When working Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are not due an SSI check because of their earnings, they do not lose their SSI eligibility and they do not lose their Medicaid. The reason for this is a provision of the Social Security Act known as Section 1619(b) or Medicaid While Working.

Medicaid While Working only applies to working individuals. In Hawaii, an SSI beneficiary can have income up to the limits listed in the table below and still retain Medicaid coverage.

YearMonthly LimitAnnual Limit
2015$3,149$37,788
2014$3,059$36,713
2013$3,022$36,265
2012$2,929$35,149
2011$3,081$36,977
2010$2,838$34,056
2009$2,743$32,927
2008$2,545$30,540
2007$2,355$28,263
2006$2,207$26,486
2005$1,954$23,450

The disabled individual must meet all of the following:

  • Continue to have a disabling condition
  • Need Medicaid in order to work
  • Be unable to afford equivalent medical coverage without assistance
  • Meet all non-disability requirements for SSI payments, other than earnings

How does a beneficiary apply to receive 1619(b) protection?

In Hawaii, an SSI eligibility and Medicaid eligibility are determined separately. The offices cannot automatically share information.

An SSI beneficiary can establish their eligibility for 1619(b) by requesting a letter [find out specifics] from the Social Security office and providing that letter to their DHS caseworker.

Can 1619(b) be used by persons receiving both SSI and SSDI payments?

Yes, persons who receive both SSI and SSDI (concurrent recipients) can utilize 1619(b). When the SSI check is reduced to zero, the beneficiary can apply for 1619(b) protection using the process described above.