Currently, Social Security Disability (SSD) claimants must wait 5 months after their disability starts to be entitled to monthly benefit payments. Then, even after they are entitled to receive payments, they must wait 2 years to receive health insurance through Medicare. These mandatory waiting periods may be over soon. U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) have introduced a bill called, “Stop the Wait Act” to end these waiting periods.
“The five-month waiting period is an outdated and illogical rule that simply reduces the amount of our clients’ benefits” said Christopher J. Grover, attorney, Jeffrey Freedman Attorneys PLLC. “It is especially harmful to our clients with terminal illnesses, who may not live long enough to receive their benefits.”
“Then you have the 2-year Medicare waiting period when a person has been deemed disabled, but they have to wait 2 years for affordable health insurance through Medicare,” said Grover. “Oftentimes, we see individuals spending more than half of their monthly benefits on health insurance, or simply forgoing coverage while waiting for Medicare to kick in.”
An estimated 1.6 million American workers are going through the Medicare waiting period right now, and in 2018, it’s estimated 56,000 claimants died while they waited for their Medicare coverage to start. In 2022, Congressman Doggett, who was then chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, called a hearing to look at the challenges those who have disabilities face getting access to health care. Congressman Doggett said the delays are not justified — the rules are simply a way of shifting costs to a vulnerable population.
“The Stop the Wait Act will eliminate dangerous waiting periods for those who are entitled to benefits because they have worked and paid into the Social Security Disability Insurance fund” Senator Casey said.
The Act has been endorsed by a large number of patient advocacy groups and organizations including the American Association of People with Disabilities.
To contact Christopher Grover for a free consultation on your SSD claim, go to www.jeffreyfreedman.com or call 1-888-638-3416.