If I claim Medicaid caregiver payments, will it affect my own SSI disability payments?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 17, 2016
Orangeunsub asked...

I am my mom's caregiver. It has just been me, 24/7 for somewhere between 3 and 4 years. Many people ask about being paid for being someone's caregiver, but I need some help first. I am myself on SSI disability for physical/mental health issues (depressive)and most likely is permanent. I am 52, mom is 82. Will the money I could get as being a caregiver effect my disability payments and/or status. My disability allows me to be mobile and do many things. I just pay the price for it afterwards 3 times over, pain wise.
I hope someone can help, as I can't afford to ruin my future, for some $ now as my disability is the only income I have. Anyone help me on this?


Expert Answers

If you receive payments, from a program like Cash and Counseling or other Medicaid-related program, for caregiving you provide to your mother, that money you receive would be considered income and would count toward the income eligibility limits regarding your own disability payments. Whether that income would affect your own monthly benefits payment would depend on how much you receive to provide care for your mother, and on which disability program you're receiving benefits from.

If you are now receiving Social Security disability benefits based on your inability to work because of your disabling condition, you can continue to receive those benefits as long as your income from any work you do (including caregiving for your mother) is less than $1,000 per month.

On the other hand, if you are receiving Supplemental Security Insurance -- commonly called SSI benefits due to your disability, the monthly income you are permitted may be slightly higher or lower than the $1,000 per month permitted by Social Security disability. The exact amount permitted, and the rules for determining what income counts toward this SSI income eligibility amount, are somewhat complicated and vary a bit from state to state. If you are receiving SSI benefits, contact your social services caseworker to find out how much additional income (from a program that pays family caregivers) you could be paid and still keep your SSI benefits