If you recently filed a Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) claim, you may want to know if you'll automatically receive Medicare or state insurance after your approval. Although SSDI is a type of insurance for people who can't work due to a temporary or permanent disability, it doesn't automatically provide you with Medicare benefits once the Social Security Administration approves your application. Currently, you have to wait at least two years before Medicare kicks in. If your SSDI benefits put you over the poverty limits in your state, you won't receive state benefits right away as well. There are things you can do to cover your health expenses during the two-year transitional time after you receive your benefits, including these things below.
Apply for State-Funded Programs
Sometime after the Social Security Administration accepts your disability claim, contact your state and request information on low-cost to no-cost prescription benefits, as well as state-funded health programs. Your disability attorney may give you a list of organizations that offer health programs in your state. You can also contact your state directly for information regarding medical and prescription assistance like Medicaid.
Keep in mind that even though you receive SSDI and/or SSI, the amount you receive each month can still place you above the poverty level based on your family's household size. For example, the poverty level for:
- A household of one family member is $11,670
- A household of three family members is $19,790
- A household of seven family members is $36,030
If you don't qualify for state insurance benefits, such as Medicaid, because your Social Security benefits and any other family income is higher than the poverty level, you may ask the state about fee-based health and prescription assistance like medically needy.
Seek Help From Social Services
Social services is another organization in your state that may help you out with your healthcare and prescription expenses. The organization is typically county-run and offers help to individuals with or without dependents.
You can normally find information about the following programs when you contact your local social service office:
- Assistance with dental care, such as emergency tooth pain
- Assistance with transportation to and from doctors' visits
- Assistance with vision wear, such as prescription eyeglasses and eye exams
Most social service organizations see you on a "first-come, first-serve" basis, but others may require appointments before they see you. In addition, social service organizations generally use different poverty level guidelines than the state when assisting clients. You can find out more about this when you contact an office in your area.
Waiting two years before you receive your Medicare benefits won't be easy. But there are resources in your state that can help make this transition easier on you. If you have questions about your disability benefits, contact an attorney like Law Offices Of Russell J. Goldsmith right away.