Event ID: 1585702
Event Started: 7/22/2010 4:45:38 PM ET
StandbyFor real time captions.
Welcome everybody. Good afternoon, this is Karla Bell and thank you for joining us for the 250 percent Medi-Cal Working disabled program, breaking away from the cycle of poverty webinar. I will pause at several points for questions. When I do, and to your question in the chat window. It is in the middle under the Public chat window. If you have remaining questions or once I was not able to get to, please send and in an email. My e-mail address is located on the last slide. The registration survey asked for questions and I've tried to include as many answers as possible in today's presentation. We also sent the PowerPoint out in advance, but if you did not receive it, feel free to contact me and I will send it to you. You can't also open up the captioning window by clicking the closed captioning icon in the lower right-hand corner. This window can be resized so you can view the PowerPoint and the captioning.
A little background about me, I am a program manager with the California Health incentives improvement project. I work on the benefits planning initiatives. Before coming to CHIIP I was with the Social program and to work as it benefits planner and as the disability program Navigator for the San Diego one-stop career centers. CHIIP is funded by indicate infrastructure grant from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. Our goal is to increase the employment rate of people with disabilities by making sure necessary support are in place such as access to health care and ability to use personal assistants services at work. We will continue to offer free Monthly webinars so I hope you'll join us again in August. Please note this webinar and all of our past webinars are archived on our website. This link is included in the resources section of the PowerPoint. When you open our website, go to the right-side and click on webinars. Which opened at page, go to the archives link. Announcements and future webinars are also listed on a weapon a page and on our Facebook page so please check it out. We will also send out a survey after the webinar. Thank you for taking the time to complete it and give us feedback.
Let's learn more about the working disabled program. Here is an overview at today's webinar. Medi-Cal Working disabled program. I will cover the history, unique features and eligibility for the program. I will also explain income, premiums and how they are determined, benefits, enrollment, future changes and resources.
The Medi-Cal Working disabled program is a working incentive that allows people with disabilities the opportunity to work and earn up to $55,188 a year and pay a monthly premium to keep their Medi-Cal. This program is for anyone with the disability who is working. It is not just for people on a Social Security disability benefit, but of course many people receiving Social Security disability insurance or childhood disability benefits are also on this program. If you can show you have a medically determinable physical or mental disability and you were working, you can qualify for this program. This program provides a choice and opportunity to Californians with disabilities to would otherwise be ineligible for full scope Medi-Cal coverage due to current income and work activity. Many people think of Medi-Cal is the poverty level program, but with the working disabled program, Medi-Cal does not equal poverty. You can earn a lot, build assets and keep Medi-Cal.
Here is a brief history. The working disabled program came about with Assembly Bill 155 and was implemented in April of 2000. In 2008, Assembly Bill 1183 eliminated the sunset date so the program will not and and can run in definitely. The working disabled program is the county administered program. The state which is the Department of Health Care Services provides technical assistance and oversight. At CHIIP we provide outreach and education.
The eight code for the working disabled program is 6g. The program is now part of a Medi-Cal managed care as of July 1, 2009. Right now managed care is an optional category, but some categories - some counties do have mandatory managed care and will pick and managed care plan for a consumer if they do not choose within 60 days. As of May 2010, 5072 people were enrolled in the program statewide. An updated number as of June, our enrollment went up to 5229. We still need to get more people into the program. Many can a computer systems do not have automated software and a manual work around is necessary for county eligibility workers.
Some of the unique features of this program include individuals can earn up to $55,188 gross per year or $73,884 grossed per year for a couple and still qualify for a Medi-Cal. You can earn up to $55,000 a year and still keep your Medi-Cal. Higher gross wages are possible when the art impairment related work experiences or IRWEs for short. Those are, but a person pays work out their own pocket and has to be related to disability or impairment and needed for work. To receive full scope Medi-Cal, you pay an affordable premium that is between $20 and $250 for an individual and their dollars or three and $75 for a couple. For Medi-Cal workers on the webinar, the premiums are listed in the share of costs field in your county's computer system.
And a unique feature is that all IRS approved retirement products are allowed and not counted toward the $2000 individual asset limit or $3000 couples' assets limit. These include IRAs, what 401K and 403b. All disability income is exempt and not included as countable income when determining eligibility and premium amount. I will be showing you an example of the calculation used to determine accountable in come in a minute. Examples of extent disability included Social Security disability insurance, SSDI, state disability insurance, workers' compensation, childhood disability benefits, private disability insurance, and veterans' benefits.
