In Times Like These, Every Cent Counts

Two men use a laptop computerIn the good old days…

If, as a child, you asked your grandparents for 50 cents to go to the store to buy ice cream, they might have taken you on a journey down memory lane before giving you the money for your treat. Apparently, in the “good old days,” 50 cents bought you a whole meal, a trip to the movies, and an outfit. When was the last time you bought something substantial for 50 cents without a discount coupon?

The world is different now, and everything costs more than it used to.
Every cent counts, and you can help your parents and grandparents who understand the value of the dollar, save about $4,000 each year in their prescription drug coverage. Extra Help with Medicare helps people with limited resources and income pay for costs like monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments that are related to a Medicare prescription drug plan. Many people aren’t aware of these important savings. Do your parents and grandparents know about the Extra Help? Let them know!
You must receive Medicare, meet the resource and income limits, and live in one of the 50 states or the District of Columbia to qualify for Extra Help.
You can apply for Extra Help online. It’s so easy! Just go to, or call Social Security to apply over the phone or to request an application. You can also apply in person at your local Social Security office.
Our parents and grandparents taught us so much, especially the value of savings. Let’s show them we learned the lesson. Help them apply today!


45 thoughts on “In Times Like These, Every Cent Counts

  1. This is good info. I am still employed full time. However I have watched generation after generation of women in my family struggle to afford mandatory medicine. Women in my family tend to out live their male counterparts husbands, brothers, etc. My mother and sister both lost their significant others and had to learn to live on 1 income. They worked their whole lives and contributed to the system. And then when they retired they could not survive financially and meet all basic needs. I.e. heart medication, diabetic medicine. meds that you cant skip.
    It is sad to see our elderly in the US struggle to meet basic essentials in life to survive. medical, food, shelter. We should help our elderly to have medical and food after they have paved the way for all of us. I will do my part to get this info out to my family member’s, church members, peers and neighbors. thank you for sending this info.

    • just as an aside (suggestion), some diabetics need to change their diet. And as far as medication goes they can contact the maker of the specific medication and ask for coupons or discounted pills.

      • If a senior has a Part D drug card the drug manufacturers will NOT provide free medication or reduced price medication. The only way they help is if the person has NO drug card, either Part D or a retiree card. The senior also has to be very low income for this help.

        • I’m paying out of the pocket for the Migraine Medication which IS VERY COSTLY .This medication can NOT be gereric! iT’S THE only MEDICATION I CAN TAKE TO KEEP THE mIGRAINES UNDER CONTROL. I WAS DIAGNOSED BY 3 SPECIATISTS, AND 3 CAT-SCANS. I have tried for a long time to get help with nto help at all!

        • Shannon, this is not an accurate statement. We help many, many people who have Medicare Part D get free medication from the manufacturers.

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    • You are so right Joyce!! It seems that every time we turn around they are taking AWAY from the Seniors! This government is a disgrace! I’m still working full time, I’m 68, but will retire in 23 months. I’m not too worried because I’ll get a small pension check, SS check, and I have IRS’s, my Advisor said I should be fine. BUT what about all the “older” seniors who can’t pay their bills, buy food, etc. This once Great Country needs to wake up and take care of the people who built this country and fought for it!! And look “what” is running for president!! We are in deep trouble and I feel sorry for my Grandchildren and their children, its not going to get any better for them!! UGH!!!

      • I am about your same age, and see how the USA has gotten much worse in many ways under obama, so let us all pray for a much better POTUS!

  2. Humana dropped my Dental Insurance at end of 2014 and did not let me know. I did not know this till I Went in for my yearly checkup on June 17th. I was paying for each month up to date. I called them and all they could say is, sorry this happened. They did not help my situation.

    • I was a big fan of Humana for eight years. Then…this year, I discover the two hospitals in my area are out-of-network. Also the labs for blood work are no longer contracted. I was recently referred to a specialist…there are none in my area who accept Humana. Moral of this story: Do my homework every year and trust no one.

  3. if I’m on SSDI and Medicare, tell me if these are True or False and what are the breaking points for income, and if there is something in writing that I can get. My memory is not good, and I’ll have to rely on impressions unless I have something in print.

    1. If I get married, if my spouse is already on SS, then I’ll be left on Medicare without any problems.


    2. If I get married, and my spouse is not on SS., then I become individually responsible for my medical costs.

    • If you are married, I think most income based assistance programs take into consideration the income of both people. So bing married might change the eligibility for extra help. Also, I seem to remember that if you are eligible to have private insurance ( for ex through a spouse’s employers insurance), you need to use that before Medicare. But I’m foggy about that!

