Cover image for Social Security, Medicare & government pensions : get the most out of your retirement & medical benefits
Social Security, Medicare & government pensions : get the most out of your retirement & medical benefits
25th ed.
Physical Description:
483 pages ; 23 cm.
General Note:
Includes index.

"New Social Security & Medicare info for 2020"--Cover.
Social security: the basics -- Social security retirement benefits -- Social security disability benefits -- Social security dependents benefits -- Social security survivors benefits -- When to claim social security benefits, and which one to claim -- Supplemental security income -- Applying for benefits -- Appealing a social security decision -- Federal civil service retirement benefits -- Veterans benefits -- Medicare -- Medicare procedures: enrollment, claims, and appeals -- Medigap insurance -- Medicare part C: medicare advantage plans -- Medicaid and state supplements to Medicare.
Added Corporate Author:


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book 344.73023 MAT 2020 1 1
Book 344.73023 MAT 2020 0 1
Book 344.73023 MAT 2020 1 1

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Your complete guide to Social Security retirement and medical benefits.

The rules for claiming Social Security benefits have changed. Find out if you can still choose between your own benefits and spousal benefits. Learn this and more with Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions --completely updated for 2020.

Social Security benefits. Figure out how to get retirement, disability, dependents and survivors benefits, or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Decide whether it's best to claim benefits early, at full retirement age, or not until you turn 70--and how to time your claims so you and your spouse get the best benefits.

Medicare & Medicaid. Learn how to qualify for and enroll in both programs, including Medicare Part D drug coverage.

Medigap insurance & Medicare Advantage plans. Compare Medigap and Medicare Advantage plans, and choose what's best for you.

Government pensions & veterans benefits. Discover when and how to claim the benefits you have earned.

What's New in 2020?

End of donut hole for prescription drugs New Medicare costs and Social Security amounts for 2020, and Changes to some Medigap plans.

Whether you're looking for yourself or helping a parent, you'll find valuable information here to help get the benefits you've earned.

Author Notes

Joseph Matthews, an attorney since 1971, has written several Nolo titles, including How to Win Your Personal Injury Claim and Long-Term Care.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Your Social Security, Medicare & Government Pensions Companionp. 1
Locating Chapters That Fit Your Needsp. 2
1 Social Security: The Basicsp. 9
History of Social Securityp. 10
Social Security Definedp. 14
Eligibility for Benefitsp. 17
Earning Work Creditsp. 22
Determining Your Benefit Amountp. 24
Your Social Security Earnings Recordp. 28
U.S. Citizens' Rights to Receive Benefits While Living Abroadp. 28
Receiving Benefits as a Noncitizenp. 29
2 Social Security Retirement Benefitsp. 31
Work Credits Requiredp. 33
Timing Your Retirement Benefits Claimp. 34
The Amount of Your Retirement Checkp. 40
Working After Claiming Early Retirement Benefitsp. 43
3 Social Security Disability Benefitsp. 49
Who Is Eligiblep. 51
What Is a Disability?p. 56
Amount of Disability Benefit Paymentsp. 64
Collecting Additional Benefitsp. 68
Continuing Eligibility Reviewp. 71
Returning to Workp. 73
4 Social Security Dependents Benefitsp. 77
Who Is Eligiblep. 78
Calculating Dependents Benefitsp. 82
Eligibility for More Than One Benefitp. 85
Working While Receiving Benefitsp. 85
Government Pension Offsetp. 87
5 Social Security Survivors Benefitsp. 91
Work Credits Required for Eligibilityp. 92
Who Is Eligiblep. 93
Amount of Survivors Benefitsp. 97
Eligibility for More Than One Benefitp. 101
Working While Receiving Benefitsp. 102
Government Pension Offsetp. 103
6 When to Claim Social Security Benefits, and Which One to Claimp. 105
Considerations for All Beneficiariesp. 106
Considerations for Specific Situationsp. 111
7 Supplemental Security Incomep. 117
Who Is Eligiblep. 118
Benefit Amountsp. 126
Reductions to Benefitsp. 128
8 Applying for Benefitsp. 131
Retirement, Dependents, and Survivors Benefitsp. 132
Disability Benefitsp. 141
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)p. 147
Finding Out What Happens to Your Claimp. 149
9 Appealing a Social Security Decisionp. 153
Reconsideration of Decisionp. 155
Administrative Hearingp. 164
Appeal to the National Appeals Councilp. 170
Lawsuit in Federal Courtp. 173
Lawyers and Other Assistancep. 174
10 Federal Civil Service Retirement Benefitsp. 181
Two Retirement Systems: CSRS and FERSp. 183
Retirement Benefitsp. 185
Disability Benefits to Federal Workersp. 199
Payments to Surviving Family Membersp. 203
Applying for CSRS or FERS Benefitsp. 206
11 Veterans Benefitsp. 207
Types of Military Service Requiredp. 208
Compensation for Service-Connected Disabilityp. 209
Pension Benefits for Financially Needy Disabled Veteransp. 214
Survivors Benefitsp. 215
Medical Treatmentp. 218
Getting Information and Applying for Benefitsp. 220
12 Medicarep. 223
The Medicare Mazep. 226
Medicare: The Basicsp. 231
Part A Hospital Insurancep. 236
How Much Medicare Part A Paysp. 250
Part B Medical Insurancep. 258
How Much Medicare Part B Paysp. 270
Part D Prescription Drug Coveragep. 278
Medicare Coverage for People With End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)p. 310
13 Medicare Procedures: Enrollment, Claims, and Appealsp. 317
Enrolling in Part A Hospital Insurancep. 318
Enrolling in Part B Medical Insurancep. 323
Medicare's Payment of Your Medical Billsp. 326
Paying Your Share of the Billp. 332
Your Medicare Summary Noticep. 333
Appealing the Denial of a Claimp. 334
Medicare Part D: Enrollment, Exceptions, and Appealsp. 353
Switching Part D Plansp. 361
State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs)p. 364
14 Medigap Insurancep. 365
Gaps in Medicarep. 368
Standard Medigap Benefit Plansp. 369
Terms and Conditions of Medigap Policiesp. 383
Finding the Best Medicare Supplementp. 391
15 Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage Plansp. 397
Medicare Advantage Managed Care Plansp. 401
Medicare Advantage Fee-for-Service Plansp. 407
Choosing a Medicare Advantage Planp. 409
Comparing Medigap and Medicare Advantage Plansp. 420
Your Rights When Joining, Leaving, or Losing a Medicare Advantage Planp. 420
16 Medicaid and State Supplements to Medicarep. 427
Medicaid Definedp. 428
Who Is Eligiblep. 429
Medical Costs Covered by Medicaidp. 434
Requirements for Coveragep. 438
Cost of Medicaid Coveragep. 439
Other State Assistancep. 441
Applying for Medicaid, QMB, SLMB, or QIp. 443
What to Do If You Are Denied Coveragep. 446
Indexp. 449