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Information about all aspects of finances affected by a serious health condition. Includes income sources such as work, investments, and private and government disability programs, and expenses such as medical bills, and how to deal with financial problems.
Information about all aspects of health care from choosing a doctor and treatment, staying safe in a hospital, to end of life care. Includes how to obtain, choose and maximize health insurance policies.
Answers to your practical questions such as how to travel safely despite your health condition, how to avoid getting infected by a pet, and what to say or not say to an insurance company.


The federal and state governments provide the following benefits that everyone with a diagnosis of a serious health condition should know about:

  • Health coverage.
    • Medicare provides health insurance for seniors and workers who are disabled for a sufficient period of time and their families. 
      • There are two basic types of Medicare: original medicare and Medicare Advantage. 
      • Medicare provides limited amounts of home care and nursing home care. 
      • Premiums have to be paid for some parts of Medicare coverage.
      • There are also deductibles and other amounts to pay.
    • Medicaid (Medi-cal in California) provides health care for people with low income and meager assets. 
    • Veterans get health care through the Veterans Administration (VA).
    • Some health care is provided by hospitals on a free or low cost basis because of a federal law referred to as Hill-Burton, or locally through local assistance. Emergency rooms in hospitals that receive federal funding cannot turn anyone away in the event of an emergency. This includes illegal immigrants.
  • Disability Income benefits.
    • Disability income provides an income for people who are "disabled" as defined in the law. You do not have to be bedridden or in a wheel chair to be "disabled." The definition of "disability" depends on the law. 
    • Disability income is provided through:
    • If a work history qualifies you for disability income benefits, it is never too early to start laying the groundwork for getting approved in case you want to stop working at some point in the future because of your health. 
      • Start keeping a Work Journal
      • Consider seeing a mental health therapist (even if you feel you don't need one). 
      • Each time you see your doctor, ask that the effect your condition is having on your work and daily life be noted in your medical record.
      • Take a few minutes to make sure your records with Social Security are correct so precious time doesn't have to be wasted if you apply for SSDI or SSI.
      • If you do apply for a disability benefit, keep in mind that only one out of three claims for Social Security Disability Insurance is approved. Our documents about SSDI show you how to vastly improve the odds. If your claim is denied, appeal. Chances for approval improve on appeal.
      • Once you qualify for a benefit, we describe the steps to take to help assure they will not be cut off. When you are ready to consider returning to work,  both SSDI and SSI encourage people to return to work by providing incentives. There are steps to take to ease the transition while retaining maximum benefits. 
    • There are some states which require employers provide employees with short term disability income insurance.
  • Retirement income through Social Security Retirement Income (SSRI) for workers and their families. People have been known to take a reduced SSRI benefit starting at age 62 because of their health condition.
  • Unemployment Insurance provides an income for people who become unemployed. This can be useful for people who do not qualify for SSDI or SSI.
  • Workers Compensation Insurance can provide an income for people who are injured on the job.
  • Free Food is available through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly known as "food stamps").

To find out if there are other government programs for which you qualify, see: offsite link

Also check your state and local area to find out are if there are additional government benefits for which you do, or may, qualify. You can find state and local programs through the Department of Health and Human Services' Benefits CheckUp at offsite link

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