More June questions and answers from Social Security
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[June 10, 2011]
I’m applying for disability
benefits. Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I'm
approved for disability benefits?
You will receive Medicare
after you receive disability benefits for 24 months. When you become
eligible for disability benefits, we will automatically enroll you
in Medicare. We start counting the 24 months from the month you were
entitled to receive disability, not the month when you received your
Special rules apply to
people with permanent kidney failure and those with “Lou Gehrig's
Disease” (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Learn more about Social
Security disability benefits by reading our publication at
I'm thinking about getting
disability insurance from a private company. If I become disabled
and have a private policy, would it reduce my Social Security
No. Your eligibility for
Social Security disability benefits is not affected by any private
insurance you may have. But workers’ compensation and certain other
public disability payments may affect your Social Security benefit.
You also should ask the company providing your disability protection
what effect Social Security will have on the benefits they provide.
For more information about
Social Security disability benefits, read our publication at
Can my children receive
dependent's benefits because I am on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?
No. SSI benefits are based on
the needs of the individual and are paid only to the qualifying
person. There are no spouse's, children's or survivors benefits.
However, if your children are disabled themselves, they might be
eligible to receive SSI benefits. To learn more about SSI benefits,
read our publication on the subject at
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What is Supplemental Security
SSI is a needs-based program
administered by Social Security that provides monthly income to
people who are 65 or older, blind, or disabled and who have limited
income and financial resources. You can be eligible even if you have
never worked in a job covered under Social Security. SSI is paid
through general revenue taxes, not Social Security payroll taxes. To
receive SSI, your financial resources (savings and assets you own)
cannot be more than $2,000 ($3,000 if you are married). If you are
married, a portion of your spouse's income may be counted when
deciding whether you are eligible. Generally, to be eligible for SSI,
an individual also must be a resident of the United States and must
be either a citizen or a noncitizen lawfully admitted for permanent
residence. Learn more about SSI benefits at
If I have a question about my
Medicare bill, who should I contact first?
First, contact your provider.
If you are unable to get your question answered or problem resolved,
then contact 1-800 MEDICARE. For more information about Medicare
By Judith Bartels
Social Security District
Manager in Springfield, IL