Let's talk about eligibility for this program. You must be a United States resident and living in California. You must meet Social security's definition of disability, but the medical definition only. It does not count the part that considers the ability to earn income. You do not have to currently receive a Social Security disability benefit to enroll in this program. This program is for anyone with a disability. There are several different ways to qualify as disabled. The person could be on a Social Security disability benefit or they may no longer receive Social Security disability benefits because of work, but retain Medicare because of continued disability, or they might currently receive Medi-Cal or IHSS based on disability, or received Medi-Cal, IHSS, or Social Security benefits within the last Alpine's and during that time was not considered to be disabled or you can be determined disabled by disability determination service division of the Department of Social Services. Those are all the different ways a person can qualify as disabled. A note for Medi-Cal eligibility workers, the county director welfare letter talks about how to do disability determinations for people not already on a disability program or Social Security disability insurance.
To qualify, individuals must be working and this can include full-time work, part-time work and also includes self employment. Also, the countable income must be below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. I will have these amounts in later slide. The applicant must be employed by another person, business or corporation or they may be self-employed or be an independent contractor. Work is undefined. There are no set amounts of hours required and there is no minimum earnings criteria. Earnings could be as little as $20 a week. Work activity that qualifies for this program can be as simple as walking your neighbor's dog, pet sitting, domestic support Services, Research activities, clerical work, driving or collecting cans. You can also be considered working if reseeding sick leave or vacation pay from an employer. Also if you do migrant or seasonal work is can qualify as well. Seasonal employment would be eligible since the definition of employment for this program does not mandate a specific number of months or hours are required to be considered employment. $20 is not a minimum. There isn't a specific minimum. That was just an example of Howell a person can earn a week, it's not a set minimum. A couple of examples, if a potential enrollee is currently watching his friends business three times a week or the business owner runs errands and the business owner pays a person to do this, this would be considered work and the person could be paid as I said as low as $20 a week and still qualify. Also, the Medi-Cal workers in one county shared with me an example of a man who wanted to enroll in the working program and asked if he could walk his wife's dog if she paid him for it. They worked it out and he said he would not only walk his wife's dog, but neighbor's dogs as well for income. Based on that, he was able to be enrolled in the working disabled program. Earnings can also be in kind. To provide documentation for this, you need to document and have the person who is providing you meals or room and board, write up an informal agreement describing the working arrangement at the estimation for the cost of meals, room and board and also describe the work being performed and have both parties sign and date that agreement. Earnings can also be in kind and you need to support it with written documentation.
You do need to provide proof of Employment and that can be accomplished in different ways. You can provide pay stubs, written verification from an employer or business. Also, if you are self-employed you can provide a contract that is being used, W2's also if you are an independent contractor, a 1099 IRS form can be used as well. I'm going to stop right now and take some questions. I mean waiting for the questions to come up for review.
The first question that is coming up, it does eligibility change for retirement age? With the working disabled program, there is not an age limit. One thing that happens is when somebody on Social Security disability Insurance converts to retirement and full retirement age, their retirement income of course becomes accountable under earned income. Before it was disability income and exempt, it is now retirement income and accountable. That is a lot of times preventing someone from continuing or enrolling in the program. I'm going to talk about AB-1269 that will have good changes in the future.
What if a self-employed person has zero net earnings after allowable self employment expenses, does this qualify? Yes. Provide information such as a tax return even if their net rows to zero.
Can't earnings be in kind for husband and wife such as has been received in kind income from his wife from walking the dog? That is one I would definitely run by the county eligibility worker. The example I mentioned, when the husband wanted to be paid by the wife for walking their own dog, the eligibility worker would not consider that work until he was also walking dogs from other neighbors as well. I would check with their county eligibility worker to see if that would count.
Canned the schedules for one income-tax used? You can provide schedules as proof of income for self employment.
How with employment and as Program affect one's social security disability status? That as a great question because there are specific rules and Work incentives for people receiving Social Security disability insurance and supplemental Security income when they go to work. I don't have time to go through all of those today. I highly recommend our archived webinars. We have got a webinar on the SSI and one on the SSDI Work incentives. Check those out. Also disability benefits 101. It's a wonderful website in the link is in our web sources. Check out the benefits to work calculator. That will give you a credible estimate on how work will affect all of your benefits.
The question about if a spouse is not and visibility and how the income of decks disability, I will talk about that in a later slide. Does the state require earners to mail and bank statements and savings? I will cover that in a later side also, but that as one of the things when you are applying for this program, one of the things you have to provide our bank statements. One of the things they will look at is your assets.
There is a question, accountable in come - are you talking about limits in California? Could you may be right your question again? I wasn't clear about what that was saying. The working disabled program and the information we are talking today, this is a California specific program.
Connie, I was a clear about your question. Could you clarify that? I am going to move on now to the next slides.
There are three eligibility tests. The assets test, and earned can test an earned income test when looking for eligibility for this program.
The first test, the assets test, to qualify for the working disabled program your assets cannot exceed $2000 for an individual, or $3000 for a couple. The home you live in and one car is exempt from this program. Other exemptions include items necessary for self employment, such as inventory or a bank account for your business, and thing she used on the job, such as tools or a second car. Countable assets can include checking and savings accounts, the value of stocks, bonds and trusts. Additional cars, recreational vehicles, promissory notes and all IRS approved retirement accounts are exempt.
