Can you still get Medicaid if you have SSD?

Medicaid, Medicare, SSD, and SSI

A worry for all disability beneficiaries is ongoing medical care. If you are approved for SSD, you will not be able to have Medicare for two years from the first month you are eligible to receive disability benefits. This is called the medicare 24 month waiting period. This sometimes causes great hardship for many individuals who are disabled.

Does this 2 year waiting period necessarily mean that a person who gets SSD will not have medicare for 2 whole years. Usually not. Why? Because most cases take a long time to process, especially with appeals, and by the time most individuals get approved, two things are true: 1. They are usually owed a fair amount of back pay; 2. Their medicare waiting period has been fully or partially eliminated. So, some people, by the time they get approved, do not have to wait at all for medicare. Some people have to wait a few months. The majority of approved individuals will not actually have to wait a full 2 years, though.

For those who have to wait, there can be hardship. None of this, of course, has anything to do with Medicaid, since individuals who get approved for SSD get medicare not Medicaid.

Who gets Medicaid?

SSI and concurrently (SSI/SSD) entitled disability beneficiaries will be able to receive Medicaid from the time they are approved with no waiting period. If you are able to meet the income and resource limits of this need-based disability program, you automatically qualify for Medicaid.

SSD-only disability beneficiaries still may be able to receive Medicaid but they will have to contact their local Social Services agency to see if they qualify for Medicaid.

Some SSD only beneficiaries are able to qualify for Medicaid. Still, there are many SSD beneficiaries who are stuck in the limbo of paying for health care until they are eligible to receive Medicare from Social Security.

Depending on their SSD benefit and other resources, some SSD beneficiaries may be able to get some help paying their Medicare premiums even if they do not actually qualify for Medicaid. Once you start receiving SSD Medicare you should check with Social Services to see if you might qualify for help paying your Medicare premium.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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