Will I Receive Medicare or Medicaid If I’m Approved For Disability Benefits?


Posted by: Chris

Millions of disabled individuals in the U.S. receive either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Anyone who is approved for SSI or SSDI will receive more than just a monthly benefits check. These individuals will also receive health coverage through either Medicare or Medicaid. 

If you’re applying for disability benefits, it’s important to understand what type of coverage you will receive and when it will take effect. Here’s what you need to know:

Health Coverage With SSDI Benefits

Anyone who is approved for SSDI benefits will also receive Medicare benefits. However, these benefits will not begin right away. There is a two-year waiting period for Medicare benefits that starts on your disability onset date, which is the date you initially became disabled. The SSA will automatically enroll you in the Medicare program after this two-year period is over.

There are some exceptions to the two-year waiting period. For example, people who suffer from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) may start receiving Medicare coverage as soon as they are approved for SSDI benefits. People with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) may also immediately qualify for Medicare coverage once approved for benefits. 

You will be automatically enrolled into two different types of Medicare coverage, which are hospital insurance (Part A) and medical insurance (Part B). Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient stays at hospitals and nursing facilities following a hospital stay. This portion of Medicare also covers some portion of hospice care. Medicare Part B helps cover general medical treatment services, outpatient medical care, medical equipment, and a select list of preventative services. 

Health Coverage With SSI Benefits

In a number of states, people who are approved for SSI benefits are also automatically approved for Medicaid benefits. But this is not how it works in Oklahoma.

In Oklahoma, the Medicaid program is called SoonerCare. If you are approved for SSI benefits, you may qualify for SoonerCare. However, the state will not automatically enroll you in this program. Instead, it is your responsibility to apply for SoonerCare coverage through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).

If you have been diagnosed with a disabling condition, contact Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Our experienced attorneys will work tirelessly to help you secure the disability benefits and medical coverage you deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.