Navigating the complexities of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Medi-Cal benefits can be challenging, especially when you are dealing with a disability that impacts your ability to work. Understanding how these programs work and how they can provide financial and health care support is crucial for residents in Southern California.

This guide provides an overview of the eligibility requirements and benefits of both SSDI and Medi-Cal. Contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 for a legal consultation.

SSDI: Qualifying and Applying

SSDI is a federal program that offers financial assistance to people who have a disability and have previously contributed to the Social Security fund through payroll taxes.

Eligibility Criteria for SSDI:

  • Work Credits: The number of credits needed depends on your age at the time of disability. Generally, 40 credits are required, half of which must have been earned in the last ten years.
  • Medical Qualifications: You must have a disability that significantly limits your ability to perform basic work activities and is expected to last at least one year or result in death.

Application Process:

  • Gather Documentation: Collect all necessary medical records, employment history, and other relevant documents.
  • Submit Your Application: You can apply online, by phone, or in person at a Social Security office.
  • Review and Approval: After a detailed review by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you will be notified about the approval or denial of your application.

Medi-Cal: Accessing Health Care Benefits

Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program providing health care services to low-income individuals and families, including those receiving SSDI benefits.

Understanding Medi-Cal Eligibility:

  • Income-Based: Eligibility is primarily determined based on your income level.
  • Disability Status: Those receiving SSDI are often automatically eligible for Medi-Cal, regardless of their income.
  • Asset Test: For some enrollees, Medi-Cal eligibility may also depend on the value of their assets.

Benefits of Medi-Cal:

  • Comprehensive Coverage: Medi-Cal covers a wide range of health care services, including doctor visits, hospital care, prescription drugs, and more.
  • No Cost or Low Cost: Medi-Cal is free or low-cost depending on your income, making it accessible for those on SSDI who often have limited financial resources.

Coordinating SSDI and Medi-Cal Benefits

When you qualify for SSDI, you may automatically qualify for Medi-Cal benefits without a separate application, thanks to the linkage between these programs.

Tips for Coordinating Benefits:

  • Understand the Coverage: Make sure you understand what each program covers to ensure all your health care needs are met.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with any changes in eligibility or benefits in both programs to ensure continuous coverage.
  • Seek Assistance: If you encounter issues or have questions about your benefits, consider seeking help from a knowledgeable source.

How PLBH Can Help

At PLBH, we specialize in helping Southern Californians navigate the complexities of disability benefits. Our experienced team can assist you in understanding and applying for SSDI and Medi-Cal, ensuring that you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to.

Our Services Include:

  • SSDI Applications: We can help you prepare and submit your SSDI application, ensuring all documentation is complete and accurate.
  • Medi-Cal Advice: Our team can guide you through the Medi-Cal eligibility process and help coordinate your benefits with SSDI.
  • Appeals and Hearings: If your application for SSDI or Medi-Cal is denied, we can represent you in appeals and hearings.

Navigating SSDI and Medi-Cal doesn’t have to be overwhelming. With the right guidance and support, you can secure the benefits you need to manage your health and financial well-being. If you need assistance or have questions about SSDI and Medi-Cal, contact PLBH at (800) 435-7542 today to schedule a consultation.