Verify Your Benefits 2017-08-11T10:17:48-06:00

   Verify Your Benefits

Verify Your Benefits

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This step is extremely important. In order to know what you need to do to prepare for your settlement, you need to know what government benefits you are receiving.

This page contains instructions on how to verify which government benefits you’re receiving. If you receive NO government benefits whatsoever, you may skip to the end of this page and click on the appropriate button.

To learn how to verify benefits within the categories listed on this page, please press the plus sign to the left of the title. The area will expand and you can view instructions on how to verify the benefits within that category.

If you know that you aren’t receiving benefits within a listed category, you may skip that section. However, we recommend that you read through each category.

Please take the time to verify your benefits. As you verify your benefits, write down which benefits you receive.

Note: Any clickable link on this website opens the link in a new browser tab. This allows you to keep track of your progress on our site without having to use the forward and back buttons on your browser repeatedly.

The most common health insurance benefits provided by the government are Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicare serves people over 65 primarily, whatever their income, and serves younger disabled people and dialysis patients. Medicaid serves low-income people of every age.

If you are unsure about the difference between Medicare and Medicaid, please click here.

How to Verify. You may be able to verify whether you are receiving Medicare and/or Medicaid simply by looking at your insurance card. It may say “Medicare” or “Medicaid” on the card itself.

If you are still unsure, your best option is to look for a phone number on your insurance card. Call the number and verify if you receive Medicare or Medicaid.

If you think you receive Medicare, you can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

If you receive Medicaid, click here to find your state’s Medicaid contact information.

Medicaid is potentially impacted by receiving money from a settlement. Medicare is not impacted.

Once you’ve verified if you receive Medicare and/or Medicaid, write it down and continue to the next section.

The Social Security Administration distributes many different types of benefits. As a result, verifying the exact benefits you receive from the Social Security Administration (if any) is a very important step.

Please take the time to figure out (1) if you receive benefits from the Social Security Administration and (2) which benefit(s) you are receiving.

Retirement Benefits and Survivor Benefits. The most common benefit from the Social Security Administration is the Social Security Retirement Benefit. Social Security Retirement Benefits are paid to retired workers and their spouses who have, during their working years, paid into the Social Security system. Social Security Survivor Benefits are paid to the deceased’s family members if the deceased person worked long enough to qualify for benefits under Social Security.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). If you are disabled, blind, or you are over age 65 with limited income, you may be receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). For more information about the difference between Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), click here.

If you are at all unsure about whether you receive SSI and/or SSDI, PLEASE verify which benefit(s) you are receiving before proceeding.

How to Verify. The benefits you receive from the Social Security Administration are listed on your “Benefit Verification Letter.” You can retrieve the information from your Benefit Verification Letter by doing one of the following:

  1. Login to your “My Social Security” profile. View your Benefit Verification Letter. Click here to create an account or login.
  2. Visit your local Social Security office and request your Benefit Verification Letter. Click here to find the nearest office.
  3. Call the Social Security Administration toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 and request the information found on your Benefit Verification Letter.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is potentially impacted by receiving money from a settlement. The other benefits from the Social Security Administration are not impacted by receiving money from a settlement.

Once you know which benefit(s) you receive from the Social Security Administration (if any), write it down and continue to the next section.

The housing choice voucher program (Section 8) is the federal government’s major program for assisting very low-income families, the elderly, and the disabled to afford decent, safe, and sanitary housing.

Housing choice vouchers are administered locally by Public Housing Agencies (PHAs). The PHAs receive federal funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to administer the voucher program.

How to Verify. In order to qualify for housing choice vouchers, individuals must apply with their local PHA. If you are unsure whether you receive this benefit, click here to find the contact information of your local PHA.

Housing Choice Voucher benefits (Section 8) are potentially impacted by receiving money from a settlement.

Once you know whether you receive Housing Choice Voucher benefits, make a note and continue to the next section.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—commonly called food stamps) offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities.

The Food and Nutrition Service (a division of the United Stated Department of Agriculture) works with State agencies to administer SNAP benefits.

