Issues with the Atlanta Speech Therapy Download for Katie Beckett
The Atlanta Speech Therapy website has become the go-to spot in Georgia for downloading the Katie Beckett application forms. Don't print it! There is a very big problem: it's not fully accurate. Downloading their packet is a good way to see an overview of what is needed for your forms, but there are actually several pages you don't need, some of the forms are hardly readable, and a couple of key elements that are misleading. It seems to be the only place where you can download these forms in one packet, even though they aren't right, so they still get a lot of traffic. If you'd like to see an overview of the forms you're getting into, you can download the packet there, but know that there are multiple things in there that are confusing or just wrong. Don't waste your paper and ink printing it, and make sure you read on to have more accurate information on what to do.
On the AST link, they say clearly that you have to obtain an SSI denial in order to apply for Katie Beckett. THIS IS NOT CORRECT. This used to be the case, but the Katie Beckett office has updated so that you can include paystubs in your application proving that you wouldn't qualify for SSI. To explain further, SSI is a Social Security benefit where you would qualify for Medicaid based on income below a certain level. Historically, to apply for Katie Beckett, you had to apply for this, obtain the denial from the SSI office, and include that denial in your Katie Beckett application. I tried doing this because that's what the AST site said to do, and I got absolutely no response from the SSI office after a few weeks of waiting. I sent my Katie Beckett experts a panicky email and they let me know a much more sensible option was available to me: I could include copies of paystubs in my Katie Beckett application in order to prove that we would not qualify for SSI. So, ignore the SSI instructions on the AST website, and know you can include copies of paystubs to satisfy that option.
My second issue with the AST download is that they include forms to apply for the Georgia HIPP program. There is one problem: you cannot qualify for HIPP until you have been approved for Medicaid. There is no reason to fill HIPP forms out at this stage because you aren't eligible and you'll just get an initial denial letter from HIPP saying as much. So, ignore the HIPP forms for now.
My third issue with the AST download is that the versions of several forms are scans of very fuzzy copies, and sometimes the versions are outdated, so I didn't even end up using those in my application. The most recent versions of most of the forms are available from the Georgia Medicaid website. I downloaded each of the forms, saved them in my electronic filing system, and filled them out using Adobe Acrobat Reader. The free version allows for you to fill them out using the 'Fill & Sign' function. That way, you can save completed versions of the form electronically so that you can make corrections, print new copies, or use them for renewals in future years.
Below are current, accurate resources that are all free to you as you consider your options and work on your Katie Beckett application.
Georgia Katie Beckett Resources
Helpful tools for applying for the Katie Beckett TEFRA Medicaid Waiver in GA
Focus & Fragile has made available an hour-long conference session where expert Debbie Dobbs walks you through the Katie Beckett application in detail - the basic purpose, approval guidelines, and specifics on how to fill out every page of the government forms. It's the best crash course on Katie Beckett available on video.
Sheila Carter runs a nonprofit called Cam & Madi's Promise. Because she is able to collect donations through the nonprofit, she does not charge a fee. She was an invaluable resource for me as I was walking through the Katie Beckett application process. Check out her website to learn more and send her an email with your questions.
This link will take you to a roundup of all of my posts on my experience applying for Katie Beckett. From a basic overview to practical steps and the best order to go about everything, all I've learned and utilized is in these posts. Hopefully this will make it just a bit easier for someone out there!