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

An important question for all
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.

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.

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability in North Carolina

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Tips to Prepare for Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI

Advice to Win SSD and SSI Benefit Claims

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

Related pages:

Apply for Disability in Wake Forest, NC
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?
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter
Should you get a disability lawyer before you get denied in California?
Social Security Disability Back Pay in California
Social Security Disability For Mental Illness in California