Infographic: How Disabled Americans Get Healthcare Assistance

Disability Benefits

Maybe you applied for disability benefits, but haven’t yet heard back from the Social Security Administration. Or you got approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), but your approval letter said you had to sign up for Medicaid on your own. (For a complete breakdown showing how your state handles SSI Medicaid enrollment, view this chart listed on the SSA’s website.) Let’s say you got approved Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) payments, but need healthcare assistance now. You simply cannot wait for the two-year mandatory waiting period before Medicare kicks in to end without seeking treatment. No matter where you are in the disability benefits application journey, our infographic below explains how to get healthcare assistance today.

Infographic: How Disabled Americans Get Healthcare Assistance

Even if you haven’t applied for Social Security disability benefits, this handy chart might help you. See healthcare assistance plans for each disability program, plus search for the closest low-cost clinic that treats patients without health insurance:

Infographic: How Disabled Americans Get Healthcare Assistance

Why Different Healthcare Assistance Plans Exist for Disabled Americans

Many people wonder why most SSI recipients automatically qualify for Medicaid, but SSDI beneficiaries must wait two years to get Medicare. And why don’t both government disability programs offer the same healthcare assistance plan? The answer is simple: SSDI payments come directly from the individual taxpayer’s previous FICA tax withholdings. To qualify for SSDI, you must have worked full-time for at least five out of the last 10 years. In most cases, jobs that withhold FICA taxes from employee paychecks also offer employer-sponsored health insurance plans. If your disability prevents you from working for at least one year, it’s likely your employer offers COBRA health insurance coverage. Since SSI recipients don’t have sufficient work history to qualify for SSDI, they are less likely to have COBRA coverage. So, the SSA provides Medicaid healthcare assistance to anyone approved for SSI payments right away.

Depending on where you live, your state or local municipality may offer additional free or low-cost healthcare assistance options. An experienced Social Security attorney or disability advocate can point you towards local clinics or charities that may treat you today. They can also review your state-subsidized medical care plans to help you get the best possible care for your condition. Need help filing your disability benefits claim? We can connect you with local disability advocates in our network right away who can answer your questions.

Ready to see if you may qualify? Click the button below to start your free online benefits evaluation now!

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Lori Polemenakos is Director of Consumer Content and SEO strategist for LeadingResponse, a legal marketing company. An award-winning journalist, writer and editor based in Dallas, Texas, she's produced articles for major brands such as, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, Xfinity,, and edited several published books. Since 2016, she's published hundreds of articles about Social Security disability, workers' compensation, veterans' benefits, personal injury, mass tort, auto accident claims, bankruptcy, employment law and other related legal issues.