The question on the special needs trust, a lot of those if they are set up the right way, those will be exempt for Medi-Cal and I highly recommend working with a lawyer that specializes in special needs trust for individuals that receive benefits such as Social Security benefits or Medi-Cal so that is set up correctly. The second in contest is the an earned income test. An earned income must be less than the current supplemental Security Income, a state supplement payment amount. Right now in 2010, the 1619(b) is [Indiscernible] and for a couple is $1407 a month. Also add $20 a general income exclusion is applied to any accountable on earned income. Disability income is excluded so Social Security disability insurance, state disability insurance, disability pensions, all of those are excluded. Examples accountable under an income include retirement income, survivors Social Security, net income from property and unemployment insurance. Retirement income as I mentioned before is accountable and earned income and that has been a barrier for people on SSDI that hit retirement age and convert to retirement and then their income becomes countable. Once again, I will talk later about AB-1269 and how this will change in the future. If you're accountable under earned income is not too high and you are disenrolled in ARRA, I recommend contacting the Medi-Cal County Court made. There is a link to find the one that serves your area in the resources and I will talk a little bit more about this coordinators' in a little bit.
One question, a second vehicle on which I owe more than its fair market value, will still count against me? A second vehicle if it is used for a business, it is not accountable. If its value is over the asset limit, that can count against you and I would definitely talk to the eligibility worker, I'm not sure if there is a distinction if there is a difference between what you go and that their market value. That is something I can look into it and get back to you about.
The third test is the earned income test. For this test, you're accountable income must be below 250 percent of the federal poverty level. The countable income limits are $2257 a month for an individual, and $3036 a month for a couple. A calculation is used to determine if your accountable income is below 250 percent, which I will go over in a few minutes. Let's also look at the gross earned income limits. For the individual you can earn approximately $4599 a month to qualify, and for eligible couples, you can earn $6157 a month gross and qualify. For couples, if you are both eligible, both members have a disability and a working, both of their incomes and Resources will be considered and the couple's income limits, asset amount, which is $3000, and premium amount will be used. If one of the couple is ineligible, their income and resources will be considered and a beaming calculation will be applied. Once that deeming calculation is applied to the ineligible member of the couple's income, if that in eligible spouses income is over a certain amount, it will be accountable. It deeming of spousal income applies to the individual, their net countable income must be less than 250 percent of the federal poverty level for two persons. That is the $3036 a month. How did they determine if your countable income is below two 1/5 percent? Let's take a look.
Accountable income is calculated using the same calculation steps used to determine supplemental Security Income, SSI payments. This calculation is determined your income for the working disable program. The calculation steps are under earned in come - $20 plus earned income - $65 divided by two. Any and earn income you have, they subtract $820 General income exclusion and then they take a look it earned income and subtract is $65 earned income exclusion and add in the fund earned accountable and accountable together and divide by two. If you don't have any and earn income, the $20 income exclusion will be applied to your earned income. For somebody who has just an income, the calculation steps will be earned income, - 20, - 65, divided by two. Remember all disability income is exempt. Impairment related work expenses can be used as deductions. Once again these are pocket expenses are related to a person's disability if a person has an impairment work-related expenses they will need to show proof they paid for it such as a receipt or an increase. Some examples of impairment related work experience include any costs related to service dog, medical supplies, dialysis equipment, modifications to your home or vehicle, attended care services, assistive technology needed to do your job and the cost of training to use any equipment. The suggested few examples. There are many others that can qualify as well.
I'm going to clarify the countable income calculation. Let's start with if somebody has both unearned income and earned income. What they're going to do is site in the and earned income a person has and subtract $20 from that. Put that aside. The next step is adding that to any burned in come excuse me, and earned income - $20. The next step, the person has earned income. Earned income - $65 divided by two. At to get it at that point, it this person has an earned income, and accountable in come and their earned income and that will be their net accountable in come. And the earned income - $20, but that value aside then start with the earned income - $65 and divide that by two then at to get their accountable on earned income plus accountable earned income and that will equal your net accountable in come. For somebody who has earned income only, it is going to be their earned income - 20 - $65 divided by two. What about the cost of an actual van purchase before modifications are done as an impairment or expense? You can try that, the definition of IRWE.
