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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

Eligibility for Extra Help with Prescription Drug Costs

2601. Eligibility for Extra Help with Prescription Drug Costs

2601.1 When are you entitled to extra help with Prescription Drug Costs?

You are entitled to extra help with prescription drug costs if you:

  1. Are entitled to benefits under Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) or enrolled in Medicare Part B (medical insurance) or both, and

  2. Reside in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia, and

  3. Have countable assets of less than $11,990 for individuals and $23,970 for a couple (in 2008), and

  4. Have an annual income of less than $15,840 for individuals who live alone or $21,240 for married couples (in 2008) without other dependents (or higher, if living in Alaska or Hawaii and/or some of the income is from work), and

  5. File an application with SSA or with a Medicaid State Agency.

2601.2 How do I apply for this extra help?

You may apply online at:, at a local Social Security office, or with your State Medicaid Agency. You may also receive an application in the mail. It should be mailed to the Social Security Administration, Wilkes-Barre Data Operations Center, P.O. Box 1020, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18767-9910.

2601.3 When Is It NOT Necessary to File an Application?

You do not need to file an application if you:

  • receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments and have Medicare, or

  • you have full Medicaid and Medicare coverage.

If your State Medicaid program pays your Medicare Part B premiums because you belong to a Medicare Savings Program, contact your State whether you should file an application for extra help. You may be able to get this coverage automatically.

Last Revised: Feb. 4, 2008

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