Q: Is there a time limit on how long I can collect disability benefits?
A: Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved and you remain unable to work. Your case will be reviewed at regular intervals to make sure you still are disabled. If you still are receiving disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, we will automatically convert them to retirement benefits. See www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10153. html#6.
Medicare help limits
Q: My mom is interested in getting help with her Medicare Part D prescription costs, but she has about $10,000 in the bank. Is she still eligible?
A: Based solely on the bank account balance you mention, yes. However, there are other factors to consider as well, including your mom's income. This year a person's total resources are, in most cases, limited to $13,070 (or $26,120 if married and living with spouse) to qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs. The limits include a $1,500 per person exclusion for burial purposes. Resources include the value of the things you own, such as real estate, cash, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts like IRAs or 401ks. There are exceptions. Read more about how to qualify and apply for the Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp/index. htm.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213.