Thursday, April 19, 2007

Social Security Disability and the Two year wait for medicare

I just read a post on another site (that itself may have been reprinted from another site). Here's the gist of it: a medicare advocacy group is calling for the end to the two year wait for medicare benefits for those individuals who have been approved for social security disability (note: if you get approved for SSI disability, you don't get medicare; instead, in most states, you get medicaid which provides for medicine prescriptions and doctor visits).

I have to agree. There's no sensible reason to make people wait for medicare if they've been awarded disability benefits.

Now, here's a good question that many may not have thought of. Is there really a two year wait for medicare if you've won your case for social security disability? After all, we just said there was.

Answer: maybe.

Here's the thing. If you get approved for SSD, that doesn't necessarily mean that you end up waiting two whole years to get medicare. The two year wait begins from something called your date of entitlement.

What is the date of entitlement?

The date of entitlement is your established onset date (established onset is when the disability examiner or the judge decides that, based on your medical records, your disability actually began)


the five month waiting period (the five month waiting period is similar to an elimination period in an insurance policy -- basically it is a way for the government to rob you of five months worth of backpay).

Sound confusing enough? Here's the thing to remember, though. If you win your SSD claim and your medical onset date is established far back enough, you may not have to wait a single day to start receiving medicare benefits. But it all depends on what your onset date is decided to be.

And that's why you should be very careful about your disability claim. Because pursuing a claim is not just about filing a disability applications or disability appeal and showing up at a hearing. As you can see, its important to be able to establish the earliest onset date possible. And this is something experienced representatives are aware of and try to accomplish for their clients.

Return to the Social Security Disability SSI Benefits Blog

Other Posts

Apply for disability
Approved for disability
Social Security Disability Appeal