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What is Medicaid and how can it help me?


Disabled individuals have a number of important resources available to them but may wonder what they are. Medicaid is one resource sometimes available to disabled individuals. Medicaid is an insurance program providing health insurance for individuals who are in need or are low income. Medicaid covers disabled individuals, as well as elderly individuals, the blind, and children who receive federal income assistance.

There are a total of 32 states and the District of Columbia that provide Medicaid eligibility to those who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility. SSI benefits may be available to disabled individuals who do not meet work requirements to receive Social Security disability insurance benefits. In these 32 states, including Georgia, an SSI application is also considered a Medicaid application, and eligibility for Medicaid begins the same months as eligibility for SSI benefits begin.

To qualify for Medicaid benefits, the applicant must have been able to receive SSI cash payments for at least one month, and he or she must be disabled, meet additional eligibility rules which include a resources test, require Medicaid to be able to work, and meet the "threshold amount," which includes a gross earned income that is not sufficient to replace SSI, Medicaid or any attendant care that is medically funded.

It is also important to note that if the applicant's state provides Medicaid for individuals receiving SSI benefits, an applicant or recipient's eligibility for Medicaid may continue even if the recipient of SSI is employed. In addition, Medicaid coverage can continue even when the earnings of the recipient, along with other income, become too high for an SSI cash payment.

Different benefits for disabled individuals may be available, but it can be difficult to understand these programs and how to apply. Because the application and benefits eligibility processes for various disability benefits can be complex, proper knowledge of the process can help guide disabled individuals who find themselves in need of the benefits that may be available to them.

Source: Social Security Administration, "What is Medicaid," Accessed April 24, 2016

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