Topic Categories:

Social Security Disability Definitions

Social Security Disability and SSI Overview

The Requirements for Disability

Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial

Disability Denials and Filing Appeals

Social Security Mental Disability Benefits

Disability Benefits offered through Social Security

Benefits through SSI disability

Disability Benefits for Children

Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify

Social Security Disability and Working

Winning your Disability Benefits

Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice

Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney

Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions

What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSDRC authored by

Ask a question, get an answer

If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?

How to prove you are disabled
and win disability benefits

An important question for all SSDI (social security disability insurance) disability beneficiaries is "Will I get any kind of health insurance now that I have been approved for benefits"? This is a very real concern, since most disability beneficiaries have lost all health insurance by the time they are approved for disability benefits.

Unfortunately, if you have been approved for SSDI benefits, you most likely have pre-existing conditions that would prevent you from getting private health insurance, or if you were able to get health insurance your premiums would be extremely high.

Social Security recognizes the need for health coverage for disability beneficiaries; however Medicare coverage is not available to disability beneficiaries immediately. Unfortunately, Social Security requires a two-year waiting period for Medicare benefits. You will receive Medicare benefits twenty four months from the month you were first eligible to receive your monthly disability benefit, not the date you became disabled and unable work.

If you have health insurance coverage at the time you receive disability benefits, do not drop your coverage. You should try to keep your coverage for the two-year waiting period. If you have cobra insurance coverage it would be advisable to keep your coverage for as long as you can.

The simple truth is that you could potentially be without health insurance for up to two years, especially if you are approved for disability benefits with your initial disability claim (we say potentially because the two year wait for medicare does not necesssary mean that you actually have to wait for two years as the following paragraphs will indicate).

Please check with Social Security to ascertain when you are eligible for Medicare benefits prior to terminating your health insurance.

Note: By the very nature of the disability determination process (how long it takes to get claims approved, how the determination on "onset" is made, and how far back benefits may be paid) many disability beneficiaries will not feel as though they had to wait two years for Medicare benefits. This is simply because the two year waiting period does not begin from the time you get a notice of award letter.

For example, if you are approved for disability benefits through an administrative law judge disability hearing, you may receive Medicare benefits at the time you receive your approval for SSDI disability benefits.

How is this possible? Well basically, your date of entitlement to disability benefits may be far enough in the past that, when coupled with the time it takes to get to a disability hearing, you may have eliminated most or all of your Medicare waiting period.

Currently, hearings offices across the nation have disability hearing backlogs of twelve months or more; therefore, it is easy to see how you might eliminate the two year Medicare waiting period, if you are not approved for SSDI disability benefits until your disability hearing.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions

Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The Disability Decision Process and What gets taken into Consideration | Getting Denied for Disability Benefits | Questions about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | Social Security Disability Hearings | Social Security Medical Examinations | Social Security SSI Doctors | Social Security Disability Representation | Social Security Disability SSI Reviews