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What benefits do you receive
Old 12-13-2015, 01:30 PM   #1
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What benefits do you receive

Lots of ER folks finesse their income to qualify for ACA subsidies, but do you also use your low income status to get other benefits like fuel assistance or even food stamps?
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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just aca for us
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:39 PM   #3
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For me, there are limits to what I would feel comfortable in doing to receive public assistance by 'finessing my income'. Leave those benefits to those who actually need them.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:45 PM   #4
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Most benefits have asset limits as well as income limits.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:46 PM   #5
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We initially qualified for ACA subsidies, until DH decided to take a contract job. I was pretty excited to use the veterans' discount at Fred Meyer last month! So no, I would never consider trying to qualify for SNAP, I hope that I would never need that.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:47 PM   #6
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I just got $68 for heating assistance for the winter. Not much but every little bit helps. I didn't qualify for food stamps but I may next year. I'm not retired with a 7-figure portfolio though like most people here. I'm 36 years old with low 6-figure net worth and work very part time. My AGI is between $12-15K/yr so i'm legitimately poor.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:47 PM   #7
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I have thought about it as a way to recoup some of the $60,000 per year in federal taxes we have paid over the past decade. The only one I might try for other than the ACA subsidy is the saver's credit, but it does require some form of work wages.

I guess the $1,000,000+ in federal tax we paid over our working lifetime went to a good cause. $900 hammers don't pay for themselves after all.
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Old 12-13-2015, 01:48 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
For me, there are limits to what I would feel comfortable in doing to receive public assistance by 'finessing my income'. Leave those benefits to those who actually need them.
Do you think that most of the folks here who control their AGI to get ACA subsidies actually "need" to do so - or simply want the extra disposable income such a strategy offers? If you could afford to eat and keep a roof over your head while paying for health insurance I don't really see how getting subsidies for this really differs from other benefits like food stamps.

PS. I personally get none of these public assistance bennies, but don't begrudge any that do.
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Old 12-13-2015, 02:03 PM   #9
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Do you think that most of the folks here who control their AGI to get ACA subsidies actually "need" to do so - or simply want the extra disposable income such a strategy offers? If you could afford to eat and keep a roof over your head while paying for health insurance I don't really see how getting subsidies for this really differs from other benefits like food stamps.
I see ACA subsidy as a tax strategy no different than getting a deduction for my employer paid health insurance, 401k reduction, mortgage deduction, charitable deduction, etc. I realize not everyone may see it this way.

I do my best to minimize my taxes using any legal means that I'm entitled to use.

I see food assistance in a totally different category and I have no interest in this (even if I could qualify). As per REWahoo, I think these are best left to those who truly need them.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:05 PM   #10
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I have not looked into other benefits. As far as ACA - I'm paying full freight (due to a glitch in the CoveredCalifornia exchange) and will collect my tax credits at the time of my tax refund. It's a tax credit, written into the tax code. I no longer get the mortgage interest deduction since I paid off my mortgage. I also take advantage of the tax benefits of having kids under 18 in my household. Granted - they cost more than the tax deductions - but I'm happy to get those deductions.

In the past I've taken advantage of tax credits for installing energy efficient systems (new heater a while back, new windows... etc.)

I doubt I could manipulate my income to qualify for food stamps and still live a lifestyle that I like.

My kids attend schools that qualify (the entire schools) for free lunch. They don't participate because they say the provided lunch is "plastic food". If they were to eat a hot lunch at school they couldn't pay if they wanted to - since the school isn't set up to take money.... literally every student can get free lunch.
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Old 12-13-2015, 03:49 PM   #11
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Nothing. I have private insurance through my husbands retiree health care. But I do ask for discount at IHOP and movie theatre for senior citizen.


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Old 12-13-2015, 04:04 PM   #12
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A year ago I applied for ACA insurance, but was told my AGI was too low to qualify so was given a choice between Medicaid or a subsidy towards paying for any employer or retiree insurance I already had. My low AGI also made me eligible for a 25% reduction in my natural gas rate. AGI is the only criterion, net worth is specifically excluded.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:16 PM   #13
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In MN, i investigated the property tax refund program. I was going to transfer the house to the DGF, who will be low income after we both quit work. I though she could get most of the property taxes paid back.

Unfortunately, the definition of a 'household' in terms of income, is different for that program than the healthcare program. They would count both hers and my income for that program.

The healthcare program she will qualify for has no asset checking and we are legitimately separate households. That healthcare program is better than the best platinum healthcare program out there and has $0 deductible. For about $20 a month.
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Old 12-13-2015, 04:58 PM   #14
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I see ACA subsidy as a tax strategy no different than getting a deduction for my employer paid health insurance, 401k reduction, mortgage deduction, charitable deduction, etc. I realize not everyone may see it this way.
There is no deduction for employer paid health insurance.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:08 PM   #15
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I really try not to deal with the US government anymore than I must. I do take SS since I'd be a fool to turn down and get back what I was forced to pay into for over 40 years. Next year I start Medicare. Again, another government program I was forced to pay into for 40+ years for my own good . Based on the bureaucracies of SS that I have dealt with the past year, I'm not looking forward to the Medicare red tape next year even though I paid for it. Maybe I'll be surprised?


I never really looked in the ACA or other government run programs.

If you can't tell by now, I am not a fan of many US government ran programs.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:11 PM   #16
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I guess the $1,000,000+ in federal tax we paid over our working lifetime went to a good cause. $900 hammers don't pay for themselves after all.
Us currently collecting SS sincerely thank you for your contributions!

My only freebie is the 15% discount I get at Denny's with my AARP card!
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:14 PM   #17
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When my company retired everyone over 55 years old, I was able to draw unemployment benefits for almost 2 years. We were allowed to purchase MegaCompany's Cadillac insurance coverage until age 65--most of which was paid out of a Retiree health savings account.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:16 PM   #18
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Based on the bureaucracies of SS that I have dealt with the past year, I'm not looking forward to the Medicare red tape next year even though I paid for it. Maybe I'll be surprised?
Maybe I just got lucky but I applied online and got the Medicare card with no issues or surprises. Doctor's office and the hospital take it with no surprises there either.

SS is a little more complicated and since there's an office 10 minutes away I think I'll apply there for SS.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:34 PM   #19
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There is no deduction for employer paid health insurance.
Right, bad wording on my part. Let me call it instead an employer health insurance tax break. While I was working this was worth thousands of dollars and certainly on par with the average subsidy size under ACA.
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Old 12-13-2015, 05:36 PM   #20
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I really try not to deal with the US government anymore than I must. I do take SS since I'd be a fool to turn down and get back what I was forced to pay into for over 40 years. Next year I start Medicare. Again, another government program I was forced to pay into for 40+ years for my own good . Based on the bureaucracies of SS that I have dealt with the past year, I'm not looking forward to the Medicare red tape next year even though I paid for it. Maybe I'll be surprised?


I never really looked in the ACA or other government run programs.

If you can't tell by now, I am not a fan of many US government ran programs.
If you are already recieveing Social Security benefits your actual medicare card will arrive in the mail 2-3 months before your medicare start date. No need to apply it just happens. Then your part B premiums will be deducted automatically from the SS benefit.(As well as any income related additional payments for Part B and D). You will get tons of mail offering medigap policies of various sorts. You do have to decide on a part D plan also.
But basically because your on SS already the base medicare part happens automatically.
Note that Medicare starts on the first of the month you turn 65 unless you were born on the first, then it starts a month earlier.
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