How to Verify. If you are unsure whether you receive SNAP benefits, please call your state SNAP office. Click here to find the phone number for the SNAP office in your state.

SNAP benefits are potentially impacted by receiving money from a settlement.

Once you know whether you SNAP benefits, make a note and continue to the next section.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates a number of programs providing financial, medical, and other assistance to veterans and their family members. VA benefits include:

  • Disability Compensation
  • Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension (a needs-based benefit)
  • Health Care
  • Education & Training
  • Home Loans
  • Life Insurance
  • Vocational Rehabilitation

Veterans Pension and Survivors Pension benefits may be impacted by receiving money from a settlement. However, most other benefits provided by the VA will not be impacted by the receipt of money from a settlement.

Pension Benefits. Veterans Pension is a needs-based benefit paid to wartime veterans who meet certain age or non-service connected disability requirements.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for Pension benefits and are housebound or require the aid and attendance of another person may be eligible to receive additional monetary amounts. These benefits are often called “Aid and Attendance.”

How to Verify. To verify exactly which benefits you are receiving from the VA, please call the VA Benefits hotline at 1-800-827-1000. Please ask them if you are receiving Veterans Pension or Survivor Pension benefits.

Once you know which Veterans benefits you are receiving, make a note and continue to the next section.

If you are not on Medicare, you are not eligible to receive Medicare Savings Program benefits—and you can skip to the next section.

Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) consist of four programs designed to assist Medicare-eligible participants who have limited income and resources. MSPs assist with out-of-pocket medical expenses, co-insurance, and deductibles. Medicare Savings Programs are federally funded and administered by each state’s Medicaid agency.

There are four different Medicare Savings Programs, each with a different income and asset limit:

  • Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB)
  • Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB)
  • Qualifying Individual (QI)
  • Qualified Disabled Work Individual (QDWI)

For additional information on Medicare Savings Programs, click here.

How to Verify. If you are unsure whether you are receiving MSP benefits, please click here to find your state’s Medicaid program contact information. Then, call your state’s Medicaid program to verify whether you are receiving Medicare Savings Program benefits.

Once you know if you’re receiving Medicare Savings Programs benefits, make a note and continue to the next section.

Each state has additional government benefit programs available to its residents.

Please visit your state’s listing of benefits of the Benefits.gov website by clicking here.

Nearly all of the benefits listed on your state’s Benefits.gov page are needs-based (to be eligible you must have limited income and/or assets). One major exception is unemployment insurance.

Common needs-based benefits programs administered by many states include:

  • Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
  • Head Start
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • School Breakfast and Lunch Program
  • Summer Food Service Program
  • Special Milk Program
  • Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
  • Weatherization Assistance Program

How to Verify. Your state may or may not have the programs listed above. Please look on your state-specific page for a list of programs in your state.

If you receive any of the benefits listed on your state’s Benefits.gov page (other than unemployment insurance), your continued eligibility for those benefits may be impacted by receiving money from a settlement.

You may also be receiving programs unique to your state, county, or community. You are responsible for contacting those programs directly and determining which other benefits you receive.

Once you know if you’re receiving any benefits specific to your state, county, or community, make a note and continue to the next step.

Next Steps

Now that you’ve figured out exactly which benefits you are receiving, you will need to choose from one of the two buttons at the bottom of this page.

If you answer YES to the question below, you’ll be redirected to a state map. After clicking on your state, you’ll be taken to a page that gives you state-specific information. You’ll learn what you can do to minimize or eliminate the effect receiving money from a settlement will have on your needs-based benefits. After reviewing the information on that page, you’ll navigate to the Acknowledgment page.

If you answer NO to the question below, you will be taken straight to the Acknowledgment page.

Needs-Based Benefit Question

Please click on the “YES” or “NO” button based on the following question:

Do you receive ANY of these needs-based benefits:

  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Housing Choice Vouchers (Section 8 Housing)
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP—commonly called Food Stamps)
  • Veterans Pension or Survivors Pension
  • Medicare Savings Program
  • Any benefit for your state listed on your state’s Benefits.gov page (except for unemployment insurance)
YES, Go to Step 3
NO, Go to Step 4