The prohibitive costs of medical care can be of particular concern to someone with a medical condition that prevents them from working. If you qualify for Social Security disability benefits through either Supplemental Security Income program or Social Security Disability Insurance, which are the two disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration, Medicare or Medicaid may be available to you.
The type of insurance benefits for SSD recipients as well as the application process and start date differ depending on whether you are approved for SSI or SSDI benefits. Talking to a disability advocate at London Disability provides you with the most current information about insurance coverage. In the meantime, the following information about insurance benefits for SSD beneficiaries will get you started.
Medicare coverage when you qualify for SSDI
Although it is generally associated with people who are at least 65 years of age, the Medicare health insurance program is also available to anyone who qualifies for SSDI. There is, however, a 24-month waiting period following a determination that you qualify for SSDI before you become eligible for Medicare coverage.
If you previously qualified for SSD benefits, your disability advocate may succeed in having some or all of the time that you received SSDI count toward the 24-month waiting period. For example, payments stopped under a previous determination within 60 months of your current SSDI approval, the months that you received payments counts toward the waiting time for Medicare.
Furthermore, if you currently receive SSDI payments for a disability caused by an impairment that is the same or related to the impairment for the previous determination of SSDI eligibility, the months that you previously received payments count regardless of when you received them. The rule about the payments under the previous determination being within 60 months of your current SSDI payments does not apply.
As far as obtaining health insurance while waiting for Medicare coverage, you may be eligible to obtain coverage through a former employer. If not, you should look into applying for Medicaid through your state, but you must meet Medicaid eligibility requirements. One of the disability advocates at London Disability may be able to provide options after carefully reviewing the circumstances of your situation.
SSI and Medicaid coverage
When you apply for SSI, it also serves as an application for Medicaid in most states. A few states require that you submit a separate application for Medicaid directly to them rather than using only the SSI application.
If you live in a state with eligibility guidelines for Medicaid that follow the federal SSI guidelines, you will automatically be approved for Medicaid when you qualify for SSI benefits. Be mindful of the fact that a few states have stricter financial guidelines for Medicaid that you need to meet to qualify for SSI.
For example, the value of financial resources available to you cannot exceed $2,000 for an individual and $3,000 for a couple to qualify for SSI. There are a few states that have lower amounts for allowable resources, so you could qualify for SSI and not qualify for Medicaid under the criteria set by your state.
Unlike people who qualify for SSDI and Medicare, there is no waiting period associated with Medicaid coverage. Medicaid coverage becomes effective immediately on approval of your application for SSI benefits or if you live in a state that requires a separate application for Medicaid, upon approval of the application.
Maintaining insurance coverage when SSI or SSDI payments end
If you work and the earnings make you ineligible for a continuation of SSI or SSDI monthly payments, you may be able to continue the insurance benefits for SSD. The general rule for individuals whose SSI payments end because of their earnings is that you may continue the Medicaid coverage as long as you continue to be blind or disabled and meet all other SSI eligibility criteria.
The rules to continue Medicare coverage after earnings from working causes your SSDI payments to end is that you may continue coverage for up to 93 months. A condition for being allowed to purchase Medicare Part A, which is Premium Hospital Insurance, and Medicare Part B, which is the Premium Supplemental Medical Insurance, is that you continue to be disabled. The disability must meet the definition used by Social Security and be due to the physical or mental impairment that lets you qualify for SSDI benefits.
Get advice about SSD benefits from someone you can trust
For accurate answers to questions about what insurance do you get with SSD along with trusted advice and guidance, contact the disability advocates at London Disability. They determine what you are entitled to receive and clearly explain how to qualify for it. If you qualify, they handle the application process for you.