The AIDS Benefits Handbook


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Everything you need to know to get Social Security, Welfare, Medicaid, Medicare, Food Stamps, Housing...

Thomas P. McCormack

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"I know of no other publication that serves the function that this book provides. It is invaluable."—David Barr, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York
Persons with AIDS and with AIDS-Related Complex (ARC) must cope with pressing income and health needs. The U.S. social welfare system offers financial and health care benefits to disabled people, but its maze of programs is frustrating and difficult to understand.
This vitally important book is the first comprehensive, step-by-step guide to obtaining social welfare benefits for people with AIDS and ARC. The book discusses the programs that are available, from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, and welfare to Medicaid, Medicare, food stamps, housing, drugs, and hospital care. In each case it cuts through the complexities of the welfare system and summarizes in practical and concise terms what benefits are available, who is eligible for them, where and how to apply, how to appeal, and other key data. The handbook also contains state-by-state lists of resources and suggestions for program improvements.
The book is an essential reference not only for the one million people who are HIV-infected but also for every worker and agency that assists these individuals. It will also be helpful to needy, disabled, or elderly persons seeking access to similar benefits.

"I know of no other publication that serves the function that this book provides. It is invaluable."—David Barr, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, New York

"This book is an excellent resource that is sorely needed. It will have an enormous impact. Lawyers, social workers, and lay advocates of every stripe will immediately put it to use to enhance the quality of life for tens of thousands of our most marginalized fellow citizens. The aids Benefits Handbook does for people concerned about social welfare what neither savvy, nor smarts, nor diligence can do alone:  it enables the reader to truly understand for the first time both the overall shape of our welfare bureaucracy and the tics and quirks of each of its constituent parts."—Harlon L. Dalton, coeditor of aids and the Law:  A Guide for the Public

"This is one of the most useful 'How To' books that I can remember reading. It should be made available as soon as possible. We need it yesterday."—Ellis A. Perlswig, m.d., Chairperson, aids Project of New Haven

"His handbook is invaluable not only for PWAs (persons with aids) but also for the poor, aged, and disabled and their advocates. This fills a great need and will be a required purchase for most public libraries as well as social welfare collections in agencies and other organizations."—Library Journal


"There should be reference as well as circulation copies wherever there's a call for consumer information on aids care."—Booklist

"The Handbook can help people with aids cut through the bureaucracy and red tape that too often prevent access to desperately needed financial, health care, nutrition, and other public welfare benefits. Well done!"—Bruce Fried, Executive Director, National Health Care Campaign

"This is a volume which is long overdue. . . . It is comprehensive, but yet concise enough to be of enormous benefit to aids patients and to those who are involved with their welfare. Senior citizens and the disabled will find in McCormack's exhaustive but yet concise chapters most of the answers they need about public benefit eligibility. The author has written an authoritative, easy to read and comprehensive guide which will be of enormous help to those who must cut through the red tape of the public benefit bureaucracy."—Journal of Community Health

"A handbook that covers all the programs listed in the subtitle in all their dizzying variations and permutations, plus information on other kinds of necessary insurance coverage and benefits that people with aids need to know. . . . It's a wonderful idea. . . . The Handbook makes clear that there is complexity—and then makes the complexity clear. The book will save people considerable energy and help them prepare for the inevitable frustrations of dealing with a huge system. . . . [We are given] little gems from an insider that make this book unique and especially valuable. . . . This book covers the 'ins' and 'outs.'  Half of the book is a series of chapters on each of the programs, both federal and local, identified in the subtitle. . . . The other half, equally important to read, is a series of appendices. One invaluable appendix lists all of the documents needed when applying for any specific benefit. Others list the names and addresses of important state agencies. . . . In the extensive glossary McCormack puts jargon in its place drawing distinctions between the official definitions ('welfare' as a generic term for needs-based benefit programs for the needy) and the public's definitions ('welfare' meaning Aid for Families with Dependent Children). He also provides a clear explanation on what is considered disability by the Social Security system. . . . A substantial, solid base from which to start. For people with aids, this book belongs right in their hands."—Peg Downey, The Washington Blade

"Thomas McCormack has compiled a comprehensive listing of benefits available to persons with aids, as well as requirements for eligibility on a state by state and program by program basis. His handbook is a useful reference, not only for persons with aids, but also for legal services programs or private attorneys who represent persons with aids, aids-Related Complex, or other disabilities. . . . The breadth of this book is impressive. . . . The author's hands-on experience with bureaucracies . . . is apparent in the practical advice provided."—Elliott Andalman, National Legal Aid and Defender Association's Cornerstone

"An excellent resource providing not only simple benefit program explanations but also advice on how to work through the complicated bureaucracies. . . . This is the kind of reference book a person with aids will turn to again and again at every stage of the disease."—Jennifer Weck, APLA Update

"There isn't a community in the country in which at least one person can't presently or in the near future make good use of this very helpful book."—James Rettig, Wilson Library Bulletin

"I urge every advocate, lawyer, PWA, and hiv-infected person to get hold of it. . . . Each chapter features step-by-step how-tos, what-to-bring lists and essentially 'special problems' and appeals mechanisms. Winding your way through red tape takes energy and, at $8.95, this book serves as a map as well as a guide to reforms to push for on a state-by-state basis. . . . I'll urge you to get this book . . . and use it as your benefits bible."—Marea Murray, Gay Community News

"Everything you need to know about public benefits but didn't know how to ask. . . . A carefully organized guide to public benefits systems, specifying eligibility rules, available benefits, application procedures, appeal rights, and other issues regarding just about every kind of public benefit one could think of (and some that may even surprise experts). There are valuable appendices listing agencies in all states as well as aids service organizations. This book should be invaluable to anybody in a practice serving indigent clients or persons with aids or both."—Lesbian/Gay Law Notes

"I cannot imagine a more useful book, practically or politically, for anyone with a chronic health problem. . . . With this book any user of the public entitlement system can become his or her own advocate. Bravo for The AIDS Benefits Handbook and bravo for Thomas McCormack for spending years breaking the code and sharing his knowledge."—Nancy McKenzie, Health/PAC Bulletin

ISBN: 9780300047219
Publication Date: September 10, 1990
240 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
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