Both the social security disability and SSI disability programs have some provision for medical coverage. But those provisions are very different from each other. If you get approved for SSI disability, then you will receive medicaid benefits.
Medicaid may vary between individual states since medicaid benefits are state-supported (though the states receive money from the federal government to fund their medicaid programs). But medicaid will generally pay for a certain minimum number of prescriptions per month and doctor visits per year.
For example, in the state of North Carolina. medicaid for disabled adults will pay for up to six prescriptions per month and 24 doctor visits per year.
Individuals who approved for SSI disability will receive medicaid from the time they are approved for SSI. There is no waiting period. This is not the case for individuals who are approved for social security disability benefits.
Claimants who are approved for SSD, or social security disability benefits will receive medicare instead of medicaid. But they may not necessarily have medicare available from the moment they are approved for social security disability. This is because SSD has something known as the two year waiting period
What does it mean when we say "two year waiting period for medicare". This means that a person's determined eligibility for social security disability benefits must be in existence for 24 months before medicare will "kick in" so to speak.
Does this always mean that a person who has been approved for SSD (perhaps, for example, after a hearing before a judge) will have to wait two entire years before they utilize medicare? Not necessarily. The two year medicare waiting period begins at the point in time at which a person is actually eligible to receive a social security disability check.
However, because the established onset date for a person's disability (i.e. when the disabling condition began according to the social security administration's interpretration of the medical records) can often be set very far back in time, and additionally because disability claims can take several years to resolve, it is often the case that the two year waiting period is completed by the time a person receives the notice of award for their disability claim.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center . or read answers to Questions