What Happens to Medicaid When You Switch from SSI to SSDI?

 In Social Security, Special Needs Planning


I have two disabled brothers who are 36 and 27 years old. They live with my mom at home who recently retired started to receive Social Security. As a result, my brothers brothers switched from receiving Supplemental Security Income to Social Security Disability Income and from Medicaid to Medicare. Now life sustaining supplies are being denied to them. I really want them switched back to Medicaid. We never had a problem and had a case manager who helped us. Now with Medicare it is all on me.
Medicaid is linked to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicare to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI). When beneficiaries move from SSI to SSDI they also switch from Medicaid to Medicare, but in most instances they can apply independently for Medicaid and be dual eligible, receiving both Medicaid and Medicare benefits.
Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash


This may depend on your state, but I see no reason that your brothers can’t receive both Medicaid and Medicare.

As your family has experienced, quite often individuals who were disabled before age 22 can switch from Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) when a parent retires or dies. This is generally a good change because the SSDI benefits, which are based on the parent’s work record, often are higher than the SSI benefit. In addition, this relieves the disabled individual from having to maintain financial eligibility for SSI, which can be, in layman terms, a total pain the neck. (You can read more about the requirements here.)

As your family has also experienced, SSI is linked to Medicaid and SSDI is linked to Medicare. Your brothers were automatically enrolled in Medicaid as a result of their receiving SSI, and Medicaid as you have also experienced provides much broader coverage than Medicare. When your brothers were switched from SSI to SSDI, Medicaid eligibility was no longer automatic. But there’s no reason that I’m aware that they can’t apply separately for Medicaid. Any of the social service agencies that provide assistance to your brothers should be able to help with this.

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