Regardless of what your financial situation may be, your medical bills are costly and may take a significant financial toll on you. This is especially the case if you are suffering a serious physical or mental disability. With this, you may be wondering whether you can seek relief from Medicare or Medicaid if you are already collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Continue reading to learn if this is possible and how one of the experienced New Jersey Medicare & Medicaid attorneys at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur can determine the best approach for your unique situation.

What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

The terminology surrounding different types of insurance and benefits may get confusing. First of all, you must understand that Medicare is a federal health insurance program that offers relief specifically to retirees of 65 years or older and individuals with qualifying disabilities of 21 years or older.

On the other hand, Medicaid is a health insurance program that is funded jointly by states and the federal government. It offers coverage particularly to adults who receive a lower income and individuals with qualifying disabilities. In addition, it may cover eligible children, pregnant women, and elderly adults.

Is it possible to receive Medicare or Medicaid with SSDI benefits?

For one, you may still qualify for Medicare if you are under 65 years of age and have been collecting SSDI benefits for 24 months or more. However, you must keep in mind that there is a 30-month waiting period for coverage to kick in. This waiting period starts on your claimed disability onset date. But some exceptions may allow you to workaround this waiting period and collect your Medicare as soon as possible. They are as follows:

  • You may claim that you are suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and require immediate coverage.
  • You may claim that you are suffering from end-stage renal disease and require immediate coverage.
  • You may claim that you do not qualify for Medicaid and require secure private coverage at a reduced cost.

Importantly, even if you are receiving both Medicare and SSDI benefits, it is recommended that you opt for an additional Medicare plan, such as Medicare Part A, B, C, or D.

Contrastingly, Medicaid may not be available to you if you are already entitled to SSDI benefits. This is because this program caters to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits or SSI child benefits, instead. Unlike Medicare, this coverage goes into effect retroactively for three months before an individual’s disability onset date. What’s more, it offers a full coverage plan on prescription drugs.

You must take the initiative and reach out to a skilled New Jersey SSDI eligibility attorney at your earliest possible convenience. Our team at The Law Offices of Sheryl Gandel Mazur will be happy to serve you.