The Colorado Old Age Pension program provides an income safety net to Colorado seniors. Most Colorado seniors aged 60 and older are eligible if they have monthly incomes of less than $737 (in 2013) and resources of less than $2000 ($3000 for a couple).
How the payment is calculated and how to apply?
Individuals who meet these requirements may receive a payment to bring their total gross income to $737. The payment is determined based on the difference between that amount and the applicant's total gross income. Income sources include Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, wages, pensions, gifts of more than $25, annuities, interest payments, disability benefits, workman's compensation or unemployment.
Individuals may also be required to apply for SSI if they are eligible. Those who receive SSI and apply for OAP, will have the first $20 of income from any source disregarded for gross income calculations. So an individual who has SSI can have a maximum monthly income of $757 including the OAP payment.
Some applicants may also be entitled to limited health care coverage through Old Age Pension.
To apply for OAP, individuals must fill out a Medicaid application and check the OAP box on the programs page. This application must be submitted to the county department of social/human services. For applications, please contact your county department or call our office at 303-333-3482. Approved applicants will be issued a Quest Card, which will be loaded with the payment amount, similar to food stamps.
OAP-A versus OAP-B
There are two separate OAP programs, but to most beneficiaries the differences are negligible. Beneficiaries who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid may receive health care coverage.
For individuals aged 65 and above, OAP-A will provide the monthly payment. Health care coverage will come from Medicare, and those individuals who receive SSI should also be automatically signed up for Medicaid to cover most co-payments.
Those beneficiaries who are 60-64, or are not eligible for SSI, regardless of age will receive OAP-B. OAP-B entitles the recipients to coverage through the OAP Health and Medical Care Program, in addition to the monthly payment. The Program provides coverage for outpatient services, emergency transportation services, medical supply services, hospice and home health services, lab and x-ray services, emergency dental services and pharmacy services. Provider reimbursement rates are below those for Medicaid, so many providers may not accept it as a coverage source. Please make sure that your providers are willing to accept this coverage before services are rendered.
Those individuals on OAP-B will be required to apply for Social Security at age 62.
Every twelve months, OAP recipients will have their eligibility re-assessed. In this re-determination, if the situation has not changed, generally a paper re-determination can be mailed. Otherwise, a full re-determination must be done, which may involve in person meetings with the county department of social/human services.
For questions or assistance with OAP, please call our office at 303-333-3482.
Note: OAP recipients are eligible for a dental benefit through the Old Age Pension Dental Program. However, this program was defunded in 2009 and refunded in the 2012 legislative session. The specific details of the benefit are still being determined by the state Department of Public Health and Environment as of January 1, 2013. Please check back soon for more information on when this benefit will be available again.