Work Incentives and Medicaid Eligibility
Submitted by Stephanie Drum
If you have ever been in a meeting with a consumer and me, you know that I
really like work incentives and benefits. I unfairly have favorite work
incentives, which is what I am writing about today. It's one of the more
unknown and misunderstood work incentives offered to Supplemental Security
Income (SSI) recipients. This work incentive is called Continued Medicaid
Eligibility Section 1619(b). The name says it all! The purpose is to protect
Medicaid eligibility for SSI recipients who work.
Many people simply don't know about 1619(b) because they haven't thought
about working yet or don't know anything about work incentives. Even more
often, people think it is too good to be true!
Here are some quick eligibility points for 1619(b):
- Have to have SSI for at least one month
- Must have assets below $2,000 (for an individual)
- Have to be eligible for SSI in all non-financial ways - have a disability,
- Would be otherwise eligible for SSI if it weren't for their earned income
- Have gross annual earnings below the threshold for the year - in 2014 this
amount is $33,361 for most people (some individuals can have higher annual
*There are more details specifically for married couples.
People can work and earn enough income that they no longer get an SSI
payment, and still keep their Medicaid. It happens automatically and
requires no applications or requests. This might add to its mystique. It
just happens! When someone stops working or reduces their earned income, their
SSI payment can restart without a new application. As long as someone
reports their income regularly and replies to requests of information from
Social Security, 1619(b) can be a refreshingly smooth event for people who get
Keep in mind, 1619(b) only applies to people who have SSI and not other
benefits or types of Medicaid. Also, someone might want to consider MAPP
if they want to save more than the $2,000 asset limit tied to 1619(b).
Find out more from your local benefits specialist or Social Security office,
or just call me if you have questions!
608-246-3444 ext. 229
*Not all the nitty gritty is included about 1619(b), and the information
above is specific to Wisconsin.
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DVR Information Center / Knowledgebase
In the next few months, we are hoping to implement a change to DVR's
Knowledgebase in regards to DVR's policy/procedures/etc. by putting materials
into a centralized repository to improve search capabilities to hopefully assist
staff members with what they are looking for.
With this project, some hyperlinks to these materials may change. If
you are having any problems with locating materials (or notice a broken
hyperlink) during this transitional
period, please contact Audrey Merten.
Thanks for a Job Well Done
Karen Lambright - VRC, Madison
I write this email with extreme gratitude. Your ability to actually hear me,
and understand what help I need, has been so needed and you can't imagine how
happy I am to work with someone who gets it.
Andrea Christoff - Cold Case Unit
Email from DVR Counselor Antonette Liddy, Milwaukee; in response to a
successful closure after CCU was able to verify employment
As you might have been able to tell from the case number, this case has been
with DVR for a long time. She was just shy of being a 10 year case. Glad
to capture that status 26. She is also on SSDI. Closed it yesterday!
Joshua Johnson - Business Services Consultant, WDA 2
Letter received from a Milwaukee area business
We have been so pleased with the candidates that you and DVR have passed on
to us. Particularly, we would like to recognize two of them, (consumer name) and
(consumer name). They have been some of the best caregiver Senior Helpers have
had in the past few years.
Read the full letter.
Brock Hansen - VRC, Madison
Email from the parent of a consumer
As happy as I am that (consumer name) has found a perfect position at the UW,
I am very sad that we have to disconnect from you. You have gone above and
beyond to provide her with whatever services deemed necessary for her job
search. Knowing that there was someone in her corner made all the difference.
You really changed her life. Thank you for that.
Emily Nyabwari (VRC) and Connie Riemer (CCC) - Wisconsin Rapids
Email from a DVR Service Provider
An opportunity was developed at Prudential Success Realty in Marshfield and a
mutual client was a great candidate. Prudential, as a new potential
employer, wanted to do a temporary work experience to make sure he was the right
fit for their office. The consumer, Prudential, and ODC were ready
to start as early as February 3rd, but with the new system of setting up
temporary work, there were more hoops to jump through, and the usual waiting
period would have pushed the start date ahead to February 24th. Prudential
was very disappointed to learn this, as was the consumer, in part because the
main contact there is scheduled to have surgery on February 17th, and it will
take her out of the office for at least a week. The remainder of the
office is skeptical of the program, and we needed the owner to set this up for
Emily, Connie, and I connected and I explained the situation. All three
of us worked feverishly to complete everything that needed to be completed and
with their strong efforts and flexibility, we were able to start the temporary
work YESTERDAY! This kept the momentum and enthusiasm going for
Prudential, and also allowed the owner to set the stage for the training and how
the program will run. I have no doubt this was an essential piece to the
chances of a successful outcome.
I just wanted you to know that Emily and Connie were absolutely fantastic to
work with on this project and without their attitude of "How can we make this
work?" it wouldn't have happened. Their fast-acting efforts,
collaboration, and positive thinking were very much appreciated. I always
have good experiences with your staff, but this one went above and beyond, and I
just felt like it should be noted.
- Whitney Reiter, VR Counselor, Sheboygan
- Lissette Ortegon, Intern (PROMISE Grant), Central Office
- Meghana Joshi, Intern (PROMISE Grant), Central Office
- Kelvin Hogans, VRC, PROMISE Grant (Transfer from Janesville)
- Lucy Hilgendorf, CCC, PROMISE Grant (Transfer from Milwaukee)
- Lyssa Frechette, VRC, Racine (Transfer from Milwaukee)
- Nathan Writz, VR Assistant (LTE), Wisconsin Rapids
- Constance Woodall-Thompson, VR Assistant (LTE), La Crosse
- Mike Guentherman, PROMISE Grant Contractor, Central Office
- Robin Scott, Scanning/Profiler, Central Office
- Nicole Degner, Consumer Case Coordinator, Madison
- Daliana Acevedo-Maldonado, LTE VR Assistant, WDA 3
What's New/Updated on the Web
Advance & Reimbursement ERL Updates
These forms have been updated in IRIS and on the
Forms webpage (including
the Spanish and Hmong translations).
Employment Network Updates:
The following letters - including the Unprotected Body of the Letters Only,
Spanish & Hmong versions of the closure/eligibility letters can be accessed from
the DVR Forms webpage on the WorkWeb -
http://dwdworkweb/dvr/forms/default.htm). The Partnership Plus Employment
Networks (ENs) have been updated on these forms and publications.
- Closure Letter - Not Rehabilitated - SS Recipient (DVR-17156-E)
- Closure Letter - Rehabilitation - SS Recipient (DVR-17154-E)
- OOS Eligibility Referral Letter - SS Recipient (DVR-17179-E)
In addition, the following publications were updated as well with these EN