Date: January 31, 2022Attorney: Donald A. Dennison

One of the roles of an elder law attorney is to assist individuals and families navigate the maze of government programs established to assist the aged, blind or otherwise disabled. This article highlights two such programs that are very useful for those who qualify.

First, the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (“PAAD”) Program covers medically necessary prescription drugs in excess of a five-dollar ($5.00) co-pay for generic drugs and a seven-dollar ($7.00) co-pay for brand name drugs. The PAAD Program also covers Medicare Part D premiums for qualified individuals, which is a requirement for program eligibility. The other requirements for acceptance into the PAAD Program are:

(1) The applicant must be a New Jersey resident;

(2) The applicant must be sixty-five (65) and older or between the ages of eighteen (18) and sixty-four (64) and receiving Social Security, Title II Disability Benefits at the time of the application; and

(3) The applicant’s income (in 2022) is less than $38,769.00 for an individual or $45,270.00 for a married couple.

Seniors or otherwise disabled individuals who meet these requirements may apply for the program online or call the Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services toll-free at 1-800-792-9745 and request a paper application.

The second program everyone should be aware of is the Hearing Aid Assistance to the Aged and Disabled (“HAAAD”) Program. The HAAAD Program requires the applicant to meet all of the eligibility standards of the PAAD program and is intended to assist those suffering from a hearing impairment or those with diminished hearing capabilities. Beneficiaries of the HAAAD Program are entitled to up to $500.00 towards the purchase of one (1) hearing aid, or $1,000.00 towards the purchase of two (2) hearing aids, depending on doctor’s orders.

The PAAD and HAAAD Programs are separate and distinct programs despite the HAAAD program’s identical eligibility requirements to those of the PAAD program. Therefore, separate applications must be submitted for each program. Anyone interested in either of these programs should contact the Division of Aging Services (number listed above) to discuss the application process. It is also worth noting that Medicaid recipients and those who have health insurance coverage that would otherwise cover the cost of hearing aid(s) do not qualify for the HAAAD program.

Navigating the maze of government benefits and entitlements is tricky and often frustrating. The Elder Law Department at Mandelbaum Barrett PC is happy to discuss government entitlements to which you or family members may qualify and assist with application process.