Medical Care Services replaces Disability Lifeline/GA-U
Changes to the Disability Lifeline Program took effect November 1, 2011. Most enrollees receiving Disability Lifeline medical and mental health care benefits are now Medical Care Services enrollees.
For details, see:
- Medical Care Services (formerly DL/GA-U) begins November 1, 2011
- Housing and Essential Needs (HEN) replaces cash program
- New programs for former DL-X, DL-A, DL-D clients and for pregnant women not eligibile for TANF
- Advice for clients on DL-U (and not DL-X, DL-A, or DL-D) who are losing cash assistance
For information about benefits, see the member Medical Care Services web page.
Please contact Erin Hafer (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
The Disability Lifeline program ended October 31, 2011 as required by House Bill 2082. New and different programs for this population began on November 1, 2011.
All currently active DL-U enrollees became Medical Care Services (MCS) enrollees effective November 1, 2011. Medical and mental health benefits are not affected by this change. Community Health Plan of Washington continues to provide these services for active enrollees. See the member web page for information about benefits and services.
Community Health Plan of Washington ID cards are being updated to say "Medical Care Services." Clinics should also confirm eligibility in Provider One: Many of these enrollees do not have reliable contact information and therefore may not receive member materials in a timely way. Eligibility in Provider One will continue to be listed as "GA-U CHPW" for these enrollees until DSHS is able to make an update to the system to reflect the new program, Medical Care Services.
The Disability Lifeline (DL-U) cash program ended October 31, 2011. As of November 1, these clients can apply for toiletries, cleaning supplies, bus passes, and very limited housing assistance through a new program called Housing and Essential Needs (HEN).
HEN is not an entitlement and is subject to available funds.
The Department of Commerce will grant HEN funds to county governments and community based organizations for the administration of the program. See the list of contracted HEN providers by county.
Clients getting DL-X: Same benefits, new program name—ABD
On November 1, about 16,000 clients receiving DL-X benefits were transferred to a new program, ABD (Aged, Blind, Disabled).
These clients continue to get Medicaid plus the same amount of cash assistance they received from Disability Lifeline. After reductions earlier in 2011 it is: $197 per month for a single person paying for shelter; $248 for a married couple both eligible and living together; and less for clients without shelter costs.
Clients qualify for DL-X if DSHS determines (or an appeal has determined) they are "likely to qualify" for SSI based on disability. They must also seek SSI disability benefits.
Clients getting DL-A or DL-D: Same benefits, new program name—ABD
DL-A and DL-D clients, like DL-X clients, will all be transferred to ABD and continue to receive cash assistance. The DL-A and DL-D clients who are ineligible for Medicaid will continue to receive Medical Care Services (MCS) instead of Medicaid.
Some clients receiving DL-A or DL-D instead of DL-X are not eligible for Medicaid. Usually this ineligibility is because their immigration status does not make them eligible for Medicaid, or because they have had lawful permanent resident status for fewer than 5 years.
All the clients ineligible for Medicaid who are 65 or older should be on DL-A instead of DL-U. Those younger than 65 are on DL-D instead of DL-U only if DSHS (or an appeal) determines they meet the same disability criteria SSI uses.
NOTE: The DL-A and DL-D clients ineligible for Medicaid will continue to get cash assistance November 1. (The DSHS manual chart implies that DL-A and DL-D clients all get Medicaid, which is not correct for clients ineligible for Medicaid.) Northwest Justice Project has confirmed with the Disability Lifeline program manager that indeed these clients will transition to ABD and will continue to get cash assistance.
New program for pregnant women not eligible for TANF
Pregnant women who are not eligible for TANF cash assistance because of new TANF time limits can get $197 per month cash assistance and medical benefits.
DL-U clients who believe they meet SSI-disability standards should go to DSHS and apply for ABD (Aged, Blind, Disabled). The SSI standard of disability is that the person has been unable to engage in substantial work activity for a total period of 12 months, including past and future months.
DL-U clients who have applied for SSI and have an SSI attorney can ask the SSI attorney to help them get ABD by providing medical evidence from their SSI cases to DSHS.
DL-U clients who are denied DL-X or ABD can appeal this decision. To get help in the appeal, they may want to first contact their SSI attorney. They can also apply for legal assistance at CLEAR 1-888-201-1014 or CLEAR*Sr (age 60 or older) at 1-888-387-7111.
Any DL-U clients who receive housing assistance should immediately notify their Housing Authority of this change in income. Rent can be reduced to reflect the income change.