How to apply for prescription drug help from Social Security

You are probably aware by now of Medicare Part D, which provides a prescription drug benefit to seniors. But did you know that you also may be able to qualify for extra help from Social Security?

If you are covered by Medicare but have limited income and resources, Social Security may step up to pay part of your monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. The extra help is worth an average of $3,900 per year.

You can qualify for extra help if you have income limited to $16,245 for an individual or $21, 855 for a married couple living together.

Even if your annual income is higher, however, you still may be able to get some help depending on your specific circumstances. These include:

  • Supporting other family members who live with you;
  • Having earnings from work;
  • Living in Alaska or Hawaii; and/or
  • Having resources limited to $12,510 for an individual or $25,010 for a married couple living together. Resources include such things as bank accounts, stocks and bonds.

Social Security has an online application for those interested. You can also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 and ask for the Application for Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs, or go to the nearest Social Security office.

To learn more about the Medicare prescription drug plans and special enrollment periods, visit or call 1-800-MEDICARE.


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