If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, you are eligible for Medicare after a waiting period of 24 months. Once you become eligible for Medicare, you can continue to receive it even if you begin working as long as your disabling condition continues. However, it’s essential to understand how your earnings may affect your benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has several programs that can help you transition back to work while still receiving some benefits.
What Is Medicare?
Medicare is a federal health insurance program that provides coverage for hospital stays, doctor visits, prescription drugs, and other medical services. It is available to people 65 years or older or with a qualifying disability, including those who receive SSDI benefits.
What Happens to Medicare When You Go Back to Work?
If you start working while receiving SSDI benefits, your eligibility for Medicare will not change if you still have a disabling condition. The first nine months that you return to work is known as the trial work period (TWP). During the TWP, you will receive your full disability benefits, including Medicare coverage.
What Happens to Medicare After the Trial Work Period Ends?
Once the TWP ends, you may qualify for an Extended Period of Medicare Coverage (EPMC). During the EPMC, you may continue Medicare coverage even if you work as long as you still have a disability. The EPMC may continue for 93 months or more than seven years. During this time, your Medicare coverage will include the following:
- Premium-free Hospital Insurance (Part A).
- Supplemental Medical Insurance (Part B), if enrolled.
- Prescription Drug coverage (Part D), if enrolled.
Once the EPMC ends, you may purchase Medicare if you are not yet 65 years old, you continue to have a disabling condition, and your Medicare coverage ended because you returned to work.
Let Disability Services of America Help You Keep the Benefits You’ve Earned
Our experienced disability case managers want you to know that if you receive Social Security disability benefits, you can continue to receive Medicare even if you begin working. Please contact us today to make sure that all of your rights are protected.