Only the earned income minus $65, that is divided by half, yes. I would like to show the deeming formula, but it is way too complicated for today's webinar. That is not something we will be covering today. I am sorry about that. Let's take an example of Mary. Mary is starting a part-time job as a Ministry of assistance and she currently receives $900 a month in Social Security disability insurance. Remember that disability income she earns is exempt. Her new job is going to pay her $1500 a month. She is not eligible for health insurance so she is concerned about keeping her Medicare and also like to have Medi-Cal. Here are the steps used to determine Mary's countable income. They start with the $1500 in earned income, subtract the $20 General earned income exclusion, subtract the $65 earned income exclusion and subtract the $100 IRWE. The remainder is $1315, divide that by two, and accountable income is $657.50. If you will remember, $2257 is 250 percent of the federal poverty level and at $657, Mary's countable income is definitely less. Her accountable income is low enough to qualify. Let's take a look at her monthly premium.
Mary's countable income is $657.50. On the premium chart, it is between six centered $1 and $701. Her monthly premium would be $25 a month.
A lot of people are stuck in the Medi-Cal meeting share of cost program. In this case they can use Medi-Cal until they meet their monthly share of cost, which means people do not get to use the Medi-Cal. Micky share of costs is very high. I have heard of somebody with a $3000 share of cost. In Mary's example, her total gross income is $2400 a month. With the working disabled program, she has an immediate access to the full scope Medi-Cal by paying a $25 a month premium. If the working disabled program did not exist, she would be stuck in the share of cost program and a shared cost would be $950 a month which means she would have to spend $950 on her health care each month before Medi-Cal would even start. That takes a big chunk. But the working disabled program, she does not have a share of cost and that leaves more money for her to spend on what she wants. She can even save for a future with the retirement account. Remember you don't have to earn as much as Mary did. You can watch their neighbor's dog while they are not and have them pay you $10 a week and get full scope Medi-Cal. Since Mary receives Social Security disability insurance, she will definitely want to get benefits counseling to find out how this new job will affect her SSDI and medicare. I will have resources later in the presentation for benefits counseling. Also disability benefits 101 would be a great place for her to start as well. I'm going to pause and take some questions that have come up so far.
I have a question prior to my husband generating earnings, he is SSDI was counted against my income deemed because he was not eligible under the working disabled program, was that correct? Under another program, he is SSDI could be considered accountable in come but if he is also eligible for working disabled, it wouldn't be counted so yes, that was correct. What happens to bank savings if a person goes back on disability benefits? Connie had this question and it's one of those that depends on the different disability programs out there. Some have asset limits, some do not such as Social Security disability insurance or childhood disability benefits. For those type of benefits, you could have as much money as you wanted in the bank, technically even Bill Gates could qualify for SSDI. For a program such as supplemental Security Income or other Medi-Cal programs, those have asset limits that would apply to banks if you have, such as Medi-Cal and SSDI have the 2004 individual and $3000 for a couple asset limit. [Indiscernible]. For gross annual earnings '80s $55,188 annually for the program. Looking at earned income limits are $2257 a month for an individual and $3036 a month for couples. I'm going to review some more of these questions to answer so give me a second while I review them. Just a second. Michael was asking, do you risk losing your SSDI by working part-time? Going to work alone is not going to trigger a medical review. For Social Security disability insurance, that are two different types of reduced, there's a work review and a medical review. If you go to work, they can do any work review which is to take a look at where you are working and how much you are earning to see if you're going to be using in at those Social Security disability Insurance incentives such as trial work. Or [Indiscernible]. A medical review, those are separate from work, not triggered by work. Those are periodically done depending on how severe your disability is and how many years are between the medical reviews. Going to work alone is not triggering a medical review, but you could get the work week you so they want to take a look on how much you are earning. They are looking to see if your earnings are up of substantial gainful activity which is a number. Right now, is $1000 a month for someone with an individual work disability. If you're earning over substantial gain activity, that in an impact on whether you are able to receive your SSDI cash benefits are not. I recommend talking to a Work incentives planning counselor about the details about how much you're going to earn and how would affect your SSDI.
Another question, how the working disabled program and how it relates to Medi-Cal? If you are enrolled in the working disabled program, you can also continue with your in home supportive services. With somebody in the share of costs Medi-Cal program or share of cost in home supportive services, one of the big benefits of taking a job and working with to be eliminate that share of cost for Medi-Cal and in home supportive services both. Somebody had mentioned also with the ticket to Work program, a great point. If you or somebody receives Social Security disability insurance, supplemental Security Income, a child and disability benefits, you can be eligible to use the ticket to work Work incentive, it is a work incentive and for anyone on this benefits that is between 18 and 64. You can use that ticket and assigned to an employment network or take it to the Department of rehabilitation. When your ticket is in use and the services that ticket provides our services to help the employed, when the ticket is in use and you are making progress on your employment goal, Social Security cannot do a medical review on your case. If a person is worried about the medical review, ticket to work is something they might want to consider and using the program to become employed. Disability benefits 101 has great benefits about ticket to work in the Work incentives planning an assistant products can also talk to you about ticket to work.
Captioner says: Candice - you may want to check the disabilitybenefits101.org website.
