Spondylitis Association of America
Posted By: Allifax General Questions about SDI - 05/27/15 07:24 PM
Hi everyone. I've been reading through old threads. Lots of great info here. Thanks to all who have contributed (esp. Rich!).
I have some questions I haven't seen the answers for:

If my wife (w/AS) goes on disability, does she HAVE to use Medicaid or can she continue to use my insurance through an employer?

If my wife's condition improves, can she go off of disability and then back on if necessary?

Has anyone ever worked in an industry that had a ton of jobs, many of which didn't last more than 3 months? In compiling her work history, we're not sure how to handle that. She is/was a TV Producer and sometimes jobs only lasted a few weeks or 2 months or so. I know they have to create these boxes for the masses, but her work history really wonks their requirements. Suggestions?
Posted By: Banana Re: General Questions about SDI - 05/30/15 09:05 PM
She can't get Medicare until she is on disability for two years, and it is medicare NOT medicaid...very very different. She can stay on yours and go to Medicare after the two year mark or when she wants to.

They have programs where you can try to go back to work and they give you time to adjust and try it. The Social Security site has all the info, as it is rather complicated.

They go back 10 years and it is divided into "quarters" They take the year/quarter that where she made the most money. I kept working but went to part time and worked fewer and fewer hours until I could couldn't work more than a couple hours a week. They counted the years where I was working full time and not the last couple where I made less money.

Posted By: Poppa_John Re: General Questions about SDI - 10/15/15 02:47 PM
I know this is late from the date of your initial posting but will share what I know and maybe help others.
It is true that one must be on SS Disability for two years before being eligible for Medicare.
A spouse who is disabled can still be on the working spouses insurance which will be considered the primary insurance and Medicare will be considered secondary.
If a person is receiving Medicare and is also on another policy (not a Supplimental) the Medicare will ALWAYS be considered secondary.

In my case, my employer had Long Term Disability insurance and I was also eligible to continue my employers group insurance under COBRA. This is usually very expensive but luckily our LTD policy subsidized $1200 a month for the COBRA.
Posted By: CentralGaGal Re: General Questions about SDI - 10/19/15 11:40 AM
Just one more add to what Anna and John have provided.

For your wife to be eligible for Medicare, it is two years as Anna said PLUS 5 months from the date of the determined disability (not necessarily the date used on the application). The 5 month addition is called the "Waiting Period". So if she was awarded SSDI effective January 1, 2015 then she would be eligible May 1, 2017 (it MAY be June 1, 2017 because of how they roll to the next month). It's the same way with the monetary benefits.

For what John said is correct but the rule is if the private insurer has less than 100 employees in total, it would be the secondary payer but if over 100 employees, the private insurer would be primary.

Also, IF you wife is awarded and at some point wants to return to work, make sure you follow the "Ticket to Work Program" program. Any attempt to go around that process could jeopardize her SSDI status.

Posted By: Banana Re: General Questions about SDI - 12/22/15 05:20 PM
They had backdated my disability to 12 months so I only had to wait 4 months to be on Medicare. Just checked my card dates and at least in my state, no 5 month waiting period.

Posted By: CentralGaGal Re: General Questions about SDI - 12/22/15 09:06 PM
That's odd as the 5 months is Federal not State so it should be the same across the board. Not sure.
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