Several studies have shown that the key to preventing life-threatening complications of diabetes is receiving regular medical care. If you have serious complications as a result of diabetes, you may be seeing several doctors a month. If you have had to quit your job because of complications related to your diabetes, you may wonder how you will afford medical care.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) does not provide medical benefits. However, if the Social Security Administration determines that you are eligible for SSDI for a condition associated with your diabetes, then you will qualify for Medicare benefits after two years. There are some exceptions:
- If you have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, you will qualify for Medicare as soon as you are approved for SSDI.
- If you have end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure, you most likely will become eligible for Medicare on the first day of your third month of hemodialysis treatments.
- If you undergo kidney transplantation, you will qualify for Medicare the month that you have the procedure. If you must receive medical treatments in order to undergo the procedure, you will qualify for Medicare the month you go into the hospital to begin those treatments, as long as the transplantation takes place within the following three months.
What do you do about medical care while you are waiting to qualify for Medicare? If most of your income comes from SSDI and you have high medical expenses, you will probably qualify for free or low-cost medical care through your state’s Medicaid program.
In Massachusetts, you can apply for Medicaid (MassHealth) through the Department of Health and Human Services website. New Hampshire residents can apply through DHHS. Vermont’s plan is called Green Mountain Care.
The New England disability lawyers at Keefe Disability Law understand that applying for SSDI and medical benefits can be overwhelming. We are here to help. Get started with our free book The Five Most Frequently Asked Questions About Social Security Disability. You can also contact our office at 888-904-6847 and ask to schedule a free consultation with a Massachusetts SSDI attorney.