Health Connect Corner: Medical coverage for people with disabilities

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By Susan Salisbury, Consumer Health Advocate

Every week I'll be sharing insider tips on health care programs, information about health care reform and how health insurance works in Oregon.

And as a Consumer Health Advocate for 211info's Oregon Health Connect program, my two colleagues and I have more than three decades worth of experience helping people find resources.

We are here to answer you questions Monday - Friday 8am to 6pm. Just dial 211 or email us:

This week I wanted to share information about employed persons with disabilities.

Did you know that people with disabilities who are working can apply for state medical coverage?

The state program is called Employed Persons with Disabilities, or EPD. Even if the person only works a few hours a week for a friend, they may qualify. If you are working with customers, you would refer them to their nearest Senior (Aging) and People with Disabilities office to apply.

The Employed Persons with Disabilities Program (EPD) is designed to help people who have a disability go to work. Often, a person who has a disability is hesitant to go to work and risk losing Medicaid. The cost of paying for a provider or adaptive equipment by oneself can use up most of a person’s paycheck. The purpose of this program is to allow people who have a disability to work and not lose Medicaid coverage.

To be eligible for EPD, a person must meet the following:

  • Be employed; AND
  • Have a physical or mental impairment that meets the definition of disability as used by the Social Security Administration; AND
  • Have an adjusted income less than 250% of the Federal Poverty Level for a family of one; AND
  • Have countable resources under $5,000; AND
  • Meet all other OSIPM eligibility, financial and non-financial; AND
  • Must not be assumed eligible for other Medicaid programs under 461-135-0010.

The person may be eligible for a full OHP Plus benefits package and long-term care services. These may include:

  • Medical coverage,
  • Dental coverage,
  • Optical care and services,
  • Prescriptions,
  • Mental health services,
  • Personal assistant services,
  • In-home supportive services, and
  • Community-based care in a licensed facility.