Is There Any Way To Cancel My Survivor Benefits?

Jun 17 2018 - 7:21am

I have been on SSDI since 2012 gettting 1284.00 per month. The low income qualified me for Medicare/Medicaid which covered all of my medical bills which were prettty minor. Three months ago I applied for my deceased ex-husbands benefits and was recently approved which raised my income to about 2050.00 per month. I also at the same time have been diagnosed with kidney cancer which will mean major medical bills. Is there any way to cancel the spouse benefits for I can stay on Medicare/Medicaid. I am devastated. I am not only frightened of this illness but also that it will leave my children with multi=thousands of dollars in medical bills. The timing couldn't have been worse. Thank You.

Hi,

You could withdraw your claim for survivor benefits, but then you'd have to refund any survivor benefits you've already received (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/withdrawal.html). The survivor benefits would not have made you ineligible for Medicare, though. Medicare eligibility is not dependent on income, so your benefit rate increase would not have affected your Medicare coverage. Medicaid is a needs based program, however, so that's apparently what you became ineligible for when your income rose.

I'm not an expert on Medicaid, but many needs based programs require you to apply for any other benefits for which you qualify. Before considering withdrawing your claim for survivor benefits I would strongly suggest that you contact the agency that handles Medicaid in your area to make sure that you could get back on that program if you did withdraw your claim.

Best, Jerry