Second, once the person is again eligible for SSI/Medicaid, she needs to re-apply for these benefits, which can be a difficult and time consuming task dealing with the Social Security Administration and Department of Public Welfare/Human Services. Third, if the disabled person unfortunately spends down his settlement to pay for the services that would have been covered by government benefits and then re-applies for benefits, he is no better off financially after having gone through the difficult journey of a personal injury lawsuit, which can take several years to settle.
Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid play a key role in providing life sustaining benefits to many people in this country, particularly the disabled. There are very strict asset and income guidelines to maintain eligibility for these programs. Many injured plaintiffs would lose these important benefits without advance planning. This is a three-fold problem: First, the disabled person loses the important services and financial assistance provided by these programs upon receiving too much money (either through a structure or lump sum payment). This is extremely disruptive as trusted caregivers may be lost who are only available through these programs.
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