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Financial Relief for Family Caregivers :
Knowing How to Find it
Page 2

Remember that the rules affecting grandparents and their grandchildren vary from state to state, so itís best to contact the department of social or human services in your county or state to find out the right information. Some states may have stricter rules than the basic federal ones, for example, they may have a lifetime limit of less than five years for benefits. For more information on the TANF program and other available services, contact AARP Grandparent Information Center (GIC) at: AARP Grandparent Information Center, 601 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20049; phone: 202/434-2296; fax: 202/434-6466. Or email the GIC at Their URL is: Some of the other programs on a national level also include:

Social Security Disability
When a disabled individual has had Social Security deductions made from their paycheck and has worked in the preceding five (5) year period, they may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. If the Social Security Administration awards disability benefits, the recipient receives monthly cash benefits based on the amount of money they paid into Social Security. The payments continue as long as the disability persists. After two (2) years of receiving disability benefits, the individual also becomes eligible for Medicare coverage.

If the disability continues until the recipient reaches retirement age, the Social Security Administration converts the monthly disability check to a Social Security Retirement check. In some cases, a disabled individual age 50 or older, who is the widow/widower or ex-spouse of a deceased worker may also qualify for Social Security benefits. For information about Social Security Disability, Supplemental Security Income or Medicare, call the U. S. Social Security Administration toll-free at 800-772-1213. The Social Security web site is

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Supplemental Security Income is a benefit which can be given to an individual whose monthly income and assets are below amounts that change annually. In addition to these financial eligibility criteria, the applicant must meet age requirements (65 or older) or must be able to establish a disability according to Social Security Disability guidelines. SSI pays cash benefits and entitles the individual to automatic Medicaid assistance. Use the Social Security contact information listed above for SSI information.

Medicare provides assistance for hospitalization and doctors' costs if the individual has paid into the Social Security fund and either has been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for two (2) years or has reached age 65. There are limitations of Medicare coverage. For example, Medicare, in contrast to Medicaid, does not pay for prescriptions (however, this may soon change). In some instances, it is possible to qualify for both Medicaid and Medicare. For information regarding Medicare, call 800-333-7586 or visit the Medicare web site at The Social Security contact information listed above may also be of use.

Veterans Benefits
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers Non-Service Connected Pensions. The non-service connected pension is for wartime veterans who are considered permanently and totally disabled and meet the VA's income and asset limitations. This pension could be used to offset the cost of medical or nursing care for the veteran.  
Contact the VA Office at 800-827-1000.

Social Security offers extra help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.
Iím certain there is a care giver who is taking care of someone that could use help on paying for their Medicare Prescription drug costs.  Over 1 million people have been identified as eligible for this benefit but apparently they are not aware of this fact.

American Kidney Fund
Provides financial assistance to people with kidney cancer or other kidney diseases. As well as help locate appropriate doctors and medical services. Contact them at 6110 Executive Boulevard, Suite 1010, Rockville, MD 20852, 800-638-8299 or 301-881-3052, email:, and at their web site,

Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation (CCCF)
Provides advocacy, bereavement, counseling, financial assistance, insurance information, and referral. CCCF maintains a list of organizations to which eligible families may apply for financial aid. Contact them at: 3910 Warner Street, Kensington, MD 20895, 800-366-2223 or 301-962-3520, email to, and the web address is

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