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

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

An important question for all SSDI (social security disability insurance) disability beneficiaries is "Will I get any kind of health insurance now that I have been approved for benefits"? This is a very real concern, since most disability beneficiaries have lost all health insurance by the time they are approved for disability benefits.

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.

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?
Check Amount on Social Security Disability Award Letter

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.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria