“Extra Help” Benefit for Seniors with High Prescription Expenses

It is no secret that medicine can become very costly as we age – especially as the prescriptions we are told to take by our doctors begin to increase in number.

When no generic version of a drug exists yet, the costs are even higher.  The good news is that the Social Security Administration (SSA) has a program called “Extra Help” for some Medicare beneficiaries.

Depending on and individual or couple’s assets and income level, he or she could qualify for extra help under Social Security.

 How much help?

“The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $4,000 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia.” Read More at SSA.Gov.

What are the eligibility standards?

First, the “Extra Help” program is only available to people enrolled in a Medicare Prescription Drug plan.

Below are the additional requirements:

  • You have Medicare Part A and/or Part B;
  • If you are married and living with your spouse, your combined savings, investments, and real estate must not be worth more than $26,120;
  • If you are not currently married or not living with your spouse, then your savings, investments, and real estate must not be worth more than $13,070.

You do not have to count your home, vehicles, personal possessions, life insurance, burial plots, irrevocable burial contracts or back payments from Social Security or SSI.

If I think I am eligible, how do I apply?

You must apply online here, the “Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs” page, on the official website of the U.S. Social Security Administration.


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About Evan H Farr, CELA, CAP

Evan H. Farr is a 4-time Best-Selling author in the field of Elder Law and Estate Planning. In addition to being one of approximately 500 Certified Elder Law Attorneys in the Country, Evan is one of approximately 100 members of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a Charter Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.