And going to move on to the benefits of the working disabled program. The working disabled program is an affordable choice for health coverage. Since private plans cost hundreds of dollars more. I want to thank folks who are out there helping with the answers to questions in the chat. Thanks so much. Also large shares of cost, you have no large share of cost with this program. With in home supportive services, this is especially important since the IHSS buyout was eliminated and individuals on IHSS share of costs have a higher share of cost now. If you have enrolled in the working disabled program, you also eliminate your IHSS cost in addition to Medi-Cal share of cost. [Indiscernible]. You can contact maximums and your ticket to work website. A contact maximums, you can get another ticket. Disability benefits 101 will also have the contact information to get a new ticket. Continuing with the benefits, also a liberal definition of Employment and I have an example. A gentleman came to the Congress center where I worked and he applied for Medi-Cal and had gotten his a moment notice and he had a share of cost over $800. He was upset and not sure what to do and he worked with the disability program Navigator and she talked to him about the working disabled program. He was not sure he could work at the time and the navigator ask him what he did every day. He mentioned he collected cans and took them to the local recycling center. The navigator worked with the local Medi-Cal advocate and to get it the work to get proof of the income that he was getting from the recycling center. With this letter that was proof of income and the work of the advocate he was enrolled in the working disabled program. He went from an $800 share of cost to a $20 premium and full scope Medi-Cal. I mentioned before disability income is exempt. Once again, the caveat that earning income can impact any and all benefits that you received so definitely get benefits counseling from the Work incentive assistants program. Other benefits as I mentioned before, you can build retirement accounts in any of the IRS approved retirement accounts. You can also maintain your in home services and in the workplace and just a note, you can use the IHSS hours in the workplace. One question I had gotten in advance was about IHSS Advanced pay. The person wanted to know if you can maintain your IHSS advance pay status while working on the disabled program and yes you can. Advanced paper IHSS is with the county provides recipients a check at the beginning of the month that they can use to pay their attendance and this provides more flexibility for them who have more than one provider. The pay status, it will not negatively affect that it all. Another benefit access to the Medi-Cal health insurance premium payment program, HIPP for short. If you have Medi-Cal through the Working Disibility Program program, the state may pay for other health coverage you have under certain conditions. You can't apply for this program and I recommend once again disability benefits 101 that has a great section about the health insurance premium payment program and how to access those programs.
Candice says: Thank you captioner, I have checked out db101.org; another benefits counselor and I wanted clarification on the gross earnings ceiling. I wanted a specific cite from the MediCal regs because I have talked with eligibility workers who didn't know about 250% WD Program. (Of course, I could contact the 250% WD coordinator in our county, but at the time, I couldn't remember her name.) Thanks again.
Once again, acceptable retirement accounts include those that are IRS approved and that could lead a IRA, a 401K or a 403b.
If you are somebody that is on Medicare as well, you're duly eligible, you have Medicare and Medi-Cal, [Indiscernible] one of those is Medi-Cal and they will pay for your Part B premium which puts about hundred dollars back in a person's pocket each month. Also a recent change made some individuals with a share of cost over $500 will no longer have the state pay for their Part B premium. If you enroll in the Working Disabled Program program, you can get that back. With this program, the will eligibles can also qualify for the QMB program which is in Medicare savings program that helps pay for premiums and deductibles. Also you can access in home supportive services that are not covered by medicare. And you can qualify for the Medicare Part D low income subsidy. Medi-Cal I want to mention one thing about Section number eight rental assistance, section eight does have their own work incentive for when a person goes to work and when you first go to work, the first year you are working, you will exclude 100 percent of your work in come with their work income exclusion program. The second year you are working, they will exclude 50 percent of your income and after that they will be counting 100 percent of earned income. Section eight does have a work incentive of their own for people who receive section 98 and go back to work. I want to talk a little bit more about the Medicare Part D low income subsidy so when you are enrolled in the Working Disabled Program program you automatically qualify for the Part D subsidy. The Part D subsidy covers the premiums and deductibles of benchmark plans for Part D prescription coverage. You are responsible for co-payments for prescriptions. There are reduced co-payments when you are on the low income subsidy, $1.10 up to $6.30 for each covered prescription. Medi-Cal does not pay for Part D Copiague for prescriptions. If you want more information or you're looking for Medicare counseling, I highly recommend the Health Insurance counseling and advocacy program. In the resources, we've got the phone number and the website. If you need that free Medicare counseling or need help to pick a Part D program, that as a great place to go. One other point, Medi-Cal does cover the Copiague for prescriptions for private insurance. Say you have implement sponsored insurance and Medi-Cal, Medi-Cal will cover the cut pay for those prescriptions private insurance. Just to talk about Medi-Cal, you can have Medicare or employer insurance and multiple insurance providers. Men Medi-Cal is a pair of last resort.
