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WELFARE FOR SENIORS Presented by: Brenda Marrero, Esq. Aging and Disabilities Unit Community Legal Services, Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "WELFARE FOR SENIORS Presented by: Brenda Marrero, Esq. Aging and Disabilities Unit Community Legal Services, Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 WELFARE FOR SENIORS Presented by: Brenda Marrero, Esq. Aging and Disabilities Unit Community Legal Services, Inc.

2 2 SSI over 65 Age 65+ Automatic Medicaid eligibility Asset/resources limit Individuals $2000 Couples $3000 Report any change in income or resources! Have to be low income and stay low income

3 3 SSI—Current benefit rates One person: $701.40 (includes state supplement) Married couple: $1054.70 combined (includes state supplement) No cost of living increase in 2010

4 4 State supplement for SSI State of Pennsylvania adds supplement to federal benefit rate If have direct deposit, this supplement appears as a separate deposit If you get paper checks and also get food stamps— the supplement goes on your EBT card If get paper checks and don’t get food stamps—you will get 2 separate paper checks Tip: Better to have bank account to avoid paying fees to check cashing stores!

5 5 SSI Overpayments What is an overpayment? When Social Security determines that you were paid too much SSI because of other income or being over the asset/resource limit You will get a letter in the mail about this Appeal! You have 60 days to appeal. Look to letter

6 6 SSI—Filing a waiver A waiver is a type of appeal Waiver can be filed at any time Must show you are without fault Must also show that paying back the overpayment would cause you financial hardship

7 7 SSI—Waivers cont’d Administrative waiver: if overpayment is under $1000 can ask SSA to waive whole amount! If are receiving Low Income Subsidy (LIS) pay only $10 per month (v. 10% of check) No need to show without fault or financial hardship

8 8 “SNAP”--Food Stamps No asset test Gross income test: 200% of federal poverty level for households that have an elderly person ($1805 per month or less) How to apply—local welfare office, online @

9 9 Medicare Medicare is a federal health insurance program for those who are at least 65 You may also get it if you are disabled and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or have end stage kidney disease It is run by the federal government Red/white/blue card

10 10 Medicare cont’d Part A—hospital insurance Part B—doctor’s visits, outpatient services, medical equipment Part D—prescription drug coverage You can also choose to have your Medicare through an HMO—Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C)

11 11 Keystone 65 Complete This is a Medicare Advantage Plan in PA for people who have both Medicare and Medicaid It is coming to an end as of 12/31/09! See handout for information and what to do if you are in this Plan!

12 12 Help with Medicare premiums Part A: usually free Part B premium: $96.40 per month State of Pennsylvania will pay this for you if you are low income See handout for income guidelines Application is in your folder

13 13 Help with Medicare prescription coverage Low Income Subsidy (LIS)—it is a program for low income people to help with prescription co-pays If qualify for this subsidy, you pay very low co- pays for drugs If your Part B premium is paid by state, you should be automatically enrolled

14 14 Medical Assistance (MA) MA is health insurance for low income people It is run by the Department of Public Welfare You have to meet income eligibility guidelines

15 15 Three kinds of MA General MA Nursing home grant—Medicaid for nursing home stay “Waiver” services—receiving nursing home level of care in your own home

16 16 Giving away your assets Don’t do it without talking to a lawyer first! If you are on MA or may need MA in the future, what you do with your assets can affect your eligibility

17 17 PACE/PACENET & PACE Plus Medicare These are Pennsylvania’s prescription assistance programs for older adults Low cost prescription medication to qualified residents 65+ Pennsylvania resident for at least 90 days prior to date of application Can’t also be in DPW’s Medicaid prescription benefit

18 18 PACE Benefit: $6 copayment (generic) or $9 copayment (brand) Eligibility: 65 years or older Previous year’s income No asset limit! Single: $ 1208 per/mo Couple: $1475 combined per/mo

19 19 PACENET Benefit: $8 (generic)/$15 (brand) copayments Eligibility: Same as PACE but slightly higher income limits Single: $1958 per/mo Couple: $2625 combined per/mo

20 20 PACE/PACENET & Part D Monthly premium If in PACE: PA pays benchmark If in PACENET: consumer pays premium Wrap around coverage Enrollment in Part D not required

21 21 Rent/Property Tax Rebate Benefits: Up to $650/yr based on income, more for certain seniors Excludes 50% of Social Security benefits You can apply online, or go to local library or state representative office to get application If you got the rebate in the past, the State will mail you the application each year See printout for income guidelines, rebate amounts

22 22 Welfare Appeals ALWAYS appeal denials and cut-offs See handout Call Community Legal Services for legal assistance

23 23 Resources Community Legal Services, Inc. 1424 Chestnut St., 215-981-3700 3638 N. Broad St., 215-227-2400 BenePhilly @ 800-236-2194 Can help you apply for state and federal benefit programs Philadelphia Corporation for Aging; Helpline: 215-765-9040 Department of Public Welfare

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