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Harikrishna Majumdar


Q: 1 I have heard that very soon the welfare program is likely to be discontinued or the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/Medicaid benefits will be reduced by a considerable amount. Is it true?

A: It’s not likely that the program may be discontinued but the scrutiny of claims is likely to be so much thorough that many welfare recipients will be removed from the welfare rolls. In order to keep your welfare, stark honesty is necessary. Besides, all welfare rules must be strictly obeyed.

Q: I have heard that people on Medicaid will be required to pay premium if they desire to continue both Medicare and Medicaid. Is it true?

A: Premium may be payable but Medicaid benefits will be drastically restricted and some payment may have to be made if medicine is purchased frequently.

Q: Is it likely that the welfare reforms of 1996 will be reviewed and some concessions will be given to those who have migrated to this country after Aug. 22, 1996?

A: The welfare volunteers are trying to get some more benefits for those who have entered this country after Aug. 22, 1996. Let us hope that some positive results come out from their efforts.

Q: I entered USA in 1999 and have already passed five years of my stay. I am still not considered eligible for welfare benefits because I am not a citizen. Is there any way to get any benefits at least Medicaid?

A: If you \entered USA after 1996 and your stay is for five years without break of more then six months, you are eligible for Medicare even if you are not a citizen. Moreover, if your sponsor has given an old affidavit in Form I134 and you are disabled, you may also get some financial help by way of SSI.

Q: The medical expenditure in India is much less as compared to that in USA. I have Medicare A and B as well as Medicaid. If I receive the treatment in India, what part of my expenditure will be reimbursed by the welfare department?

A: The welfare volunteers are trying their best to get some such legislation passed by the Congress. It will be a great benefit to the welfare department and facilitate the work of the welfare claimants. This way, both the welfare claimant and the welfare department tend to gain. The medical lobby in USA is resisting passage of the legislation, but we are trying hard and have reasonable chances of success.

These questions and answers are courtesy of Harikrishna Majmundar of California, author of “Mapping the Maze: A Guide to Welfare for Elderly Immigrants.” He has advised several hundred welfare applicants. A copy of this 2003 published book is available for a suggested donation of $10, plus $2 postage, from H.J. Majmundar, c/o Niral S. Dwivedi, 15915 Farrington Drive, Tampa, FL 33647 or call (813) 978-1200 or (813) 978-4996 if you have a question.

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