Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions: Get the Most Out of Your Retirement & Medical Benefits

Overview

Everyone wants to get the highest possible retirement and pension income not to mention the best medical coverage. Turn to the completely updated 15th edition of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions to discover the benefits you're entitled to and how to claim them as easily as possible. Social Security benefits Find all the latest information and instructions you need to get your retirement and disability benefits, dependents and survivors benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Medicare ...

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Overview

Everyone wants to get the highest possible retirement and pension income not to mention the best medical coverage. Turn to the completely updated 15th edition of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions to discover the benefits you're entitled to and how to claim them as easily as possible. Social Security benefits Find all the latest information and instructions you need to get your retirement and disability benefits, dependents and survivors benefits, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Medicare & Medicaid Learn the nuts and bolts of both programs, plus how to qualify and apply for them. Understand Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage what it covers, how to apply for it and how to use it with your medigap policy, managed care plan or Medicaid. Plus, find an all-new chapter on Medicare Advantage Plans (which work like HMOs or PPOs), including information about rapidly expanding private fee-for-service plans. Medical coverage options Get the latest information on Medicare and Medicaid HMOs and other managed care plans, and learn about the different types of medigap health plans. Government pensions & veterans benefits Discover when and how to claim the benefits you have earned. The 15th edition has comprehensive practical information about how and when to claim retirement benefits, including which should be claimed now and which you should delay, and how much you can expect to receive. Plus, find fully up-to-date figures on Social Security qualifying and benefits, and Medicare premiums, deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

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Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
"Guide[s] you through the maze of Social Security and Medicare in simple English..."
Contra Costa Times
"Offers clear explanations of what to expect from a remarkable safety net that has withstood the test of time..."
Accounting Today
"The inside scoop on how to get the most out of the current system..."
Pasadena Star-News
"Anyone who can write a readable guide to Medicare should get a medal.... Why can't the system be as straightforward as this book?"
Accounting Today
The inside scoop on how to get the most out of the current system...
The Wall Street Journal
Guide[s] you through the maze of Social Security and Medicare in simple English...
Pasadena Star-News
Anyone who can write a readable guide to Medicare should get a medal.... Why can't the system be as straightforward as this book?
Contra Costa Times
Offers clear explanations of what to expect from a remarkable safety net that has withstood the test of time...
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413310979
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 2/26/2010
  • Edition number: 15
  • Pages: 482
  • Product dimensions: 7.12 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Joseph Matthews has been an attorney since 1971, and from 1975 to 1977 he taught at the law school of the University of California, Berkeley. He has for many years been involved in matters relating to seniors, and is the author of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions and Long Term Care: How to Plan & Play for It, as well as How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim.

Dorothy Matthews Berman assisted her son Joseph Matthews in the writing of Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions. She began working with seniors in various capacities in 1973 and served as Program Director at a senior citizen center in the Los Angeles area for many years.

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Table of Contents

Your Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions Companion 1

1 Social Security: The Basics 9

History of Social Security 11

Social Security Defined 15

Eligibility for Benefits 18

Earning Work Credits 24

Determining Your Benefit Amount 26

Your Social Security Earnings Record 29

Reading Your Social Security Statement 32

Correcting Your Record 37

U.S. Citizens' Rights to Receive Benefits While Living Abroad 40

Receiving Benefits as a Noncitizen 40

2 Social Security Retirement Benefits 45

Work Credits Required 47

Timing Your Retirement 50

The Amount of Your Retirement Check 56

Working After Claiming Early Retirement Benefits 60

3 Social Security Disability Benefits 65

Who Is Eligible 67

What Is a Disability 73

Amount of Disability Benefit Payments 80

Collecting Additional Benefits 83

Eligibility Review 86

Returning to Work 88

4 Social Security Dependents Benefits 91

Who Is Eligible 92

Calculating Dependents Benefits 95

Eligibility for More Than One Benefit 97

Working While Receiving Benefits 98

Government Pension Offset 99

5 Social Security Survivors Benefits 103

Work Credits Required for Eligibility 104

Who Is Eligible 105

Amount of Survivors Benefits 108

Eligibility for More Than One Benefit 111

Working While Receiving Benefits 113

Government Pension Offset 114

6 When to Claim Social Security Benefits, and Which One to Claim 117

Considerations for All Beneficiaries 118

Considerations for Specific Situations 123

7 Supplemental Security Income 131

Who Is Eligible 132

Benefit Amounts 141

Reductions to Benefits 143

8 Applying for Benefits 147

Retirement, Dependents, and Survivors Benefits 148

Disability Benefits 157

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) 163

Finding Out What Happens to Your Claim 165

9 Appealing a Social Security Decision 171

Reconsideration of Decision 173

Administrative Hearing 182

Appeal to the National Appeals' Council 188

Lawsuit in Federal Court 190

Lawyers and Other Assistance 191

10 Federal Civil Service Retirement Benefits 199

Two Retirement Systems: CSRS and FERS 201

Retirement Benefits 202

Disability Benefits to Federal Workers 217

Payments to Surviving Family Members 221

Applying for CSRS or FERS Benefits 224

11 Veterans Benefits 225

Types of Military Service Required 226

Compensation for Service-Connected Disability 227

Pension Benefits for Financially Needy Disabled Veterans 231

Survivors Benefits 233

Medical Treatment 235

Getting Information and Applying for Benefits 237

12 Medicare 239

The Medicare Maze 243

Medicare: The Basics 245

Part A Hospital Insurance 250

How Much Medicare Part A Pays 264

Part B Medical Insurance 272

How Much Medicare Part B Pays 285

Part D Prescription Drug Coverage 294

13 Medicare Procedures: Enrollment, Claims, and Appeals 327

Enrolling in Part A Hospital Insurance 329

Enrolling in Part B Medical Insurance 333

Medicare's Payment of Your Medical Bills 335

Paying Your Share of the Bill 342

How to Read a Medicare Summary Notice 342

Appealing the Dental of a Claim 348

Medicare Part D: Enrollment, Exceptions, and Appeals 367

Switching Part D Plans 375

State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) 378

14 Medigap Insurance 379

Gaps in Medicare 381

Standard Medigap Benefit Plans 383

Terms and Conditions of Medigap Policies 397

Finding the Best Medicare Supplement 404

15 Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plans 411

Medicare Advantage Managed Care Plans 415

Medicare Advantage Fee-for-Service Plans 419

Choosing a Medicare Advantage Plan 421

Comparing Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plans 433

Your Rights When Joining, Leaving, or Losing a Medicare Advantage Plan 437

16 Medicaid and State Supplements to Medicare 439

Medicaid Defined 441

Who Is Eligible 442

Medical Costs Covered by Medicaid 447

Requirements for Coverage 450

Cost of Medicaid Coverage 452

Other State Assistance 453

Applying for Medicaid, QMB, SLMB, or QI 456

What to Do If You Are Denied Coverage 459

Index 461

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