Who should consider enrolling in the working disable program. Individuals who should consider is anybody with the disability who is working. Also individuals enrolled in Medi-Cal and support services with a share of cost. Individuals receiving Social Security disability Insurance or child and disability benefits, many of them are in the working disabled program and this includes individuals receiving SSDI or CDB and using their extended period at eligibility and extended Work incentives. Without going into too much detail about this Work incentives, please be aware about one issue I have seen come up before that applies to individuals who received SSDI and CDB. [Indiscernible]. County Medi-Cal workers can assume that a person on SSDI or CDB is no longer in cash payment status due to work that they are no longer disabled. The SSDI Work incentives apply to both SSDI and CDB of all person to remain eligible for SSDI or retain Medicare because of continued disability, but they are not payable due to earnings. The SSDI payment stops because of work and earnings, not because of a medical decision or review. In situations like this is helpful for the person on SSDI or CRs to contact the social security work incentives coordinator. They can write a letter for Medi-Cal the rights of the person is still eligible, but not payable and that this is because of work and that the person is still considered medically disabled. This issue will often come up at enrollment or redetermination for the working disabled program for somebody on SSDI originator 12. You can find a link in the resources that serves your regions. Another category of individuals who should consider enrollment in the working disabled program are individuals that receive supplemental Security Income, but it was terminated due to earnings above the 1619(b) threshold. That allows a person to keep Medi-Cal IT the SSI payment goes to zero because of the earned income from work. Right now person on SSI can earn up to $34,324 grossed per year. Somebody who is blind can earn up to $37,252 per year and keep their Medi-Cal. And going to repeat the numbers again. The 1619(b) threshold amounts for people on SSI, 34,003 and a $24 gross per year for someone with the disability, and 37,000 to one tactic is $7 a year for someone who is blind. If a person on SSI goes over the threshold amount, the working disabled program could be an option since you can earn up to $55,000 gross. There was a question that came up about how long someone can go between paychecks to continue to qualify for the working disabled program. Since the definition of employment for this program is so liberal, for somebody [Indiscernible] there is no defining thing [Indiscernible]. Basically for them, even if they go through a long period as a consultant, they can still qualify for the Working Disabled Program, I had this question come up recently for someone who was in rolling and they had started as a consultant and hadn't made any money and accounted coordinated directed them to provide a consulting contract they had to get started to get enrolled in the program so they could provide a consulting contract or a letter or something like that that documents the type of work they are doing as a consultant. That is a good question.
[Indiscernible] A person who gets supplemental Security Income, they are working if their earnings are so high that the SSI zero is out, they will be automatically put into 1619(b). It will be working with their Social Security claims representative to do that.
They will stay in the 1619(b) status as long as their income is below the threshold amount and as long as they make sure to get their assets for SSI under the $2000 or the $3000 asset limit. If the person goes above the 1619(b) threshold amount, at that point, and option is to go into the Working Disabled Program and also for somebody who goes above that 1619(b) amount, there is another thing for them to know, and individualize threshold can be calculated for them if they have high medical expenses.
Captioner says: Candice, here is the link.
Captioner says: http://www.onlineconferencingsystems.com/chiip/
No, there is not a time limit on the 1619(b).
Connie had mentioned that she tried calling the work assistants in Sacramento, but wasn't able to get any assistance. My recommendation is to call again or contact disability rights of California and they provide advocacy for individuals. Try your disability rights California and talk to advocate their and see if they can help on your behalf. They might be able to help you get in contact and Connie, you may want to Contact me after the webinar and I can help facilitate that.
Talking about how to enroll in the Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program program. If you are already receiving Medi-Cal, you can contact your Medi-Cal eligibility worker and ask them to enroll you. Provide the proof of your income and also if you have a shared cost, ask to be determined eligible. If you don't know who your eligibility worker is, contact your local Medi-Cal County office. Also if you are not currently receiving Medi-Cal, you can apply for Medi-Cal at your local Medi-Cal office. If you report earnings from work, you should be automatically enrolled. I have a link to find the county office that serves to off of the Department of Health Care Services website. I often get how long is the application process? Without a disability determination, it is about 45 days, but if there is a disability determination, it should be no longer than 90 days. People often ask also if they can get any retroactive Medi-Cal benefits when they apply. You can be eligible for three months of retroacted Medi-Cal benefits if you're otherwise eligible. If the applicable premium is paid for each month for which the retroactive coverage is requested.
