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How SSDI benefits can affect your Medicaid planning process

As an adult thinking about your retirement years in Indiana, there are numerous considerations to address. Thinking about the medical care that you may require later in life is very important. Although most adults in Indiana will qualify for Medicare when they retire, Medicare does not cover all of the treatment you may eventually require.

Especially if you may move into a nursing home when you get older or hope to age in place and have nursing support in your own home, Medicaid benefits may eventually be necessary to pay for those costs. Your current and recent financial activity will come under scrutiny when you apply, which is why advance planning is so important for those who may eventually need Medicaid benefits.

If you currently receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits because of a disabling medical condition, will those benefits prevent you from qualifying for Medicaid?

Many people receiving SSDI can qualify

SSDI is not particularly generous, which means that even those receiving full benefits could still qualify for other needs-based benefits. Your eligibility for Medicaid benefits depends on your financial circumstances.

The state looks at both your income and your personal assets. If you receive SSDI benefits, you may actually have an easy time qualifying for Medicaid. Currently, Indiana will approve applicants with up to $16,971 in annual income. That is slightly higher than the annual income of the average SSDI recipient as of April 2022, which is $16,332.

Of course, that does mean if you have supplemental income, you may be dangerously close to the financial cutoff for Medicaid. If you do not receive SSDI benefits but instead qualified for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), your qualification for SSI should also immediately qualify you for Medicaid coverage.

SSDI will eventually become retirement benefits

As you think about your possible future need for Medicaid coverage, it is important to recognize that when you reach retirement age, your SSDI benefits will become retirement benefits. You also need to learn about how the penalties work when you apply, as you could have to pay for months of care out of pocket if you don’t plan ahead.

Understanding how much you will receive from SSDI and other sources of income will be crucial for the Medicaid planning process.