The Social Security Administration recently celebrated “National my Social Security Week” which was aimed at raising awareness for individuals to set up online accounts with the SSA. By so doing, they can be provided with access to their annual statements and information about their projected retirement savings, as well as their eligibility for disability benefits. By having a “my Social Security” online account, these and other questions can be readily answered.
For many retirees and disabled individuals, a common question is whether or not they can claim Social Security and Medicare at the same time. The programs combine to provide a significant amount of the financial support to retired and disabled individuals. While the rules for claiming benefits from these programs are different, it is possible to receive these benefits simultaneously.
Obviously in order to qualify for retirement benefits under both programs, you must be eligible. Currently, if you wish to claim Social Security benefits based on your own work history, you can do so when you reach the age of 62. If you start taking Social Security at the age of 65, you can apply for both programs on the same application. The SSA will compile all the required information and coordinate with Medicare so that you start receiving the benefits simultaneously.
There are situations other than retirement that allow an individual to receive benefits from both programs simultaneously. In particular, Individuals who qualify for and have been receiving Social Security Disability Benefits for 24 months will automatically receive Medicare Parts A and B. In addition, those with certain disabling medical conditions who are eligible for disability benefits will also simultaneously receive Medicare.
While SSDI and Medicare are designed to serve as a safety net for disabled individuals, many claims for disability benefits are often denied. In some cases, the applications may contain inaccurate or incomplete information. Furthermore, in order to qualify, you must have a mental or physical disability that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. In some cases, the SSA may determine that your impairment is not a qualifying disability.