And the tip for enrollment mentioned that the program is a code 6g. When you're working with your Medi-Cal eligibility worker, if they are not aware of the program or the state it doesn't exist, first I would ask to speak to the supervisor. If neither of them are aware of the program, you can direct them to the Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program program can a coordinator. We have a link to find your county coordinator on the CHIIP website. They at this policy liaisons' and address complaints from individuals or their representatives. If you're having difficulty such as finding knowledge about the working disabled program at the county office or if you have an incorrect determination, the as I things your coordinator can help you with. You can also contact your county coordinator directly if you are coming up with roadblocks. Also another option is contacting a local advocacy agencies such as disability rights California or legal aid and there are links to them in the resources. For the working disabled program for applying, there is a special application. You're going to use the Medi-Cal application that is available on-line. I think it is available in about 98 different languages. Or you can get it at your local county office. When you fill out your application, I recommend you right at the top applying for the to under 50 percent Working Disabled Program program eight code 6G. Also CHIIP as programs on the Working Disabled Program that you can use to talk to an eligibility worker and we can send those to you for free.
In addition to the completed application, you should submit that, if you are receiving a social security benefit, your latest award letter that confirms your medical disability determination is still active. Copies of your two most recent Payroll checks or stubs or a letter from an employer. Or the other things I mentioned, like yourself and Plymouth, 81099 or a tax return. Also copies of the two most recent bank statements.
Once you are enrolled in the program, how you pay your premiums? You going to be mailing a premium payments and we have the address to the program analysis unit that you can mail your premium payments to. You can mail a check or money order payable to DHCS for Department of Health Care Services. One thing I recommended you're using a personal check, if you have space on it in the memo, write a little note with the month and year you are making the premium payment for. For example, July 22 and premium payment 250 WDP. A question that had come up about the billing, how is building being handled for clients as we heard there are no invoices? Currently there is no billing system or invoicing for the program that informs individuals about the payments they have made. At the present time, the third-party liability unit that handles the payments does the cashiering and the posting of payments on the database. Originally there was supposed to be in billing service that will provide monthly invoices to individuals, but that part of the program is not in place.
If you have sent in your premium payment and you need to check to see that was received, we have a contact here at the Third Party Liability on this slide that you can follow up with. There also envelopes that are provided to you for free for the Working Disabled Program premium payments. There used to be a warehouse that did this, but it is now closed. To get envelopes, if you are from the county or if your beneficiary, you can contact Jami Chan and a lot of the county's have the envelopes for payments at the county offices.
I am going to pause for a moment for some questions there was a question that if a person on SSDI [Indiscernible]. Without more details, as I mentioned before, a person on Social Security disability Insurance can definitely apply for the Working Disabled Program program if they are working and they are going to go through those income and asset tests I mentioned earlier to see if they qualified if their income is below 250 percent of the federal poverty level and just remember for Medi-Cal, any payment they get is exempt when applying for the Working Disabled Program.
I'm going to talk now about some of the future changes coming to the Working Disabled Program. Assembly Bill 1269 was signed into law by our governor on October 11, 2009. These new rules will not be implemented until the ARRA funds the state has been receding are no longer available. When is that on to happen? I don't have a definite date. The enhanced federal funding the state is receiving mind and December 31st, 2010, or if an extension happens, it might not end until June 30, 2011. We are not clear if there's going to be an extension. Basically, these new rules will not go into effect until sometime in 2011.
Let's talk about the changes that will go into effect. AB-1269 is going to improve the working disabled program. One of the first improvements is eliminating the age 65 restriction. As we mentioned before, how would is now, when someone on SSDI reaches full retirement age, their retirement income becomes comfortable. This puts a lot of people out of the program. When AB-1269 changes go into a fact, it's going to make it so anybody on Social Security disability Insurance that converts to retirement, that exemption will continue to apply to their retirement income as well. It will not be accountable for eligibility, which is great. That is going to open a program to a lot more people. Another improvement will be eliminating the asset limit when money is placed in a separate account. To become enrolled in the program, a person will still have to meet the $2000 or $3000 asset limit. Once they are enrolled, they can keep their money in a separate savings account and there will be no cap. They can save as much as they want. Another change will be a change in the premium structure. The premiums will be changed and calculated to 5 percent of the income. They're going to count all income including disability income. The premiums will keep the same ranges I talked about. Because the premium a change to 5 percent of your income, people will see a bump up in their premium amount. Another change will be increased period of 26 weeks if Employment and counterplots. If person on the Working Disabled Program program becomes employ, they can elect to remain on the program for up to 26 weeks as long as their premiums are paid. A question about the bank account - it hasn't been fully defined. I don't know the details yet. I know as separate bank account is all the direction we have on it now. Is this were anyone or just for people over retirement age? Eliminating the asset limits is for anybody in the program. Hold on a minute, I am redoing the questions and I will be right back. A question asked if a person has a plan to achieve self support, how does that affect the Working Disabled Program? If somebody has a pass plan that is a SSI work and Senate that able someone to save the money for a work goal, if you have a pass plan and you are saving money, that also will be exempt for Medi-Cal. It will not put you over the $2000 or the $3000 asset limit for a Medi-Cal. It doesn't negatively affect the Working Disabled Program as well. [Indiscernible]. The past plan will not negatively impact Medi-Cal. Part of that is becoming eligible and putting aside money or resources to become eligible for SSDI. Somebody on SSDI could use a pass to set up something they need to work and get SSI eligibility. Anybody who gets the SSI automatically gets Medi-Cal as well.
