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If I earn too much to keep SSI benefits, can I retain Medicaid?

People in Oklahoma who are getting Supplemental Security Income and would like to go back to work are often worried not just about how their earnings will affect their SSI benefits, but if it will impact getting Medicaid. Since Medicaid is often vital to the person's care and treatment, losing it can be problematic and might be a determinative factor in attempting to get back to work at all. Understanding the rules with working, getting SSI and Medicaid is imperative to a case.

If a person is blind or disabled and is receiving Medicaid prior to going to work - no matter his or her age - the Medicaid will continue provided the disability is still in place. In general, the person can continue getting Medicaid even if too much is earned from work to get SSI. The person must: be blind or disabled; meet the eligibility requirements for SSI except for the earnings; have been eligible to get regular SSI cash payments for a minimum of one month prior to becoming eligible under Section 1619 of the Social Security Act; Medicaid is needed for the person to work; and the earnings do not replace SSI cash benefits, Medicaid benefits and any attendant or personal care that would be received without earnings.

Earnings can stop a person from getting Medicaid. Each state has a different basic threshold. For Oklahoma in 2017, it is $30,310. It can change annually. If the gross earnings surpass the amount, there will be other factors including impairment-related work expenses; blind work expenses; a plan to achieve self-support; a personal attendant who is paid for through public funds; or medical expenses that go beyond the average amount for the state.

Returning to work need not eliminate a person's ability to get SSI benefits, but even if they earn too much to continue getting SSI, it might still be possible to keep getting Medicaid. If there are concerns about this issue, a legal professional experienced in SSI Supplemental Security Income can be of assistance.

Source: ssa.gov, "Spotlight On Continued Medicaid Eligibility For People Who Work: Section 1619(B) -- 2017 Edition," accessed on Nov. 6, 2017

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The Law Center for Social
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