Medicare and People with Disabilities

Medicare is a government run health insurance system available to most people over the age of sixty-five. It is also available in other circumstances to people who are younger if they have certain disabilities. Medicare serves about forty-four million Americans, and about seven million of those people are younger and have a disability that qualifies them for Medicare coverage. Medicare coverage can apply to those who qualify through Social Security Disability Insurance, or because they suffer from either Lou Gehrig’s disease or End State Renal Disease.

Social Security Disability

If you are receiving SSDI, then you are likely eligible for Medicare. Your SSDI benefits are determined through what you have earned via work credits. In many cases, people with disabilities aren’t eligible for SSDI benefits because they don’t have enough work credits.
If this is your situation, and you don’t have access to SSDI through other means, like a family member who qualifies, then you may want to look into Supplemental Security Income benefits instead. This may qualify you for other insurance coverage.

Disability Testing

Qualifying for SSDI involves a very strict test, and there are medical evidentiary requirements and a host of proof that the government requires. If you are between the ages of eighteen and sixty-two, then you have to show your disability has stopped you from working for at least a year meaning you have a qualifying physical or mental impairment, or that you have a fatal impairment.
Medicare Benefits With SSDI

Before you can receive Medicare, you must get SSDI. After you officially qualify, you will wait for five months before you start to receive your cash benefits from SSDI. There will be another twenty-four month wait before you receive your first Medicare benefits. If you qualify for SSDI because you have Lou Gehrig’s disease, then you will begin receiving Medicare benefits from your first month of SSDI. For End Stage Renal Disease qualifiers, you may begin to receive Medicare benefits within three months of your first dialysis treatment.
The End Of Medicare

Because your Medicare insurance is based on your disability, if your condition gets better and you stop being disabled, then you will no longer be eligible for Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration has a review process for beneficiaries, and periodically your file will be reviewed to determine if you are still disabled. If you lose your SSDI benefits, then you will also lose your Medicare coverage.

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