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How to Apply for Assistance

Applying for Extra Help if You Don't Qualify Automatically

It's estimated that a third of beneficiaries with Medicare can get Extra Help with Medicare costs – but the government may not know if you're one of them! For that reason, it's a good idea to apply for Extra Help, even if you're not sure you qualify. With a quick visit to the Social Security Administration website, you can determine your eligibility and apply online.

Find Out if You Qualify for Extra Help

To see if you qualify, visit the Medicare section of the Social Security Administration website, at www.ssa.gov. Click on the tab, Find Out if You Qualify, located at the bottom of the page, and then answers the questions listed in the application to find out if you qualify. Once you determine your eligibility, you can proceed to the Apply Now tab.

How to Apply

The simple, four-page application is available at your local Social Security Administration office. You can also get an application form by calling Social Security's toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (TTY: 1-800-325-0778).

Or you can apply for Extra Help online:

  1. Go to the SSA website, Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs
  2. Click the blue bar at the bottom left labeled Apply for Extra Help With Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs
  3. Read the page and click Apply Now
  4. Answer some questions about your assets and sources of income
  5. Enter information about yourself, your spouse, and how you can be reached
  6. Review your application, submit it, and print your "receipt"

The application is secured, which means only you and the Social Security Administration can see the information you provide.

The CarePlus Social Services department helps members apply for public assistance. They work with programs like the Medicare Savings Program (coordinated with the State Medicaid program) and the Extra Help prescription drug assistance program among others. CarePlus has been helping members with their Medicare/Medicaid dual eligibility status since 2002. Using this service is completely voluntary. If you choose not to use this service, your enrollment into a CarePlus plan will not be affected.

The specific agency that offers the options for assistance will be the one responsible to determine your eligibility. You are also free to apply for public assistance directly with the sponsoring agency.

For more information on the services offered by our Social Services team, please see the brochure by clicking on the following links below.

Social Services Department Brochure
Social Services Department Brochure – English
Social Services Department Brochure – Spanish

Remember, applying for Extra Help is NOT the same as joining a prescription drug plan. Whether you qualify for Extra Help or not, you must also enroll in a plan to get prescription drug coverage. The amount of Extra Help varies based on your income and resources.

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Last Updated: 10/01/2014