Is there a Grace period of someone loses their job? No, there is not. That will be something that will change AB-1269 and changes go into effect.
If somebody does lose their job and they are on the Working Disabled Program, then the county will also determined to see if they are eligible for any of the Medi-Cal programs. There is a two month grace period if you lose your job now. Sorry about that. Like I said, two month grace, the county is definitely going to determine you for any other Medi-Cal program you might be eligible for.
Here are some resources for you for more information. Disability benefits 101, I recommend the website for anything on Medi-Cal and any other Medi-Cal programs, not just the Working Disabled Program and talks about the information on what Medi-Cal covers. There's also a calculator just for the Working Disabled Program. That is a nice way to put in information and it will give you a good estimate if you might be eligible for the program and how much or premium might be. Also if you want to check out the Medi-Cal eligibility procedures manual, this section has all the details about the Working Disabled Program on the Department of Health Care Services website. All county welfare directors letters, these are letters written and released by the Medi-Cal eligibility division to the 58 counties informing them of policies and procedures and administration of the Medi-Cal program. Those can also be found at the Department of Health Care Services website. There's also a list of all the welfare director letters that apply to the Working Disabled Program. Also I mentioned the county coordinators. If you've got some roadblocks to enrollment, if you think there was an incorrect eligibility decision made, if you are finding that county staff isn't aware of the program, the working disabled program county coordinator is a great resource. Also we have the website to find your local county Office four Medi-Cal and the Medi-Cal application. The talent knows no limits website, that is the CHIIP website. Webinars like this one will be archived there. There is also information for service providers and job-seekers as well about other programs and employment support that is available. Work incentives planning and assistants programs, the benefits counselors for SSI and SSDI. I recommend you are receiving a Social Security disability benefit, I didn't have time to get into it today, but both SSI and SSDI have different Work incentives. They can be very complex so it is great to get a benefits counselor to do an analysis of your situation and talking through what you need to do to work with social security. Also the area Work incentives coordinators'. A little bit more about that, they are Work incentive experts and they cover different regions throughout the state and they provide training to social security staff and out reach to the community as well. They are great resources to know about. As I mentioned before, if you are somebody on childhood disability benefits or SSDI and you run into roadblocks and the county is not sure if you can be enrolled, the area Work incentives coordinator can write a letter stating your SSDI is none in payment status, but not because of disability because of work and can help clear that up.
You independent living center, many of them have benefits counselors as well. The website here can help you find one in your area. Also Medicare can also be a complicated animal. Definitely take advantage of HICAP, the free Medicare counseling. The California health advocates website has all the different Medicare parts.
Some advocacy resources, the help consumer Alliance is often provided through legal aid in the community. If you need help getting health care and which options are, this website has great resources and you can also find a center that serves your local area. Disability rights California is another great resource for free advocacy and legal work. If you need an appeal with Social Security or Medi-Cal and you want to know your appeal rights, disability rights California is a great resources. Also if you are facing any kind of workplace discrimination, this is also a great resource as well. They also due presentations in the community and information about Work incentives.
Connie had asked what happens to Medicare extra help subsidy if a person works. Definitely a good question. If you are in the Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program program, you're eligible for the Savings Program or the QMB and having the state paid for the Part B. For somebody having other different Medicare programs, I recommend to talk to your counselor or talking to Part B. The last slide for resources are the welfare directors letters. This is a list of all of them that have to do with the Working Disabled Program.
I want to thank everybody for taking time out of your busy day to join us on this webinar. If you have additional questions I wasn't able to cover today or you need more detail, please feel free to contact me. If you want to order our free working disabled brochures, you can contact Nicholas more and we can send this to you for free and don't forget to be on the lookout for any future webinars. Our archived webinars, this webinar should be available on our webinar web site in about one or two weeks. I will be sending you a survey through the email, please take a little time to complete it to help us improve our webinars and please remember being on disability benefits does not mean a person cannot work and don't let that hold somebody back. It is a great idea to talk about benefits planner to a rehabilitation counselor about oppressions options because there are lot of programs and choices available to you. Once a person goes on any type of benefits, it should not have to resign themselves to a life of poverty. The working disabled program can be a powerful tool to help a person change the life and future and keeping affordable health insurance. Thank you again for everyone taking questions because it is a lot of information and I'm glad they helped get the word out as well. Also on our archived webinar site, we include the archive the version of the webinar, the PowerPoint and we will have the captioning transcription on there as well. That is so much for your questions. Feel free to contact me and have a wonderful rest of your day. Take care everybody. [Event Concluded]