2017 Annual Conference Highlight – Public Benefits Under the Social Security Act

Submitted by Abbey Hudson on Tue, 05/30/2017 - 19:07

Amos Goodall, incoming president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, discussed public benefits under the Social Security Act – specifically, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security Disability (SSD) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). It’s important for structured settlement to have a solid understanding of these programs and how they apply to claimants with disabilities. Below is a brief description of the programs covered during this session - you can find a more detailed description of these programs in a guide written by Amos Goodall, posted here.

  • Medicare

    • Medicare is an insurance program for people over the age of 65 or people with disabilities under the age of 65. Medicare has four parts: Part A, hospital care; Part B, physician and outpatient care; Part C (combines Parts A and B, in addition to other benefits); and Part D, insurance covering prescription drugs). Each of these has different qualifications, costs, coverage limits and rules of use.

  • Medicaid

    • Medicaid is a joint federal and state program – the federal government pays about 63% of costs, with the states picking up the balance. Medicaid has strict eligibility requirements, and is designed for the aged, blind and disabled. Medicaid is a payer of last resort, meaning that Medicaid is not available for people that have any other comprehensive insurance options.

  • Social Security Disability (SSD)

    • SSD is an insurance program that provides income for workers who become disabled and their dependents. To qualify, a person must have a sufficient earnings record (showing that they have “paid into” this program while working) and must have a physical or mental impairment that has lasted, or can be expected to last more than 12 months, and prevents them from working.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

    • SSI is income to qualifying persons – mainly, low-income people over 65, blind or disabled. SSI is key to other needs based benefits. There are strict income/resource limits that effect eligibility for SSI.

Amos Goodall provided a fantastic overview of these programs, but there are many nuances to the rules that attorneys with expertise in this area can help the parties in a case understand. If there are any topics regarding these programs that you would like to see discussed at future meetings, please email info@nssta.com.