When I was introduced to the world of senior citizenry, an associate at Southern Maine Agency on Aging gave me what was called a “benefit checklist,” and I found it a handy reference over the years.

Unfortunately, the latest one I can locate is dated two years ago, so I’m sure there are changes. As we enter the cooler part of the year and the season of getting ready for winter, when saving every penny is going to count, you or someone you know, may want to revisit this handy checklist and see if they may benefit from one of these programs. Remember to call the Southern Maine Agency on Aging to verify or ask questions. Call 396-6500 or 877-353-3771, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Call 711 if you are deaf or hard of hearing and need relay service.

The following is the Maine benefits checklist for a one person household, as of December 2010. For updated figures, call SMAA:

My monthly income is less than $1,670 and I am 62 or am disabled – You are probably eligible for Low Cost Drug Program. Saves you as much as 80 percent on generic prescription drugs and savings on some name brand drugs for covered diseases.

My monthly income is less than $1,805 and I am at least age 60 – You may be eligible for Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Income limit can be increased by adding out-of-pocket medical costs. Provides about $400 in help on energy bills each year.

My monthly income is less than $1,603 and I am at least age 60. I have less than $3,000 in cash assets – You may be eligible for Food Supplement Benefits.

My monthly income is less than $1,745 and I receive Social Security. You may be eligible for Qualified Individual-1 (QI-1) or, if less than $1,610, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $110.50 each month to your Social Security check.

My monthly income is less than $1,429 and I receive Social Security. You may be eligible for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB). Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $110.50 each month to your Social Security check. Pays Medicare deductibles and co-insurance saving you from paying for a Medicare supplemental insurance.

My monthly income is less than $978 and I am at least age 65 or am disabled. I have less than $10,000 in cash and interest bearing bank accounts – You may be eligible for Maine Care. Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $110.50 each month to your Social Security check. Pays your Medicare deductibles and co-insurances, pays most of cost of prescriptions, pays for some dental care, pays medical transportation.

My monthly income is less than $674 and I am at least age 65 or am disabled and have less than $2,000 in cash and interest bearing accounts – You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Provides an extra check each month, qualifies you for Maine Care

Benefit checklist for couples (two-person) household:

Our monthly income is less than $2,247 and one of us is older than 62 or we are disabled – You are probably eligible for Low Cost Drug Program. Saves you as much as 80 percent on generic prescription drugs, savings on some name brands specific to covered diseases also.

Our monthly income is less than $2,428 and one of us is at least age 60 – You may be eligible for Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) Income limit can be increased by adding out-of-pocket medical costs. Provides about $400 in help on energy bills each year.

Our monthly income is less than $2,158 and one of us is at least age 60. We have less than $3,000 in cash assets – You may be eligible for Food Supplement Benefits

Our monthly income is less than $2,347 and we receive Social Security. You may be eligible for Qualified Individual-1 (QI-1) or, if less than $2,165 for Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB). Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $96.40 each month, each person to your Social Security checks.

Our monthly income is less than $1,922 and we receive Social Security. You may be eligible for Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $110.50 each month each person to your Social Security checks. Pays Medicare deductibles and co-payments saving you from buying Medicare supplements.

Our monthly income is less than $1,315 and we are at least age 65 or are disabled. We have less than $15,000 in cash and interest bearing bank accounts – You may be eligible for Maine Care. Pays your Medicare Part B monthly premium adding an extra $110.50 each month to your Social Security check. Pays Medicare deductibles and co-payments saving you from buying Medicare supplements, pays prescription drug costs, provides some dental care, pays for medical transportation.

Our monthly income is less than $1,011 and we are at least age 65 or are disabled and we have less than $3,000 in cash and interest bearing accounts – You may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Provides an extra check, qualifies automatically for Maine Care.

Kay Soldier welcomes reader ideas for column topics of interest to seniors. She can be reached by email at [email protected], or write to 114 Tandberg Trail, Windham, ME 04062.


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