The lines between SSDI and Medicare are blurred for New Jersey residents with disabilities and serious medical conditions. Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance qualify for Medicare benefits with certain conditions. There are special requirements for SSDI recipients to become eligible for Medicare.
SSDI and Medicare: The similarities and differences
Social Security Disability Insurance is a U.S. federal government program that provides monthly benefits to people who are mentally or physically disabled and cannot work to earn a sufficient income. Medicare is a similar type of national health insurance program, but its benefits help people aged 65 or older. SSDI is administered by the Social Security Administration while Medicare is administered by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
SSDI provides benefits only to people with a recognized disability that lasts for one year or longer or results in death. Medicare provides benefits only to seniors aged 65 or older, certain groups of people with disabilities and people with certain terminal illnesses, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and end-stage renal disease (ESRD).
SSDI waiting periods
SSDI beneficiaries are eligible to receive Medicare benefits. However, there is concern about a waiting period. There is no waiting period for people with ALS or ESRD. Every other beneficiary has to wait at least 24 months to qualify for Medicare benefits.
The two-year delay was originally applied to reduce the costs of including more beneficiaries and to sway applicants from seeking government funds and to look for disability coverage through their employers.
Maintaining your disability benefits
Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance are eligible to receive Medicare benefits after completing a waiting period. Medicare coverage that is connected to SSDI will end if your health condition improves to the point when you are no longer disabled. The Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews to determine the state of your condition and your continued eligibility for benefits.