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Understanding Medicaid and disability benefits


Disabled individuals facing certain challenges should be familiar with both disability options and options that may help them with their health care needs. Medicaid is a health insurance program for low income individuals and individuals of limited resources that is both state and federally funded. Medicaid is available to disabled individuals, as well as aged individuals, the blind and children who are eligible to receive federally assisted income maintenance payments.

In Georgia, individuals who are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are also eligible for Medicaid and the application for SSI benefits is the same as the application for Medicaid. Eligibility for Medicaid begins the same month as eligibility for SSI. To qualify for Medicaid, the applicant must have been eligible to receive SSI for at least one month, be disabled, meet all additional eligibility rules, need Medicaid to work and meet certain other requirements.

To qualify for Supplemental Security Income, an application must be disabled and have limited income and resources. SSI is unlike Social Security Disability to the extent that it does not rely on work history for the applicant to receive benefits.

Traditional Social Security Disability benefits are based on disability and work history to qualify. The standard to qualify as disabled is the same for both. To qualify as disabled for SSI benefits, the applicant must suffer from a physical or mental medical condition that is expected to last 12 months or greater that prevents them from engaging in meaningful work.

There are different options available for disabled individuals to receive help with the physical and financial struggles associated with disability. Because so many options are available, it is important to understand each and how the options available may work together to provide a compliment of resources for disabled individuals.

Source: SSA.gov, "Medicaid Information," accessed on Aug. 14, 2016

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