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3.4. Disability Benefits (Questions and Answers)

Read frequently asked questions and answers about disability benefits.


How Social Security Disability and Medicare Benefits Work Together

September 16, 2014

You can get financial help from Social Security and Medicare if you're permanently disabled or if you have Lou Gehrig's disease or kidney failure. To be considered "permanently disabled," your doctor must confirm that you are unable to work for at least 12 consecutive months. Being "unable to work" means you cannot perform your job functions because of the disability, and you cannot find a new line of work because of age, education, or impairment. You must follow your doctor's prescribed treatment plan to continue to qualify. It's a good idea to keep up-to-date medical records.

Qualified disabled individuals can apply for Social Security Disability or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) disability to recover lost wages. Once you qualify for Social Security Disability or RRB benefits, you can also apply for Medicare Disability benefits to cover your hospital, medical, and/or prescription drug expenses.

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