If you are disabled, you know it can be a challenge to find and understand the government benefits available to you. Once you qualify as disabled by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) through their definition of disability, you can begin applying for benefits to help you and your family.
Benefits.gov can connect you to information on government benefits you may be eligible for and help you in your search. This article highlights healthcare benefits, disability insurance, and where to find other resources on Benefits.gov. Let’s look!
The government offers Medicare and Medicaid as low-cost health coverage options for eligible citizens.
Medicare offers free or low-cost medical benefits to people with disabilities, through three parts that cover different services:
Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance
Medicare Part A helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, including critical access hospitals in rural areas, and skilled nursing facilities for temporary treatments. It does not cover custodial care, which helps you with activities of daily living or long-term care. It also helps cover hospice care and some home health care. You need to meet certain conditions to get these benefits. Most people don't pay a premium for Part A because they or a spouse already paid for it through their payroll taxes while working.
Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance
Medicare Part B helps cover doctors' services and outpatient care. It also covers other medical services that Part A doesn't cover, like some of the services from physical and occupational therapists, and some home health care. Part B helps pay for these covered services and supplies when they are medically necessary, like ambulance services and medical equipment. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part B.
Medicare Part D: Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare Part D is available to everyone with Medicare, not just those who are disabled. To get Medicare prescription drug coverage, you’ll need to join a plan approved by Medicare that offers Medicare drug coverage. Most people pay a monthly premium for Part D coverage.
Medicaid is different than Medicare because it only offers health insurance to people under 65 with certain disabilities and any age with end-stage renal disease. Medicaid eligibility criteria is different from state to state. Many states have expanded their Medicaid programs to cover more low-income adults. If you are not sure if you qualify for Medicaid, you should apply. You might be eligible depending on your household income, family size, age, disability, and other factors. You can learn more about Medicaid in your state through Medicaid.gov.
You can learn more about applying for Medicare and Medicaid at CMS.gov.
SSA offers Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) to provide financial help to people who become disabled after earning enough Social Security work credits within a certain time. To be eligible, you must have a qualifying disability and have earned enough Social Security work credits through your employment history. You can apply online as soon as you become disabled.
SSA offers another program called the Ticket to Work Program, which is a free, voluntary program. It helps people who receive Social Security disability benefits re-enter the workforce and become financially independent, all while keeping their benefits. Ticket to Work connects you with free employment services to help you decide if working is right for you, prepare for work, find a job, or maintain success while you are working. You can learn more on the Ticket to Work site and find resources that might be helpful to you.
To learn more about disability benefits or other government benefits you may be eligible for, take the Benefit Finder questionnaire. It can take between 10-30 minutes to finish, and all answers are kept confidential. Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will receive a list of government benefits you may be eligible for and where you can apply. Check out this video to learn more about the Benefit Finder Questionnaire.