Medical Assistance (MA) is a public program that helps pay medical expenses for people with low income. How you may qualify depends on your family’s situation. The rules for qualifying are related to things like whether you have a disability, how much you have in income, how much you have in assets, whether you are pregnant, or if you are a child.

Disability-based MA is one way for people with disabilities to qualify for MA. It is not the only way that a person with a disability can qualify for MA, but if you have been determined disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) or by the State Medical Review Team (SMRT), disability-based MA may help you for 3 main reasons:

  • It may let you get MA even if you make more money income-based MA allows.
  • It may let you get MA and Medicare at the same time.
  • It may cover additional services that income-based MA does not cover.
Other ways to qualify for MA

Disability-based MA is not the only way to qualify for MA. Most people who get MA qualify by other rules. You or other members of your family may qualify by those other rules, even if you don’t qualify by the disability-based rules. Learn more about the different ways of qualifying in DB101's MA overview.

You may also want to consider other options we will introduce later, including MinnesotaCare, Medicare, and private health insurance.

This article is about disability-based Medical Assistance (MA) and will help you understand:

  • If it is right for you
  • Other ways you may qualify for MA
  • What services it covers
  • How much you will have to pay, and
  • How to sign up.

If after reading this article, you need more help in understanding Medical Assistance (MA), we recommend you talk to trained experts who can help you. Here are some good resources:

Highlights
  • Disability-based MA doesn’t count all of your earned income, so it may be an option if your income is too high for income-based MA.
  • Disability-based MA covers some extra services through MA-Waiver Programs.
  • You can get it and Medicare at the same time, if you qualify.
  • If your earned income goes up, you can switch to MA-EPD, which has no earned income limit.
  • If your assets increase so much that you no longer qualify for disability-based MA or MA-EPD, you may be able to qualify for income-based MA, which has no asset limit.
  • If Social Security or the State Medical Review Team (SMRT) determine that your disability does not qualify you for MA, you may be able to qualify for income-based MA , which has no disability requirement.
  • If you don’t have any form of health coverage in 2017, you may have to pay a tax penalty.