To the best of my knowledge getting a reverse mortgage shouldn't interfere with getting other benefits, since the reverse mortgage is made against the house - that's the only asset that backs up the reverse mortgage - and it's a "non-recourse" loan, so it can't be collected while you live in the house and the amout of the debt can never exceed the value of the house.
Yes :) Reverse Mortgage income is not true income, its a loan :)
The only time a reverse mortgage could affect public benefits is when (in order to be elegible to receive the benefit) you cannot keep a certain sum of money in your personal accounts. An example of that: Medicaid (and I think MediCal as well)restricts you to only having $2000 in your checking or savings account over any statement cycle.
My borrowers can still get a reverse mortgage, they just only draw out what theyll use, when they need it. Never keeping more then $2000 in their accounts. Its a matter of understanding the system.
Best of luck to you!
**All above answers are provided as general information only. No warranty is made regarding the fitness or accuracy of the information provided in this answer. You should seek advice from a licensed CPA, attorney or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ as to your unique financial situation.