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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11714
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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Yesterday I was informed by the Department of Social Services

Resolved Question:

Yesterday I was informed by the Department of Social Services that my husband is required to take his Social Security Retirement income of 1149 a month “now” rather than “wait” until later when he is 68 and get 1500 a month. We have been receiving benefits such as Food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid (Husky C for him and Husky D for me) ......based on our income without social security retirement income. The Social Security administration (SS) confirmed that medicaid eligibility is based on "available" income. Therefore, because it is "available" ..... are we forced to take the 1149 and don't have a choice to wait. Is this right?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 11 months ago.
Hi, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I thank you for your inquiry. I have been practicing SS law full time for 10+ years and look forward to assisting you. I am happy to clear up any confusion for you, or explain what is going on with the SSA - it is true, that we have to avail ourselves of our income streams available, or otherwise they will be deemed to us anyway. But, more specifically....

Yesterday I was informed by the Department of Social Services that my husband is required to take his Social Security Retirement income of 1149 a month “now” rather than “wait” until later when he is 68 and get 1500 a month. He can wait, but he can not get welfare from the state taxpayers, while sitting on income that he could be taking. Thus, he can make that choice of NOT taking his retirement income now, but it will be a "countable" source, which will likely put him over the threshhold of low income, making him ineligible for some or all welfare benefits.


We have been receiving benefits such as Food stamps (SNAP), Medicaid (Husky C for him and Husky D for me) ......based on our income without social security retirement income. The rule is that once we turn 62 and are eligible to collect SS, that amount will be imputed to our numbers, when determining if we are destitute enough to take the welfare.

 

The Social Security administration (SS) confirmed that medicaid eligibility is based on "available" income. Correct.

 

Therefore, because it is "available" ..... are we forced to take the 1149 and don't have a choice to wait. Is this right? No, you can wait, you can even wait until age 70 so your benefit will be 32% greater than the amount you'd take at 66, but you will lose whatever benefits you are not entitled to by virtue of having that money sitting there for you, akin to having it sitting in a bank account - it is definitely counted as such. By analogy, let's say we are the beneficiaries of an annuity that pays us $1100/month - we are not permitted to give up that money and send it elsewhere, while expected not to be credited with it as income we could be getting so we don't have to take welfare (which is limiting others from income, in theory, as it can only stretch so far).



Already Tried:
I googled the issue to death and all I could find was SSI issues for people with disabilities. I wanted to check with you because Medicaid might have different rules than SSI. DSS said that if we ignored the letter and didn't put in for retirement, my being the wife of the applicant, "a deemer" my Husky D might be safe. Medicaid is different in some ways, in that the income maximum can differ, usually higher, than the SSI limit, which is low.

 

However, because your husband will lose his welfare benefits if his available income is too high, if he really wants to avoid taking the reduced SSA retirement amount if he is under 66, and especially if he wants it to be 32% HIGHER than what the "full" amount would be, if he can work, even PT, enough to replace what he is missing, he can earn those SSA 'delayed retirement credits' and really provide a great benefit for later, when he likely needs it more. That is, of course, presuming he is not confined to a bed or otherwise severely disabled. Just an idea! I know it is hard.


I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely,

Alexia Esq.

Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11714
Experience: 19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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