Yes, once you are approved for Social Security Disability, you are also approved for medical insurance. However, the type of medical insurance you receive depends on the type of disability benefit you are getting.
If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you will be eligible for Medicare. However, it is important to note that there is a “waiting period” before you will have Medicare. The Social Security Administration requires a 24-month waiting period from your first month of entitlement to a disability payment. After this period has passed, the Social Security Administration will enroll you in Medicare. There are some exceptions to the 24-month qualifying period. For example, individuals with Lou Gehrig’s disease or on dialysis for kidney failure qualify for Medicare coverage earlier.
Here is an example of the 24-month qualifying period. Disability began on October 18, 2017. There is a waiting period of five full months for the cash benefit to begin so the cash benefit begins in April 2018. Medicare eligibility begins in April 2020.
If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, on the other hand, you are not eligible for Medicare, with a few exceptions. Instead, you are eligible for Medicaid. In Michigan, if you are an SSI beneficiary, you may be automatically eligible for Medicaid as an SSI application is also an application for Medicaid.
Some individuals will be approved for “concurrent benefits” which means they will draw disability money from both SSDI and SSI. In such instances, the issue of whether you will get Medicare or Medicaid is not so cut and dry. Therefore, claimants who are approved for concurrent disability benefits should consult their local Social Security office regarding their Medicare/Medicaid eligibility.