2008-05-09 / Columnists

Social Security And You

Help Your Mom Save $3,600
Commentary By James Glasser, Manager, Far Rockaway Social Security Office

People all over the country are helping their moms save as much as $3,600 per year on the cost of prescription drugs.

James Glasser
You can, too!

We all know the high cost of medicine can be a burden on mothers who have limited income and resources. But there is extra help - available through Social Security - that could pay part of their monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments.

The extra help could be worth up of $3,600 per year.

To figure out whether your mother is eligible, Social Security needs to know her income and the value of her savings, investments and real estate (other than the home in which she lives). To qualify for the extra help, she must be receiving Medicare and also have:

Income limited to $15,600 for an individual or $21,000 for a married couple living together.

Even if her annual income is higher, she still may be able to get some help with monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments.

Some examples where income may be higher include if she or her spouse: - Support other family members who live with them; - Have earnings from work; or

- Live in Alaska or Hawaii; and

Resources limited to $11,990 for an individual or $23,970 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds.

We do not count her house and car as resources.

Social Security has an easy-to-use online application that you can help complete for your mom.

You can find it at www.socialsecurity.gov. To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to the nearest Social Security office.

To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods, visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227; TTY 1-877-486-2048).

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