How do I apply for Extra Help to pay for Medicare's prescription drug benefit?

Section IX.e. The Extra Help Program
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If you do not have Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income or a Medicare Savings Program, you can apply for help paying for Medicare Part D through the Social Security Administration using either the agency's print or online application. To apply online visit This application can also enroll you in the Medicare Savings Program, which helps pay your Medicare costs. To be sure you get all the benefits you qualify for, complete the entire Extra Help application, even if you do not think you qualify for Extra Help.

Even if you qualify for Extra Help in paying for Medicare drug costs, you must choose a private plan offering Medicare drug coverage in your area in order to get the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

If you become eligible for Extra Help, you will be given a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a Medicare private drug plan (Part D). You will not have to pay a Part D premium penalty, even if you enroll in a Medicare private drug plan after you were first eligible. With Extra Help, you will also be able to change your Medicare drug plan once a month.

Part D Special Enrollment Periods (SEP) Chart

If your application for Extra Help is denied, or you disagree with the award, you can appeal.

You should make an appointment for a hearing with Social Security. The hearing will be conducted by phone. You can make the appointment either by

  • calling Social Security at 800-772-1213; or
  • mailing a request (you can get the form Social Security's web site).

Collect any documentation you have that shows why you do qualify. Have it ready for your hearing.

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Social Security Extra Help Application Access your Medicare information

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