Benefits for people with disabilities are administered through the NH Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). You must apply to both agencies to become eligible and begin receiving benefits. Eligibility, procedure and maintenance can be complicated, so it’s best to work with your Service Coordinator for help in understanding and accessing appropriate funding.

PLEASE NOTE: As of December 1, 2013 New Hampshire now uses a Managed Care system for Medicaid healthcare servicesand acute medical care (not for disabilities or long-term care). For more information:

    Click here for important updates and action alerts for individuals and families.

    Click here to find out more about Medicaid Care Management at the DHHS website.

The Social Security Administration handles:

  • SSI (Social Security Income);

  • SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance);

  • CDB (Childhood Disability Benefits);

  • Retirement benefits.

For Medicare and Medicaid information, visit the CMS website.

The NH Department of Health and Human Services administers certain programs including:

  • HC-CSD (Home Care for Children with Severe Disabilities – Katie Beckett);

  • MEAD (Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities);

  • Food Stamps and other family assistance programs;

  • Healthy Kids Gold (NH’s children’s health insurance program).

For information on NH programs, visit the DHHS website.

If you have any questions about benefits for you or your family member, please contact your Service Coordinator who can help you better understand and access appropriate resources.

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

The Benefits systems are so large – how do I keep from getting lost?

Don’t do it alone. Ask for help!

  • Get an Advocate. A Service Coordinator at MDS will help; a Service Link Advocate can help; a friend can help.

  • Ask your Advocate to go to appointments with you.

  • Ask your Advocate to review your applications before you submit them.

Where do I go to apply for disability benefits?

You must apply with two agencies, the federal Social Security Administration (SSA) and NH Department of Health and Human Services.

  • For SSA, you can apply on line at the SSA website. If you do not want to do this report online or you need help, you can call the SSA toll-free at 800-772-1213.

  • The NH-DHHS website gives an outline of the application process. The Division of Family Assistance can help with the process and also offers online services through NH EASY, New Hampshire's Electronic Application System. Visit the NH EASY site to learn how to apply for assistance, check eligibility, track your application status, and more.

What happens if I apply and am denied?

  • Appeal!  If you disagree with the decision that has been made, it is very important that you appeal their decision.

  • The Notice of Denial will tell you the steps to take for an appeal.

  • Make sure you file your appeal right away to insure you get it in before the 30-day deadline.

What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

  • Medicare is a Federal Health Insurance Program. A person becomes eligible for Medicare when they meet retirement age requirements by SSA rules. A person can also receive Medicare benefits via SSDI  (Social Security Disability Insurance - a disability benefit) or Child Disability Benefits (CDB).

  • Medicaid is health care coverage that is accessible in a number of different ways. For adults with disabilities, one must meet both the financial and medical criteria. If you are working and have a disability, you may also qualify for the MEAD program which is Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities.

It is important that you work with your Service Coordinator to fully access and understand these benefits.

What is the Katie Beckett Program?

  • Katie Beckett is a commonly used name for Home Care for Children with Severe Disabilities.

  • To be found eligible for this program, your child must be at risk of institutionalization. Unlike other Medicaid programs for children, this program does not count the parents’ income or assets. However, it does count the child’s assets and income.

  • It is strongly suggested to work with your Service Coordinator or Advocate when applying for this program. The application process is multi-layered and can be emotionally draining.

What is the difference between SSI and SSDI?

  • SSI (Social Security Income) is a needs-based program administered through the Social Security Administration. One must meet a financial criterion to qualify for SSI. In addition, one must then meet their medical disability criterion or be of retirement age to qualify.

  • SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) is a disability program administered by the Social Security Administration. One must have a work history where contributions were paid into the Social Security System and also meet a medical disability criterion.

How do benefits change as I age?

Specific changes can occur at age 18, 19, 21, 23, 26, 62 and 65. Click here to read a very helpful guide: Benefit Changes As You Age.

Will I lose my benefits if I go to work?

No, you will not lose your benefits if you go to work!

  • Your Service Coordinator can help you create a return-to-work plan. Always report your earnings to the SSA and DHHS.

  • NH DHHS has the MEAD Program (Medicaid for Employed Adults with Disabilities). Go to the GSIL website for details of this program.

  • UNH's Institute on Disabilities provides the Work Incentives Resource Center (WIRC), an online destination for information about benefits planning and work incentives for individuals with disabilities.

  • Social Security Administration’s website has details regarding multiple work incentive/safety nets for those returning to work. Work with your Service Coordinator in exploring and utilizing these systems.