Social Security: Gateway to Medicaid

Once you can prove that your adult child is a single head of household, you should apply for SSI or Supplemental Security Income.  This is an important gateway to Medicaid, a doorway to a plethora of services.  The income is not much on a monthly benefit but the doors it can open is key to providing services to your adult child with significant disabilities. An adult living at home will get anywhere between $474 and $710 per month based on need.

Like all services, there is an application.  The application asks numerous questions about the applicant’s ability to perform tasks independently.  The key is not to lie but to show the level of dependence.  Can they function without help from another adult, most often a parent?  What can and can’t they do on their own?  These skills range from Activities of Daily Living, to use of transportation services to paying one’s own bills.  Don’t sugar coat the answers but don’t downplay the level of dependence so that you are caught in a lie.

The next step after the application is an interview.  This is where the fact checking comes in.  Let the interviewer meet with your adult child. Let them see how the adult child functions.  This is often where the truth is found out. For example, when they ask your child do you pay your bills, let them answer…no my mom/dad/caregiver does it for me.

Then there is a waiting period while the decision is being made….patience is key but remember, “the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”. Call to check on the progress.  You are not being a pain.  You are doing your job, you are advocating.

If the answer is no, appeal. What can it hurt?  If the answer is yes, bravo, you are one step closer to getting Medicaid which will open all kinds of doors. That will be discussed in my next blog; stay tuned.

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