Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), also known as Title II, works like a disability insurance policy to provide monetary assistance and medical coverage. It provides benefits for disabled or blind individuals who have paid in to the Social Security Trust Fund through social security taxes, which are taken out of a person’s paycheck.
To qualify for SSDI, a person must have worked and paid into the trust fund five out of the 10 years prior to becoming disabled, and must have a medical condition that meets Social Security’s definition of disability. To qualify:
- A person must be unable to do work he or she did before;
- He or she must be unable to adjust to other work because of the medical condition;
- His or her disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.
If a person is eligible for SSDI, he or she is also eligible to receive medical coverage through Medicare even if he or she is younger than 65 years old. Once a person is approved for SSDI, there is a 5-month waiting period before he or she receives a monthly SSDI income benefit. The person then has to wait another 24 months before Medicare benefits begin. In other words, if a person gets in a severe accident today and becomes disabled, the person has to wait 2 years and 5 months before receiving medical coverage through Medicare. During the qualifying period, the beneficiary may be eligible for health insurance through a former employer.
However, if a person has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), an SSDI beneficiary can receive Medicare benefits on the first month he/she receives SSDI monthly income benefits. In addition, a person with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) can receive Medicare benefits, regardless of whether he/she applies or qualifies for SSDI.
Who Is Eligible for Medicare?
Who Is Not Covered by Medicare?
Can People Get Medicare If They Are Under Age 65?