Social Security Disability Resource Center

Why doesn't Social Security Disability provide automatic medical care when SSI does?

Why do you automatically get medical care on SSI but not disability? Don't you need it just as much if not more if you are disabled?

For those who are unaware, I will first say that individuals who are approved for title 16 SSI disability benefits will get medicaid benefits. SSI is a need-based program that takes into account a person's assets and income. In essence, it is a poverty program and that is why medicaid is involved.

A person who is approved for title II disability benefits, i.e. Social Security Disability benefits, will receive medicare, but not necessarily immediately. There is a two year waiting period that may (or may not) affect when a person may begin to receive medicare coverage. It depends on how far back a person's established date of onset is, and when they first applied for disability benefits.

Suffice it to say, because the application and appeal process can literally go on for years, some individuals who are approved for SSD will have already "served out" the 2 year waiting period and will not actually have to go through the wait for medicare. For some individuals who are approved for SSD, there will be a lengthy wait (ironically, this will tend to the case for individuals who get approved fairly soon after they file an initial claim, without having to go through the appeal process).

But, to answer your question, Yes you do need it just as much. Unfortunately, it is just the way Congress set Social Security disability up so many years ago. They set up a two year wait for Medicare coverage which is counted from the month you are first eligible to receive a disability payment. They also set up a five month waiting period that essentially confiscates an approved individual's first five months of benefit checks.

I have often wondered why it was ever set up that way. It seems very unfair. Unfortunately, there are few in Congress these days who seem to act as real advocates for individuals who have significant and limiting medical impairments that affect them on a daily basis.

  • Index of Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

  • 56 Answers to Social Security Disability SSI Questions

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Back Pay Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    How long does it take for Social Security Disability or SSI?

    Social Security Disability SSI Awards and Award Notices

    Tips, Mistakes, How to Qualify, and How to Win Disability

    Tips and Advice for Social Security Disability and SSI Claims

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify for Disability Benefits

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI, How to Win

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Social Security Disability and SSI Appeal Process - How to file appeals

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    SSI Disability Benefits, Questions and Answers

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Information to start with regarding Disability Claims

    An Overview of Social Security Disability and SSI

    What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?

    The Disability Requirements to be eligible for SSD and SSI Benefits

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability and SSI Applications

    Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions and Impairments

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    The SSDRC Disability Blog

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    Getting disability in North Carolina

    Related pages:

    If You Get Approved For SSDI Will You Also Get Medicare?
    If you are applying for Social Security disability when does Medicare start?
    Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I'm approved for disability benefits? (not SSI)
    Social Security Disability Health Coverage
    Do you get medical healthcare benefits with Social Security disability?
    The Social Security Medicare 24 Month Waiting Period
    How do you get meds in the two wait for Medicare after an Approval for Disability?
    Does Social Security disability pay for medicine prescriptions?
    Why doesn't Social Security Disability provide automatic medical care when SSI does?
    Do you get medical health care coverage with SSI?

    Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

    These pages provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

    What is qualifying for disability based on?
    What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
    Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
    How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
    What are the SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children?
    How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
    What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
    Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
    What is Social Security Back Pay?
    What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?