    • Jim, if you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on your own record and you marry, your SSDI and Medicare benefits will not be affected. These benefits are based on earnings and are not subject to income and resource limits, and your marriage will not affect your benefits. Please visit our Medicare web page to find out how the program works. To find more information on how marriage may affect other Social Security benefits, check out our Frequently Asked Question on this topic.

      • That’s a lie. I fought for my son who was born Autistic, out of Wed. Lock. Trying to raise a child with autism and not being familiar with this disability it was impossible for me to hold a job. He had other disabilities as well and that was back in 1993. Their wasn’t much help for people like me back then. His father and I lived together, but they wouldn’t go off his income. And I’m still fighting for him. Well when I applied for SSDI for my self, my health was and is still deteriorating and after 9 years I finally one in Oct. 2008. Not much though. In Dec. 2008, I remarried, I reported it and in September 2010 My benefits were stopped they claim I didn’t report my marriage, and when I proved them wrong. They threatened me with imprisonment unless I wrote them a check for $10,000 that day. I wasn’t receiving Medicare either. I was denied a to see my file, or the information they had on his computer. I filed numerous waiver forms. A Federal Court Judge found me to be not guilty. I filed 2 Discrimination reports that were ignored. I’ve wrote Councilmen, Congressman, Senators, Govereners even the President. Assured this matter would be handled. And taken care of. I even made my own recordings of our Administrator laughing at me, saying I could refile but he won’t grant it. I was threatened, Bribed, and bullied that day. We even lost our home. The Civil Rights Attorney agrees with me. I have 4 bins of proof plus recordings and I’m still fighting for my son and my self. Mr. Tatrault claims I lost my benefits in 2014. My paperwork says different. If that’s the case where did all that money go since September 2010 til now. Oh no our government agencies aren’t corrupt. Please. Some oath they took. Great job in up holding the Constitution. See for your self. Amanda

  4. Will there be enough money for people like me on SSD to be able to get a good raise on our monthly checks with the things as high as they or and going up and up we need a good raise just to keep up

    • there will not be a “good raise” on the monthly checks and the reason is because of the economy as a whole. When there are lots of jobs and people with good income out there then the check could be raised by a few dollars but the economy has been in the dumper since 2008 and shows no near improvement. Your monthly check is not like a paycheck where it could be raised, or raised if you’ve been good. It’s merely a benefit. If you can work part time even then do so. If not then cut your expenses to the bone, use coupons, discounts, and ask elsewhere for assistance.

        • What there afraid of is back pay for my self and my son. And to admit they were in the wrong. When other people read this and start to come forward are you going to let them been bullied as well? Thought that was illegal? Especially to someone who is disabled. Threaten them with Prison, Take their home and children away? If only 1 person read those reports, This wouldn’t be happening. But I do have the recordings of them laughing at me. How will it look for SS then if that got out. Someone cashed those missing checks at that office, cause it sure as hell wasn’t me. You should check into it. I tried the D.O.J. who said it was the A.D.A’S problem. This went back and fourth. I offered to work with the OIG as well as the F B I. Check for yourself I’m telling the truth. Amanda

    • Thanks for your question, Ronald. Nearly 64 million Americans had a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase of 1.7 percent in their Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits this year. We will not know if there will be a COLA for 2016, until late October when the Department of Labor releases information on inflation for the past year. If there is a COLA for 2016, we will announce it on our website.

  5. I apply every year and never qualify. I am told it is because I have a bank account. Why is that a problem? Social Security uses the bank account to send me money each month but Medicare denies disabled folks help because we use bank accounts to safely set aside money for the next round of coverage gap and the higher prices we face every year. There is a lack of coordination here.

    • Marie, thanks so much for your comment. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can answer on this blog. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. You can find additional information about the Medicare program online or call 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). Since Medicaid is managed by the state in which you reside, please visit the Medicaid web site and select from the drop-down menu to find specific information about the Medicaid program in your state, or you can call the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at 1-877-267-2323 (TTY Toll-Free: 866-226-1819).



  8. Back in 1940, I was lucky to get a NICKEL for a ONE SCOOP ice cream cone. It was all hand me downs to wear to school.

  9. As a caregiver for my father I see and feel for all the elderly that are having to deal with the current issue of health care. Recently, the Doctor prescribed him a Zytega and because he couldn’t afford it since the copayment was $2800 a month the Doctor wrote a letter “retiring” his service to my father and left him looking for another Dr. without proper notice. Also the Insurance does not have any other oncologist near his home. This are some of the issues that the elderly are encountering not to mention the waiting time at the Dr.’s office that could be from 7am to 5pm without regard to the patient health(could be hours before they eat anything). Very sad, that we are paying for a service that currently is being abused by so many health care providers and insurance companies. WE are going to be old if we are lucky – Hope the Doctors realize that they will be at the mercy of other doctors when their time comes.

