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Eligibility Criteria for Medicare

Medicare for incarcerated youths with disabilities in the United States

With increased criminal activities in the US, the number of incarcerated people, primarily youths, has increased recently. The government has tried to utilize all the measures necessary, such as deterrence but instead of the criminal activities being entirely eradicated, it has only been reduced (Bonk. et al. (2013). The situation has led to the introduction of the United States Medicare program, which seeks to rehabilitate the youths. Social workers form the backbone of the process and ensure that physical and mentally impaired delinquents have been properly rehabilitated before they are reintegrated into society. Although the program deals with insurance funds for special people in the community, such as the elderly and people with disability, it also details ways of rehabilitating disabled youths and adolescents who have engaged in criminal activities.

The United States Medical Care or Medicare is a rehabilitation program that helps cover some inpatient rehab and physical therapy services. This program has two parts; Part A is the Hospital Insurance, which helps offset any medically necessary care, while part B usually provides coverage for the rehabilitation program regardless of whether an individual is in general rehab or intensive rehab. However, this program is reserved chiefly for physically and mentally challenged youth criminals in most US prisons. Studies have shown that with many youths in the US facing life sentences due to criminal behaviors such as drug abuse, more physically and mentally challenged youth criminals are likely to be incarcerated in the future. Therefore, there is a need for them to be subjected to the Medicare rehabilitation program. Forensic social workers have played a significant role in securing funds from the US government to ensure that juveniles with disabilities in prisons throughout the United States of America are appropriately rehabilitated and integrated into society as valuable members.

The eligibility criteria for Medicare in the US

Studies have shown that adolescents are more capable of rehabilitation than adults due to natural maturation or through the intervention of criminal sanctions. Disabled youths are more willing to be rehabilitated than adults, which is one of the eligibility criteria for the Medicare program. Another essential eligibility criterion for the Medicare program mainly limited to youths with disabilities is that most people serving life sentences for crimes committed in US prisons are mostly youths. Among these youths, some of them are disabled either physically or mentally. Therefore, the eligibility criterion for this program is that the parties in question should be youths below 18 years old and serving life sentences in US prisons. Another essential eligibility criterion for this program is that there should be a higher likelihood of mental or physical challenges associated with the party concerned for the Medicare program to be effective.

Roles of the social worker in rehabilitation and impacts of the eligibility criteria for Medicare in the US

Through the Medicare rehabilitation program, the US government gives the youth prisoners with disabilities the necessary training and skills that ensure that they can effectively participate in essential roles in the community that would deter them from committing crimes and give them a source of livelihood.

Therefore, rehabilitation through the Medicare program is one of the penal law goals that aim at changing dangerous and detrimental criminals into people who benefit society. One of the significant impacts of social workers using the Medicare rehabilitation program is that they help the US government identify suitable rehabilitation services for youth criminals with disabilities. They navigate the offenders through skills and training such as carpentry, priesthood, sporting activities, and even social work. Through the various training and skills that the criminals learn, many opportunities may come up, enabling them to do essential roles that will give them a better life once their incarceration is over.

Another vital role of forensic social workers using the Medicare rehabilitation program is conducting psycho-social and risk assessments of the youth criminals. The process is considered one of the best ways of running rehabilitation for criminals. According to (Lipsky, M. (1984)), conducting mental assessments is crucial because many criminals who end up incarcerated come from different backgrounds with various mental issues. Therefore, running a cognitive assessment is a valuable strategy for understanding why a particular crime is committed. The necessary remedies and steps that a social worker may take towards ensuring that the offenders are given another opportunity and chance to change themselves and be valuable members of society.

In this regard, Medicare helps ensure that Youth criminals receive the care they need regardless of social class and family income. Since they are still young and cannot provide for themselves, this program provides insurance to ensure their physical well-being.

Challenges associated with the eligibility criteria for Medicare in the US

One of the main challenges associated with this eligibility criterion is that rehabilitation in US prisons is only limited to youths with disabilities. The limitation led to the alienation of adults and the able juveniles and adolescents who have also been incarcerated. Separation refers to the state whereby a person loses their identity and feels unwanted or unrecognized as their rights have not been considered. Many rehabilitation opportunities are given to juveniles with disabilities who end up being given opportunities to build their lives. Therefore, adults and other able youths feel discriminated against and uncared for by the US government.

The Eligibility criterion of favoring youths with disabilities over adults and able juveniles regarding rehabilitation has also resulted in overwhelming restoration costs. Research has shown that the government pays for 80% of the Medicare-approved amount for Medicare beneficiaries, and this means that government has to incur a lot of costs in taking care of criminal youths with disabilities.

 Solutions to the eligibility criteria for Medicare in the US

However, social workers should ensure that inclusivity and equality are the core of their practices prisoners to reduce the challenges that come with the eligibility criteria of favoring youths with disabilities over adults and able juveniles in rehabilitation programs. Disabled children and other prisoners should be treated equally and equally. They should be subjected to the same rehabilitation procedures without being discriminated. They should also be given equal opportunities, training, and empowerment activities to boost their morale and feel like part and parcel of society.

I believe with such policy changes the social well-being of the prisoners will be ensured. For instance, there would be minimal discrimination, and this means that the policies would promote the realization of human rights, improve health care, improved vocational training as well as Reading and learning that will be viewed as a suitable way of ensuring that the inmates reform from their mistakes and remain responsible members of society.

By focusing on the potential policy changes, social workers would be able to ensure that human well-being and social justice for all prisoners are provided and promoted inequitable manner (Garrow, E. E. et al (2012)). Through interacting directly with the less privileged communities, social workers working under macro and micro social work settings will be able to use their skills and techniques, such as client client-based assessment skills, to build a working relationship amongst the prisoners, such as the drug addicts, during the therapy sessions.

It is evident that through the Medicare program, social workers, mainly the forensic social workers in the system, play a vital role in heightening the rehabilitation of Juvenile delinquents. The program is not only a way of deterring the reoccurrence of crimes by the offender but also by giving prisoners new roles and opportunities in society so that they may become helpful in community development.


Chambers, D. E., & Bonk, J. F. (2013). Social policy and social programs: A method for the practical public policy analyst (6th ed.). Pearson.

Lipsky, M. (1984). Bureaucratic disentitlement in social welfare programs. Social Service Review, 58(1), 3-27.

Hasenfeld, Y., & Garrow, E. E. (2012). Nonprofit human-service organizations, social rights, and advocacy in a neoliberal welfare state. Social Service Review, 86(2), 295-322.


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