Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I'm approved for disability benefits?

You will not receive medicare benefits if you are approved for title 16 disability benefits. Title 16 is another way of saying SSI, or supplemental security income, disability. SSI recipients receive medicaid benefits and these benefits may vary from state to state. Typically medicaid will provide for a specified number of physician visits per year, as well as a specified number of medication prescriptions per month.

If you are approved for title 2 disability benefits (social security disability insurance, or SSDI), then you will receive medicare. However, there are some unfortunate restrictions that concern just when a person who is eligible to receive SSDI benefits may access their medicare coverage.

It is commonly reported that a person has to wait for 24 months before they can use their medicare coverage. However, saying it this way is a bit misleading. It is more accurate to say that in the SSA (the social security administration) disability system, medicare begins 24 months from the month that a beneficiary became entitled to receive their SSDI monthly benefits.

What does this mean exactly? Simply this: if a person files an application for disability, they claim something known as an AOD, or alleged onset of disability. This is the date that they presume that they became disabled.

Do their disability benefits begin from this date? Not exactly. Depending on the level the claim is currently at--it depends on the judge (administrative law judge) or the disability examiner determining when the claimant's condition became disabling. This is done according to the social security administration definition of disability. This determination is based on a review of the claimant's work history and medical treatment history and the analysis provides for something known as an EOD, or established onset of disability.

So, back to the crux of the matter, when does medicare start? Basically---

1. You start with the EOD, the date given for when the claimant's disability is thought to have begun, based primarily on the medical records.

2. Add five months to this date. Why five months? This is known as the five month waiting period. This 5 month waiting period only applies to SSDI, not SSI, and it essentially takes away five months of benefit payments to anyone who is approved for SSDI benefits. Why does it exist? Possibly because of the supposition that some claimants may already have long term disability insurance coverage. However, the simple truth, when it all comes out in the wash, is that this is simply a cost-savings device for the federal government.

3. The established date of onset (EOD), plus the five month waiting period, gets you to a date that is considered the month of entitlement. This is actually the first month in which an SSDI applicant is eligible to receive monthly disability benefits. If a claimant's established date of onset is set far enough back to allow for back pay (months for which the social security administration owes claimants money), then this is the time from which back pay would be calculated.

4. Twenty-four months after the month of entitlement is when medicare coverage begins.

If this sounds like a very long can be. However, because a disability case can literally drag on for years before a person is eventually approved for disability benefits, a few things often happen.

1. The claimant is usually owed back pay. Often significant amounts of back pay.

2. Very often, the five month waiting period has already been served out so that the approved individual can immediately begin receiving disability benefits.

3. Often as well, the 24 month waiting period will have been served out as well, meaning that access to medicare can be obtained quickly after the case has been concluded.

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

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?
Social Security Disability and Bilateral Hearing Loss

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 answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

How to file a disability application
How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
How long will it take to get disability?
What if your disability gets denied?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How to get disability with a mental condition
How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
Social Security Disability SSI eligibility