Jim's Success Story
Jim is one of many Hoosiers who lives in a small town where everyone knows your name. Most of the time he doesn’t mind it, but when he had his accident on the farm of his employer a few years ago, it seemed everyone knew more about his disability than he did. Farm injuries are often severe. Farmers lose fingers and hands to equipment, get injured by their livestock, or fall from buildings they are trying to maintain. One day in an accident on the farm where he worked, Jim got tangled in a rope and tumbled out of a hayloft. Left with a permanent physical disability, Jim and his family learned how to adapt to their new lifestyle.
One of Jim’s main concerns was his health insurance. Though he was eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), his Medicare health insurance had a 24-month waiting period. What was he suppose to do in the meantime? The bills had kept mounting and he was getting very concerned.
His doctor suggested that he talk with the local Division of Family Resource office about Medicaid. Jim didn’t know what to think. He’d heard stories about Medicaid and wasn’t sure if he would be eligible because he was working and his employer had taken him back on a reduced work week. Still, the mounting medical expenses overcame his fear and he made the call to the local Division of Family Resources. The caseworker at his local office helped him with the necessary paperwork (financial information and medical information) and he was eventually determined eligible for Medicaid. Medicaid was even able to pay for some of his medical expenses that occurred before he was determined eligible for Medicaid.
The fear of losing your health insurance can sometimes keep you from even wanting to try to go to work. But Jim found out that you can work and keep your Medicaid through the new program called M.E.D. Works or Medicaid for Employees with disabilities. When he went into his local caseworker to find out about the program, the caseworker reviewed his income to find out if he was eligible. Through M.E.D. Works, he paid a small monthly premium to keep his Medicaid coverage.
His monthly premium amount is based on his income from his job and the wages his wife earns from her part-time job at a local store. The hours for both of their jobs varies. Farm work is seasonal, and in the spring and fall he works more hours and earns more money. His wife has more work and earned income around the holidays. Many jobs have varied hours but M.E.D. Works is a flexible program, and adjusts the premium based on the changes his and his wife’s combined income. If their income goes up, Jim’s premium amount goes up. If their income goes down, Jim’s monthly premium goes down.
Because of his work history, Jim receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The monthly cash benefit greatly helps his family but Jim wanted to go back to work. He loves working outdoors and though his disability has forced him to reduce his hours, he wants to see how his strength holds up as he goes back to work. The Social Security Disability Insurance work incentive rules are his safety nets as he returns to the job he loves. Through Social Security Disability Insurance, he has a Trial Work Period. This will let him see how much he can work and maintain his health without fear of losing his cash benefits. After he completes his Trial Work Period, he can use other work incentives available to him under the Social Security Disability Insurance program.
Jim sees the Social Security work incentive rules as a roadmap for his return to work. He’s not sure how his health will hold up – he’s never been in this situation before and he admits he’s a bit afraid to venture out into work again; but he’s gotten a lot of help from many agencies (such as Medicaid and Social Security) and the people at these agencies have been very helpful and friendly. He knows he can call them anytime he has a question.
Disclaimer for Hoosiers Ready to Work Web Site
This site is intended for informational purposes only. Individual situations vary widely and must be evaluated on an individual basis by Division of Family Resources eligible caseworkers, or Social Security Claims Representatives and/or Indiana Works benefits counselors. Links from this site are provided to help people research various topics and do not constitute endorsements by the State of Indiana or its partners.