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The Social Security Administration’s Extra Help program is a need-based financial assistance program for patients on Medicare. Many people qualify for Extra Help and don’t even know it.

Why Apply for Extra Help?

The Extra Help program may provide many benefits for patients struggling to cover the cost of their medications, including:

  • Benefits estimated to be worth about $4,900 per year in drug coverage
  • Copays between $0 and $8.35 for 2018
  • No coverage gap
  • No penalties for late Medicare Part D enrollment

Patients who are not enrolled in the Extra Help program and who are late to enroll for a Medicare plan will have a penalty applied to their monthly premium.

Extra Help Eligibility

Patients who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid are automatically enrolled in the Extra Help program by the Social Security Administration, and will receive a benefits letter in the mail.

If you aren’t automatically enrolled, you may still be eligible for Extra Help if you:

  • Live in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia
  • Have resources limited to $14,100 for individuals, or $28,150 for married couples living together
  • Have an annual income limited to $18,210 for individuals, or $24,690 for married couples living together

Some people with higher incomes may still qualify for Extra Help. Visit the SSA website for more details.

How to Apply for Extra Help

Complete the online application for Extra Help at https://secure.ssa.gov/i1020/start.

Here is the information you need to gather to apply:

  • Social Security card
  • Bank account statements, including checking, savings and certificates of deposit
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), stocks, bonds, mutual funds, other investment statements
  • Tax returns
  • Payroll slips
  • Most recent Social Security benefits award letters or statements for retirement benefits, pensions and annuities

The Social Security Administration will review the application and send a letter to let you know if you have qualified.

If you need help completing the application, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or ask your social worker for assistance.