could be financially eligible for Medicaid health insurance (MEDS-AD) and/or for the Medicaid waiver. The SSI “deeming” feature is not applicable to Medicaid eligibility.

For Florida’s financial eligibility, go to:
http://www.myflfamilies.com/service-programs/access-florida-food-medical-assistancecashprogram-
policy-manual
(Then click on Appendix A-9).

Submitted by Arlene Lakin, Esq.
7284 W. Atlantic Blvd.
Margate, FL 33063
954/975-5159
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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