|Natalia Jofre:||Hello and Welcome to Hill & Ponton’s Social Security Disability blog. I’m Natalia Jofre. I’m the Director for our Social Security Section.|
|Shelly Mark:||My name’s Shelly Mark and I am the Senior Attorney with the Social Security Division.|
|Natalia Jofre:||Recently married. Hence, the little hesitation on the last name. Shelly and I were talking and the last time we did a video, we talked about Veterans benefits and how a Veteran can also qualify for Social Security Disability and we realized that there’s other benefits to pursuing a Social Security claim, not just the monetary benefits. One of those being Medicare.|
|Shelly Mark:||Definitely. When someone is approved for Social Security Disability, they’re also going to be eligible for Medicare benefits. There is a waiting period for Medicare once you’re approved for disability. That is 24 months but that is a retroactive waiting period. Once that waiting period’s over, the individual will be entitled to Medicare. So if they have the VA then they can still use the VA at the Veteran’s Administration and then use their Medicare if they want to see any private doctors.|
|Natalia Jofre:||A lot of people get confused with the waiting periods. They’re like 24 months. It’s 24 months from when you became entitled to benefits. So, let’s say Social Security finds that you’re disabled as of January 12th of 2014. There’s a five month waiting period you’re not paid for and they don’t start counting that in January. They start counting it the following month. So it’ll be February, March, April, May, June, July. July of 2014, you become entitled to Social Security so July of 2016, you would become entitled to Medicare.|
|Natalia Jofre:||The other thing and one of the reasons that we find, sometimes, Veterans don’t elect to take the Medicare when it’s offered is because it’s not free.|
|Shelly Mark:||That’s true.
|Natalia Jofre:||There’s a premium. It’s somewhere between 100 and 200 dollars a month.|
|Natalia Jofre:||I think it’s like 140 or 160 at this point.|
|Shelly Mark:||I think so. I know it fluctuates.|
|Shelly Mark:||That’s true because some Veterans feel like they have enough care through the VA and it’s free.|
|Natalia Jofre:||Mm-hmm (affirmative).|
|Shelly Mark:||So they don’t really feel the need to have the Medicare. I think it’s probably nice for people to have the option in case they are seeking out any private treatment.|
|Shelly Mark:||But it is definitely just a personal decision.|
|Natalia Jofre:||We do talk to a lot of Veterans that are unhappy with the doctors that they’re able to see through the VA.|
|Shelly Mark:||That’s true.|
|Natalia Jofre:||So it is a really good benefit to have if you’d like to have private care. You know, go to your own doctors, go to a hospital of your choosing and whatnot.|
|Natalia Jofre:||So it is a pretty big benefit. I do want to say, though, that if you decline Medicare, you are not able to just take it whenever you want it. So in other words, there’s an open enrollment period. When you become entitled to disability benefits, they’re going to offer you Medicare. You can take it then and there. But if you decide not to take the benefit and then three months down the road you’re like, “Well, you know what? Kind of made a mistake. I should have taken it.” You can’t just jump on Medicare whenever you want. You then need to wait until the following year’s open enrollment period to be able to elect those benefits and get on the plan at that point. So, just keep that in mind if you’re a Veteran or any other person getting Social Security Disability. That you can’t necessarily get on or get off of that benefit whenever you want.|
|Shelly Mark:||Right. Yeah, that’s definitely a good reminder. I think that a lot of people with the VA go ahead and do take the Medicare just to have a secondary insurance policy. You never know what might happen and you may be somewhere where you need to go to a private hospital or have some imaging done that maybe the VA is not able to pay for. In that case, Medicare will step in and pay for that for you.|
|Natalia Jofre:||All right, great. Well, we’re going to be talking about some other Veterans benefits in our next blog so be sure to join us then. Otherwise, if you have some questions regarding Social Security Disability or Veteran’s Disability benefits, feel free to contact us at our website or call our office.|
|Shelly Mark:||Thank you.|
We are sorry that this post was not as useful for you!
Help us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?