Medicaid FAQ

Top 9 Questions Regarding Social Security and Medicaid:

1. If I get Social Security disability benefits, will I get Medicaid?

If you are approved for SSI, you will get Medicaid. It is possible to get both Medicare and Medicaid.

2. What is the difference between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicaid is a poverty program, while Medicare is not.

Many disabled people who get Medicaid get it because they are on Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is called “categorical” Medicaid eligibility.

To receive SSI and Medicaid, you must be poor and disabled.

Medicaid pays doctors at very low rates. People who have only Medicaid can have a hard time finding doctors willing to accept them as patients. Medicaid does pay for prescription medications. Medicaid can go back up to three months prior to the date of a Medicaid claim. Note that it is possible to apply for Medicaid directly, through a local Medicaid office, without having a companion claim for SSI.

For Medicare, it does not matter whether you are rich or poor.

If you have been on Disability Insurance Benefits, Disabled Widows or Widowers Benefits, or Disabled Adult Child Benefits for 24 months, (which is 29 months from the date of disability given the 5 month waiting period) you qualify for Medicare.

Medicare generally reimburses doctors at a higher rate than Medicaid. Almost all doctors are happy to take Medicare patients. However, Medicare does not start until you have received cash disability benefits for a period of two years and generally it does not pay for prescription medications.

3. I am a widow/widower. I have not worked in many years, as I am disabled. Can I get Social Security disability benefits?

If you are over 50 and became disabled within seven years after your husband or wife died, or within seven years after you last drew mother’s or father’s benefits from Social Security, you can get Disabled Widow’s or Widower’s Benefits.

If you are poor, you can draw Supplemental Security Income benefits no matter what age you are or when you became disabled.

4. My child has been disabled since birth and has never been able to work. Can he get disability benefits from Social Security?

Possibly. If your disabled child is under 18, he or she may be able to qualify for SSI child’s disability benefits if you meet certain income restrictions.

If your child is over 18, he or she may be able to qualify for SSI disability benefits without regard to your income.

If the child’s father or mother is drawing Social Security benefits of some type or is deceased, the child may be eligible for disabled child benefits.

5. How much do I have to have worked to be eligible for Social Security disability?

If you have worked and paid payroll taxes five out of the last ten years before becoming disabled you will probably have enough earnings to potentially qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

6. I have not worked for five out of the past ten years. Is there any way to qualify for disability benefits?

If you are under the age of 31, you do not have to have worked as long.

If you are a homemaker and you meet certain income requirements, you may be able to qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSDI) even if you have not worked in the past.

7. Can I get both worker’s compensation and Social Security disability benefits?

Yes. However, worker’s compensation benefits can be subtracted from the Social Security that you are owed. Be sure to contact our South Carolina disability or workers compensation attorneys for advice on strategies to minimize the impact of the offset.

8. Can I get Social Security disability benefits for a combination of problems?

Yes. Most claimants for Social Security disability benefits have more than one health problem and the combined effects of all of the health problems will be considered.

9. Are My Family Members Eligible for Any Social Security Benefits?

If you are awarded Social Security, your family members may also be entitled to a social security check if:

  • Your spouse is 62 or older,
  • Your spouse, regardless of age, is caring for a child of yours who is younger than 16 or disabled,
  • You have a child under the age of 18 or under the age of 19 if in elementary or secondary school full time, or
  • You have an unmarried child, age 18 or older if he or she was disabled before the age of 22.

Contact the Social Security Lawyers at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss how we can help you with your claim for Social Security benefits.

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