Settlement threatening benefits?
September 15, 2009 2:00 PM   Subscribe

Will a class-action settlement affect Medi-Care/Medicaid benefits?

My g/f is a conservator of her son, who has bi-polar disorder and is currently in a health care facility. He was prescribed Zyprexa in 1999, and is now being represented in a class-action lawsuit (due to contracting diabetes, which he got over recently). The law firm has settled with Lilly for an amount between $10 - $15 k per case.

He is on SS disablility and SSI (supplemental) income, which pays the shared cost of his facility costs, most of which are borne by Medical/Medicare. The amount is about $6k by medical/medicare, and $600 from him, which is pretty much his whole SS disability check.

We were wondering if getting the settlement amount in full would make him ineligible for Medical/Medicare. We know his SS disability is safe and that his SSI would probably be lost. No big deal, as the SSI is probably less than a hundred bucks.

There is also the option of getting a structured payment, which may help us retain the medical benefits. Also there is the option of creating a trust, but we don't have much knowledge of what is needed.

Would a structured payment be safe? Do you have any advice, experience, or tips?
posted by sonicbloom to Work & Money (2 answers total)
A disability lawyer would know more about this sort of thing, and could help you set up a trust if you decide to go that route. As I remember, setting up a disability trust isn't any more difficult than any other kind of trust but it does take a lawyer to do it right.

Keep in mind the rules about eligibility can change in the future, so assuming he gets a settlement and it's a substantial amount, what is true now may not be true when the settlement comes through.
posted by fiercekitten at 3:10 PM on September 15, 2009

My advice is to consult a lawyer. There is no way that we can answer this question.
posted by decathecting at 6:55 AM on September 16, 2009

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