The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

A Quick and Easy Method of Screening for Medicaid Eligibility under the Pickle Amendment

Date: 
11/01/2018
Author: 
Gordon Bonnyman

The Pickle Amendment, named after its congressional sponsor and enacted in 1977, requires that an individual is to be deemed a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipient (which in most states means automatic Medicaid eligibility) if the individual1

  1. was simultaneously entitled to receive both social security (Old Age, Survivors, or Disability Insurance (OASDI)) and SSI in some month after April 1977;2
  2. receives income that would qualify the individual for SSI after deducting all OASDI cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) received since the last month in which the individual was eligible for both OASDI and SSI;
  3. is currently ineligible for SSI; and
  4. is currently eligible for and receiving OASDI.

A screening tool to determine eligibility for Medicaid under the Pickle amendment is updated annually and  found here.


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