When a serious injury or illness prevents you from working for a year or longer, you may be eligible to collect monthly Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments to help make ends meet. Unfortunately, when you have a disabling medical condition, loss of income may not be the only concerning issue you're facing. You may have questions about how you'll afford health insurance coverage so that you can pay for the medical treatment you need.
Fortunately, it is possible for disabled individuals to receive both SSDI benefits and Medicare coverage. Here's what you should know, and how the skilled SSDI legal team with O'Connor Law PLLC in New York can work to ensure you receive the benefits and coverage you deserve.
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for people who are 65 years of age or older, as well as for some disabled individuals younger than 65, regardless of income.
Medicare coverage is comprised of two main parts:
Medicare also includes two additional parts:
People who are disabled aren't required to wait until they're 65 years old for Medicare eligibility to begin. Generally, SSDI beneficiaries are eligible for Medicare coverage after receiving disability payments for 24 months (or in the 30th month after becoming disabled), even if they're younger than 65. After this two-year waiting period, your Medicare coverage benefits should begin automatically, with no action necessary from you unless you would like to purchase a plan for supplemental coverage.
Though most SSDI recipients have to wait 24 months after their disability benefits begin before they're eligible for Medicare coverage, there are some rare exceptions to this rule. For example, if you're suffering from end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure treated with dialysis or a transplant) or are receiving SSDI benefits for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, the two-year waiting period will be waved so you're eligible for Medicare coverage much sooner.
Just because you go back to work doesn't mean you'll lose your Medicare coverage. As long as you have a disabling impairment, you can continue to receive hospital and medical insurance coverage for at least 93 months. During this time, you can receive hospital insurance without paying a premium. If you're still disabled after the 93-month period ends, you can buy Medicare hospital and insurance coverage.
Navigating life while dealing with a disabling injury or illness is challenging enough without trying to wade through administrative red tape without assistance. Fortunately, you don't have to go it alone. At O'Connor Law PLLC, our accomplished Social Security disability attorneys can help you understand your rights, benefits, and coverage options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.