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Prescription medication Can I get it from the SSA?

Help! Need prescription medication fast

If you are sick, disabled and you cannot work one of your main concerns is probably how you can get proper medical care for your condition, and an important component of that may be getting the proper prescription medication to treat your disease or disorder. Recently on our disability forum we had a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicant ask, “If I am approved for SSDI benefits will the SSA pay for my medication?”

What is SSDI?

First, let’s talk about what SSDI is and what it is not. SSDI is a monthly cash payment paid to disabled workers who are unable to work for at least 12 continuous months due to a severe disabling health condition. If you qualify for SSDI benefits there are no restrictions on how you spend your payments so you would be able to purchase medical care or prescription medication as needed.

Qualifying for SSDI, what about medical care?

The good news is if you qualify for SSDI you will get Medicare. The bad news is you may not get it immediately. Medicare is provided to SSDI recipients 24 months from the date of the disability. If you waited months to be approved this may mean you get Medicare about the same time as you start getting SSDI. If you were approved immediately you may have to wait awhile.

What options do you have for medical insurance while you wait for Medicare? There are new changes in medical insurance and care coming in late 2013, but for now you can either rely on an old employer’s plan or COBRA or you can purchase your own medical coverage.

Will the SSA pay for my prescription medication?

The SSA will not provide any additional monies separate from what is provided through your SSDI monthly cash payment. This means they will not send you any additional funds for housing, prescription medication or other necessities.

After you receive Medicare there may be some type of prescription medication plan available, but the details of what is available should be discussed with the SSA. In general if you receive Medicare Part A you will have coverage for hospital care, skilled nursing facility care, and home health services. Medicare Part B covers ambulance services, durable medical equipment, mental health services, and limited outpatient prescription drugs.

If Medicare does not cover the services or medications you need you will have to pay for them yourself or purchase additional health insurance coverage. Common items Medicare will not cover includes long-term care, routine dental or eye exams, dentures, cosmetic surgery, acupuncture, hearing aids, hearing exams and routine foot care.

Hiring a disability lawyer

Not everyone will qualify for SSDI benefits. Even if you do qualify you may have to fight days, months or years to get your benefits. Many claimants find a disability lawyer can help them get their benefits. Talk to a lawyer if you have additional questions.
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