Many public benefits programs are “means-tested.” But what does that mean?
Some programs are based on participation in an insurance model. Those include Social Security retirement benefits, Social Security disability benefits, and even survivor’s and children’s benefits. Medicare eligibility is also based on participation in the program (through employment and withholding or quarterly estimated payments).
But a whole family of programs set their eligibility on financial qualifications. Those include SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and AHCCCS (Arizona’s version of Medicaid). There are other means-tested benefits to consider, as well.
If you have available resources (either assets or income) you might see a reduction — or even a complete loss — of some means-tested benefits. We try to explain this complex (and often interrelated) matrix of benefits in this podcast episode.