  10. Why does the SSA make the program so difficult to understand and find info on. It is 2nd only to the US Tax Codes which are mind boggling. We are not stupid & some of us have college degrees, but trying to learn about, keep up with changes, determine what our entitlements are & get help is daunting.
    Computers came along too late for my mother so she never learned them, so I must help her. Additionally, she worked all her life, but they didn’t deduct that much back in the day when folks only made .75 cents an hour. I must help her with extra money monthly because her SSA amount is below the annual poverty level. And, w/o the medical supplement I pay for she would be exposed to substandard health care.
    Wake up & smell the coffee SSA, America’s elderly is starving and the medical industry does not want to service your beneficiaries for pennies on the dollar treatment… Appears to be a gov’t culture problem like the one with the VA. Oh, that’s right, the politicians need a couple more years to figure out the VA problems is caused by a negative VA employee culture toward Veterans. You see, they view themselves as guardians of the VA budget that should be used for their compensation perks and not for veteran programs and heath care.

  11. Does this e mail has anything to do with up dating our information for SSI or other possible benefits.
    We have not been able to enter the web page to exchange information on line.
    Should we visit the Social Security Office near by.

    • Hi Winston, thank you for your question. If you are referring to a my Social Security account, we apologize for any inconvenience. A my Social Security account allows you to review estimates of your retirement, disability and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. For assistance, you may call 1-800-772-1213. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” please say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account.

      However, this account does not allow you to review your SSI benefits. If you need further assistance regarding SSI, you should visit your local office.

  12. Yes they use your spouses income even if not living together which is unfair, some people their money is their money I’m SSI I get no help I’m plated from base of Skull to Tailbone run of 2 spine stimulators and deaf in one ear. I have Human Gold Plus My pain management don’t take their Referels , my Referral Department wants me to go to another Pain Management Dr I have they made me Drug Addict the Dr I go to she helps me I don’t get much a month 150 out of pocket to see Pain Management Plus 100 on Medication it leaves hardly nothing what good is our system they don’t care

  13. When I first started out years ago I worked for about ten years and paid into the SS system. Then I became a teacher in Texas and worked for sixteen years. In 2009 I suffered two strokes. After the first one I was out of work recovering for two months then returned to work only to suffer another one in May and that last stroke left me with severe numbing from head to toe on my whole right side of my body. I lost most of my vision on that eye and am unable to drive due to the numbing because I can’t feel the pedals. I have a lot of trouble walking and am taking high doses of seizure medication that make me very sleepy. Due to this I was unable to return to my teaching position. I am receiving early teacher retirement but was told by Social Security that I am unqualified to receive any Social Security because I’m receiving teacher retirement. I feel this is very unfair because I worked and put into the Social Security for ten years. The amount of money I receive from the teacher retirement is a lot less than what I would be getting if I could work but my bills stayed the same and it is hard to pay everything. I feel very cheated!

  14. need help my wife and my self got the two percent rase in January and then my wife lost her old age pension that she had from the state she makes below the $677 you’re supposed to get but because we got the raise we’re supposed to all of a sudden be disqualified for her to get that income that is horrible now we have to go to food banks I need old junk food we can’t afford to go to the storewe only get $15 for food stamps for two people that’s horrible something needs to be done

  15. This country is going to hell in a hand basket—our government helps foreign countries with billons of dollars and we seniors ,many of us struggling financially get no cola again—no cola in 2010,2011 and now no cola for 2016—-disgraceful!!!!

  16. My check is different from what the letter I received says it was supposed to be.

    It said $1025.00 but I am only receiving $1,012.00.

  17. It took me 9 years of denials etc before I FINALLY got approved in November 2017, but only back to Jul 2015. I received $2,250 Feb 2nd, & have ro wait til August 2nd to get another $2,250. ALL the tens of thousands still owed, I get in Feb 2019! OVER 2 years to get in front of a judge, then another 18 months to get money????? Our system is BROKEN, and I mean broken! I have NO car and my house is uninhabitable! And they say I get to wait til Feb 2019 to get a car and move! It’s a joke!!!!

  18. How do l get caregivers income for taking care of my disable husband because he can’t be alone at home and I can’t work.

    • Hello Vanessa. Some individuals may be eligible to receive assistance from the state where they live. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. We hope this information helps!

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