Frequently Asked Questions: Applying
Can I receive both Medicare and Social Security disability benefits?
Typically, Medicare benefits are given to individuals who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, although those Medicare benefits will not activate until two years after your monthly SSDI benefit entitlement begins.
Two notable exceptions are cases involving End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), which affects the kidneys, and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). In ESRD cases, Medicare begins in the 4th month of dialysis, or sooner in certain rare & specific situations. In ALS cases, Medicare begins with SSDI benefit eligibility.
The right to Medicare benefits can be quite complex; to prevent confusion, we have provided an example of how it works. Once you are approved, however, you definitely should speak to an SSA representative to get a full explanation of Medicare benefits.
Medicaid benefits are generally available to individuals who qualify for SSI benefits as long as they meet the income and asset restrictions, but the process may vary from state to state.