Am I entitled to Medicare if I am getting SSDI benefits?

Desk Calendar With a ClockIf you are approved for SSDI benefits, you also qualify for Medicare. However, you are not are eligible for Medicare right away. Here, you can learn how this complicated waiting period for benefits works.

How Long Is the Waiting Period for Medicare?

There is a two-year waiting period after the first month you are eligible for your monthly SSDI payments before you can receive Medicare. However, not everyone who applies for SSDI has to wait two years before being entitled to Medicare. Here is how the waiting period rules work:

  • The two-year waiting period for Medicare starts running from the date you start receiving your monthly SSDI benefits. The date when you are eligible for SSDI payments is the date of your disability plus a five-month waiting period.
  • If it takes you a long time to get your SSDI application approved, which is common, you may have already gone through much or all of the two-year waiting period for Medicare during the application and appeal process.
  • Because the Social Security Administration (SSA) only pays 12 months of retroactive SSDI benefits, the earliest date that you can qualify for Medicare is one year after you apply for SSDI.

Exceptions to the Two-Year Waiting Period for Medicare Eligibility

Currently, there are two exceptions to the rule that you must wait two years before receiving Medicare. You may be entitled to Medicare immediately in these situations:

  • End-stage renal disease with kidney failure. If you need ongoing dialysis or a kidney transplant due to end-stage renal disease, you can obtain Medicare coverage the third month after you begin dialysis.
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). You are eligible for Medicare as soon as you are eligible for SSDI if you suffer from ALS.

Do you need help figuring out when you qualify for Medicare? Are you filing your SSDI application? Call our Roswell office or start a live chat to schedule your free consultation today with our experienced Social Security disability legal team to get your questions answered and learn how we can help you.