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Will SSA disability pay my medical bills?

SSDI and Medical Bills

One of the most pressing concerns for disability applicants is how they will pay their medical bills. Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applicants have not worked for weeks or months and may be in desperate need of medical care. Recently on our disability forum an applicant asked, “Will disability pay my medical bills?”

What will SSDI provide for you?

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides a monthly cash payment to disability recipients. Payments are calculated based on your average earnings while employed and the amount you paid into the SSA system. On average applicants review approximately $1100 per month, but some applicants receive much more, while other receive much less.

This disability payment can be used for medical care or to pay medical bills for doctor’s visits, prescription medications, rehabilitation, etc.

Will I get Medical Insurance to pay my medical bills?

If you have been approved for SSDI you will receive Medicare 24 months from the date of your disability. SSI recipients will receive Medicaid, in most states, after they are approved.

Will the SSA pay my medical bills BEFORE I am approved?

No, if you have not been approved for Medicare or Medicaid then the SSA does not provide any type of payment for medical care. They are not going to pay for you to go see a doctor or to get a diagnosis. This point is a bit confusing because they may send you to a Consultative Evaluation to see a Consultative Examiner if they do not have enough medical information to determine if you are disabled at the time you apply, but this examination should not be viewed as medical care and it generally does not help your case.

What do I do to get medical care if I do not have insurance?

One of the most common questions from SSDI applicants is, “How do I get medical care if I do not have a doctor or insurance?” This is a great question and I wish I had a great answer. The truth is that many claimants end up in the emergency room, find a county hospital or go to a minor emergency center to obtain medical proof they are disabled.

Given the current state of medical care and the rising cost to get treatment there are few good answers for workers who are disabled and waiting for SSDI benefits and who are unable to pay their medical bills.

Bottom Line

So to answer the question posed by the SSDI claimants, SSA disability can be used to pay for any medical expense you have but you will also have to use the same cash payment to pay for other necessities such as housing and food. For most claimants the situation will improve dramatically after they begin to receive Medicare.

Talk to a disability lawyer if you are unsure if you qualify for SSDI or you need help gathering information for your disability case. The SSA does not offer any type of short-term or partial disability benefits but only offers SSDI for those who are 100% disabled and who cannot work or perform substantial gainful activity.
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