The Department of Economic Security’s (DES) Family Assistance Administration (FAA) decides if you are eligible for Nutrition Assistance (NA), Cash Assistance (CA), and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). If you have health insurance through Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, you will have to report your income whenever it changes and every 6 months, even if it doesn’t change. Here we’ll explain these rules in greater detail and tell you how to report.

Reporting for the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS)

There are several ways to qualify for health coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS). How you qualify for AHCCCS will establish what information you need to report and which agency you need to report to.

If You Get AHCCCS Automatically Because You also Get SSI

The most common way for people with disabilities to qualify for AHCCCS is by getting it automatically when they get SSI. If you get AHCCCS automatically because of your SSI, you may not have to report your income to AHCCCS. You may be able to just report your income to Social Security. Ask your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office when you need to report your income if you get SSI.

AHCCCS and Section 1619(b)

If you’re on SSI benefits and then get a job, you can keep getting AHCCCS health coverage even if your SSI benefits drop to $0, thanks to an SSI rule called 1619(b). Rule 1619(b) lets people on SSI who work continue to get AHCCCS at no cost, as long as they make less than $36,315 per year.

Note that to do this, you’ll still have to be below SSI’s resource limit, which is $2,000 if you’re single and $3,000 for couples.

If you get your AHCCCS coverage through 1619(b), you’ll have to keep reporting your income and resources to Social Security. You won’t have to report to AHCCCS.

If You Get AHCCCS but Don’t Get SSI

Many people who don’t qualify for SSI still qualify for health coverage through the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).

If you have AHCCCS coverage but don’t get SSI, you will have to supply information about your income when you apply for AHCCCS coverage, because to qualify for AHCCCS, you must make less than the income limit. You can read more about applying for coverage in the DB101 article on AHCCCS.

Once you’ve been approved for AHCCCS coverage, you will have to report any changes in your income or family situation within 10 days of the change. Here is a list of the things you need to report:

  • Your address
  • If anybody has moved in or out of your household
  • If you got married or divorced
  • How much you make from work
  • How much you get in unearned income
  • A change in school attendance for young people under age 22

There are several different ways of reporting these:

  1. If you get your AHCCCS coverage through the Department of Economic Security (DES), you can:
  2. If you have AHCCCS Freedom to Work coverage, update your information on Health-e-Arizona Plus or call 1-602-417-5010 (if you live in Maricopa County) or 1-800-528-0142 - option 6 (anywhere else in Arizona) and ask how to report your income.
  3. If you get services from the Arizona Long-Term Care System (ALTCS), contact your local ALTCS office.

For a detailed chart listing what you need to report, click here. For additional help, contact your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office or talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.

Where to report if you get private health insurance through Healthcare.gov

When you get health insurance through Healthcare.gov, you may qualify for government help paying for your monthly premium. When your income goes up or down, the amount of government help you get may change. That's why you need to report any changes to your income or family situation on Healthcare.gov if you signed up for a private plan there.

Renewing Your Eligibility

Even if your income doesn’t change, once you’re on AHCCCS, you have to submit a renewal application at least once every 12 months to keep your benefits. When you submit the renewal application, you will have to supply current information and any proof needed to see if you still qualify for AHCCCS. You may need to supply information more often than once a year – this will depend on which programs you are enrolled in.

The easiest way to renew your eligibility is by using Health-e-Arizona Plus. You can also download an application, fill it out, and submit it to your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office.

Keep good records

It is your responsibility to keep accurate and detailed records. The earnings you report to your DES/Family Assistance Administration office will be checked. Keep track of all of your communications with them just like you would with Social Security and put copies of letters and records of phone conversations in your Work and Benefits Binder or on your computer, including the date and time when the phone calls took place and the name of the person who was assisting you.

AHCCCS Freedom to Work

Another program that can help you keep your AHCCCS coverage when you work is called AHCCCS Freedom to Work. If you have a disability, it lets you make more money and still get AHCCCS coverage. The only difference is that you’ll have to pay a small monthly premium. The maximum premium is $35 per month.

Like AHCCCS, AHCCCS Freedom to Work has an income limit ($2,529 per month) and you’ll have to report your income in the same way you’d have to report it for standard AHCCCS. Note that AHCCCS only counts about half of the money you make at work. That means that you might qualify for AHCCCS Freedom to Work even if you make $4,000 per month or more.

If you begin to work and have questions about your eligibility for AHCCCS, talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.

To learn more about these programs, read the DB101 articles on AHCCCS and AHCCCS Freedom to Work.

Reporting for Nutrition Assistance (NA) and Cash Assistance (CA)

For Nutrition Assistance (NA) and Cash Assistance (CA), as a general rule, you need to report changes in your income or family situation within 10 days. However, some people on these programs will not have to report as often. Contact your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office if you have questions about when you need to report. Click here for a detailed chart listing everything you need to report.

There are several different ways of reporting:

  1. You can report online using either Health-e-Arizona Plus or MyFamilyBenefits.
  2. You can call your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office and report over the phone.
  3. You can call 1-855-777-8590 and report over the phone.
  4. You can download the Change Report form and submit it in person or mail it to your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office.

Renewing Your Eligibility

Even if your income doesn’t change, you need to renew your eligibility regularly, generally every 6 months, to continue getting benefits. When you renew your eligibility, you will have to report any changes in your income or family situation.

You can renew online using Health-e-Arizona Plus.

For additional help, contact your local DES/Family Assistance Administration office or talk to a Work Incentive Consultant.