Public Benefits Planning

What is public benefits planning?

Public benefits planning can include various strategies for becoming eligible for, or maintaining eligibility for, public benefits.

What are public benefits?

Public benefits are funds or services provided by the government. Some public benefits are means tested and limited to those people who qualify economically, based on a person’s financial assets and income. Means-tested public benefits may include Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California), SSI, some veterans’ benefits, food stamps, and subsidized housing.


What are the differences between Medicaid, Medi-Cal, and Medicare?

Medicaid is state-run welfare health insurance. There are two parts: straight Medicaid, and Medicaid for children that is provided under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

In California, Medicaid is called Medi-Cal.

Medicare is a federal program that provides health insurance for people over 65 and people who are permanently disabled.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

What is SSI?

Supplemental Security Income is a U.S. government program that provides income to low-income people who have limited assets and are either age 65 or older, blind, or disabled. SSI is administered by the Social Security Administration.