How can I find a new doctor and can my wife qualify for SSI?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 27, 2016
Fo123 asked...

My wife has dementia. I used to have a nurse practioner come out to the house about every six weeks to check on her. She closed shop and I am having problem finding someone new.  Many doctors are not taking new Medicare patients.   How can I find one? 

Also, I receive $ 1,381.00 per month and my wife $ 421.00 from Social Security.  Can she be eligible for SSI?   I did have a home care company  take care of her part-time but that was getting to expensive. I do work part time to help with the income.

Expert Answers

The Medicare web site has a tool that can help you find doctors in your area who accept Medicare patients. You might also be able to get regular in-home care for your wife through Medicare Part B coverage for home health care. For Medicare to cover it, your wife must be referred to home health care by her doctor. And she must receive the care through a Medicare-participating home health care agency, which you can also find through a page on the Medicare web site. Medicare can also cover other kinds of dementia care for your wife .

As for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), eligibility is determined by considering a couple's combined assets, such as bank accounts, savings or investments (not including your home and certain other physical property), which may not total more than $3,000 as a couple. SSI also looks at your joint income. Because of the combination of your Social Security benefits, your wife's benefits, and your part-time income, it's unlikely that she'd qualify for SSI. Take a look at the Social Security Administration's SSI eligibility page for an explanation of the complicated rules regarding SSI. If she might be anywhere close to the SSI limits, however, it's worth it to apply anyway. You could do that for her at your local county social welfare or social services office.