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Issue Alert - 04-01-10

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Jan 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

The new Freedom to Work Act allows certain disabled individuals to continue Medicaid coverage under certain conditions.

Persons Affected:

Medicaid eligible individuals who are disabled and not eligible under other Medicaid categories.

For More Information:

Center for Civil Justice320 S. Washington, 2nd Floor Saginaw, MI 48607 (989) 755-3120, (800) 724-7441 (989) 755-3558 FaxEmail:



What's Happening?

This is the implementation of the Freedom To Work Act, which allows disabled individuals to keep their Medicaid despite having income that would have made them ineligible under income guidelines. This coverage is available to disabled individuals age 16 through 64 who have earned income. There are other criteria that the person must meet in order to obtain coverage:
  • must be Medicaid eligible;
  • must not be eligible for any other MA category and does not access MA through a spend-down;
  • is disabled according to the Social Security Administration;
  • is employed;
  • is a fiscal and asset group of 1;
  • has countable assets that do not exceed $75,000; however, the value of funds in retirement accounts and individual retirement accounts are excluded;
  • unearned income cannot exceed 100% of poverty (currently $771.00).
For people earning more than 250% of the federal poverty level (currently $1,928.00), a monthly premium is required. This premium is based on the person's income.

What Should Advocates Do?

Disabled individuals that would like to return to the work force or increase their earnings should be encouraged to do so. Through the Ticket to Work Act, there are resources available to assist disabled people who are returning to work. Recipients participating in the ticket program will receive employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services from organizations called Employment Networks. Employment Networks are private organizations or government agencies, including the Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS), which are approved by, and have agreed to work with the Social Security Administration in providing employment services to Ticket holders. Maximus, INC. is a private company that is working with the Social Security Administration to help manage the Ticket to Work program. Maximus can answer questions about the Ticket to Work program and can provide the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the Employment Networks in the recipient's area. You may contact Maximus at 1-866-968-7842 (1-866-833-2976 for TTY) or visit Maximus on the web.

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services office handle these type of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.