Can SSI/Medicare/Medical/Hud Section 8 look for repayments of benefits paid to date, when I am no longer eligible for benefits going forward?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 22, 2016
Leo smyth asked...

My question involves collection proceedings in the state of California. Can SSI/Medicare/Medical/Hud Section 8 - look for repayments of benefits paid to date, when I am no longer eligible for benefits going forward? At this time I have no outstanding debt or balances owed to any of the above parties as far as I am aware. If I now purchase property with the help of a low interest loan from my parents can they attach this asset/mortgage? I have no savings to date and would like to start saving now. Is any money I now try to save subject to debt repayment/collection in the future? Are benefits paid to date viewed as debt? I am currently receiving Medicare & MediCal and anticipate that this will be cut off shortly due to my income level now. (So far I do not have an alternate means of medical benefits, but that is a whole other issue). For the past ten years I have been permamently disabled and received SSI Payments until last year. I have started back to work I am currently working part-time and my income is about $30,000. I am renting an apartment and receive Section 8 co-payments to date, but am at the cut -off threshold. I am still partially disabled but want to continue working and supporting myself. I would like to buy an apartment/condo, since my current rent exceeds what my payments would be on a purchase. I would also like to have the savings vehicle and security of owning a property for my retirement.


Expert Answers

You seem to be doing everything right, and there is no reason to worry about repayment to any of these agencies or programs. As long as you legitimately qualified when you were receiving assistance, there is no obligation to repay any of these programs if and when your income goes up and you no longer qualify. The only possible exception to this is Medi-Cal, but only under very limited circumstances, which are that you were over the age of 55 and already owned a home when you received long-term nursing home or home care coverage from them; this rule does NOT apply to regular Medi-Cal coverage for medical care. If you already owned a home and had received such long-term care, Medi-Cal could place a lien against the existing home for repayment of those costs. But since you did not own a home at the time you received Medi-Cal coverage (and it doesn't sound like you received long-term residential care anyway), this wouldn't apply to you.