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SSI and Medicade

GrandmaEv
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2007

Hi Everyone, I had a phone interview this week with the Soc.Sec.people. I have Gastro Intestinal Stromal Tumors (GIST). I was denied help because we have life insurance(just enough to bury my husband and myself) and a very small savings acc. The savings i can understand and could pay 2 farming bills and it would be gone. The life insurance i don't think is fair. Are we supposed to leave our funerals for the family to pay? That's just nuts! Is there anywhere i can get advice (free) as to what i should do now? I would be thankful for any helpful info. Gist is a terminal illness. Most only survive 3 - 5 years. Thanks for your help. Evie

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Grandma Ev,

If the farm you refer to is property in your name, you really should sign it over to your children or any other family you can trust before you apply for SSI. This tactic, called "asset dumping" is very common among the uninsured or others seeking government assistance who happen to own homes or other real estate. A former Illinois senator even did that so her mom could receive Medicaid! I only caution that whomever you transfer the title to is someone who will not turn around and charge you rent or evict you, they must be people whom you would literally trust with your lives. I would also recommend that you seek legal guidance. You can often receive pro bono counsel through the law clinic of your local law school or even through your bank.

Love and Courage!

Rick

GrandmaEv
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2007

Thank you Rick. Yes we do own our farm, but our Son's name is on it also. Does that help? I was afraid i might have to get legal help. Nothing in life is ever easy is it? Are you able to get into the chatroom? I've been trying for atleast 3 months, and i still can't get in. Is there a secret? I have downloaded java 3 different times and still nothing. People on here are so nice, i would just love to chat with them. Hugs! Evie

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Evie,

Your son should be the sole owner of your farm, not just a co-owner. You need to remove your names from the title via a legal document called a "Quit Claim Deed". Many banks have attorneys on staff, please check with your bank to see if they can do this for you for free. I know it is unfair, but Social Security views your farm as a valuable asset which could be mortgaged or sold to pay your medical bills. Your son needs to be sole owner so that you are without tangible assets. And attorney will clarify this in addition to following this link:

http://www.mortgagefit.com/quitclaim-deed.html

Years ago my father signed our family home over to his brother and my mother's sister via "quit claim deed" to prevent it from being attached to a damage award in the event that he was named in a work-related lawsuit. Following his retirement, my aunt and uncle signed it back over using a "quit claim deed".

Here is the Social Security website info on what you need to qualify for SSI:
" Your income and resources

Whether you can get SSI depends on your income and resources (the things you own).
Income

Income is money you receive such as wages, Social Security benefits and pensions. Income also includes such things as food and shelter. The amount of income you can receive each month and still get SSI depends partly on where you live. You can call us to find out the income limits in your state.

Social Security does not count all of your income when we decide whether you qualify for SSI. For example, we do not count:

* The first $20 a month of most income you receive;
* The first $65 a month you earn from working and half the amount over $65;
* Food stamps;
* Shelter you get from private nonprofit organizations; and
* Most home energy assistance.

If you are married, we also include part of your spouse’s income and resources when deciding whether you qualify for SSI. If you are younger than age 18, we include part of your parents’ income and resources. And, if you are a sponsored noncitizen, we may include your sponsor’s income and resources.

If you are a student, some of the wages or scholarships you receive may not count.

If you are disabled but work, Social Security does not count wages you use to pay for items or services that help you to work. For example, if you need a wheelchair, the wages you use to pay for the wheelchair do not count as income when we decide whether you qualify for SSI.

Also, Social Security does not count any wages a blind person uses for work expenses. For example, if a blind person uses wages to pay for transportation to and from work, the wages used to pay the transportation cost are not counted as income.

If you are disabled or blind, some of the income you use (or save) for training or to buy things you need to work may not count.
Resources (things you own)

Resources that we count in deciding whether you qualify for SSI include real estate, bank accounts, cash, stocks and bonds.

You may be able to get SSI if your resources are worth no more than $2,000. A couple may be able to get SSI if they have resources worth no more than $3,000. If you own property that you are trying to sell, you may be able to get SSI while trying to sell it.

Social Security does not count everything you own in deciding whether you have too many resources to qualify for SSI. For example, we do not count:

* The home you live in and the land it is on;
* Life insurance policies with a face value of $1,500 or less;
* Your car (usually);
* Burial plots for you and members of your immediate family; and
* Up to $1,500 in burial funds for you and up to $1,500 in burial funds for your spouse..."
http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/11000.html#part1

(The part about not counting "the home you live in" sounds comforting!)

I rarely visit the chat room, but recommend that you check to see that your browser is javascript enabled using the link I sent on a previous thread. Downloading Java will not work unless your browser is permitting its interactivity.

Love and Courage!

Rick

GrandmaEv
Posts: 9
Joined: Jun 2007

Dear Rick, Thanks so much for all the information. I need all the help i can get. Does it matter that we are making payments on our farm? I guess the bank owns it until we get them paid, we can't sell it. If we did, the bank would get the money. I was denied disability, i didn't pay in long enough, but i can appeal the denial on SSI and Medicade, as soon as i fix a few things. I have more than 3000$ in the bank, so i have to find out what the acceptable things are that i am allowed to spend it on. Then i have to set up a seperate acc. at the bank for living exspences. They say the accounts have to be seperate, i don't understand why. We keep records of what we spent and where. We have for 37 years. It is all in record books. If they deny me then, i guess they pay for legal help if you get someone that they preappove. Hugs and Prayers, Evie

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

Evie,

I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney. A friend with Parkinson's Disease who was born Dyslexic had initially been rejected for SSI until he hired an attorney to represent him who got Social Security to reconsider and approve his application.

Prior to seeing your attorney, I recommend that you prepare a list of your questions and concerns along with an accounting of your assets, income, and liabilities. Bring any titles to property along with copies of tax returns. Also, information from your physician regarding your diagnosis and treatment. Your attorney can then present a powerful case for approving your SSI benefits.

The following websites can guide you to possible pro bono (free) legal services by state. Check them out before you decide to go the "paid" route.

http://www.ptla.org/links/services.htm
http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/directory.html
http://www.freeadvice.com/

There is hope, especially if you have a legal "quarterback" on your team.

Love and Courage!

Rick

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