The Social Security Medicare 24 Month Waiting Period

If a person is approved for Social Security Disability benefits they are not entitled to health coverage simultaneously. In fact, Social Security Disability beneficiaries must wait 24 months from the month they are first eligible to receive a monthly disability benefit to receive Medicare coverage.

However, once the 24 month waiting period has been served they are entitled to receive Medicare part A, B, C, and D insurance coverage.

Will a person who has been approved for title II Social Security Disability benefits necessarily have to wait 24 months to begin receiving medicare coverage? The answer to this question is no. The 24 month waiting period for medicare begins with the claimant's first month of entitlement to SSD benefits.

But very often, due to A) how long it can take for a disability claim to be approved (it can take 1-3 years due to disability appeals) and B) how far back a person's disability is considered to have begun (i.e. when the established onset date is determined to be), a person can quite easily be eligible to receive medicare coverage from the time that they are notified that they have been given a Social Security Disability award notice.

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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