Friday, July 27, 2007



If you get SSI disability, will you qualify for other types of benefits ?

I came across this particular question via the McClatchy-Tribune news service and it is a very relevant question, though, surprisingly, one that I don't see addressed more often.

As a former disability examiner for social security disability and SSI cases, and as a former medicaid caseworker, food stamp caseworker, and AFDC caseworker, here's my answer.

In most states, if are you approved for disability benefits and your benefit category is SSI (meaning that you were either not insured for social security disability or WERE insured for SSD but with a very low benefit entitlement amount), then you will receive medicaid benefits. This is the case, I believe, for any state that has elected to provide medicaid via funding from the federal government.

It's been a number of years since I was a medicaid caseworker (I handled medicaid for children, families, and for individuals with disabilities), but, back then, eligibility for medicaid meant that a person would receive six paid prescriptions per month, and could be seen by a physician up to 24 times per year. This, of course, may no longer be the case in every state, particularly since individual states have been given considerable wiggle room when it comes to tailoring their own state's specific version of medicaid (I believe the deficit reduction act paved the way for this).

Another benefit of being approved for SSI disability, at least in some areas, is automatic eligibility for LIHEAP, which provide energy assistance. LIHEAP is traditionally thought of in terms helping individuals with heating, but there is also a summer energy assistance program, named, not surprisingly, SEAP.




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Disability in the Various States:

Texas Disability
California Disability
Tennessee Disability
Ohio Disability