Many people who qualify for Social Security Disability, and particularly those who qualify for SSI, also qualify for Medicaid. Medicaid is a medical insurance program designed for needy, low income people. While many Social Security Disability recipients do receive Medicaid, the program is not limited to the disabled. Needy children and elderly may also be eligible.
The program is partially funded by state governments, and partially funded by the Federal government. In most states, those who are eligible to receive SSI automatically qualify to receive Medicaid. In these states, your application for SSI also serves as your application for Medicaid.
Seven states use the same qualifications for Medicaid and SSI, but do require a separate application process. These states include Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Idaho, and Alaska. The Northern Mariana Islands also handle Medicaid and SSI in this manner.
Eleven states have Medicaid eligibility requirements which differ from the federal SSI requirements. These states include Virginia, Connecticut, Oklahoma, Hawaii, Ohio, Illinois, North Dakota, Indiana, New Hampshire, Missouri, and Minnesota. In these states, you must file a separate application. Qualifying for Social Security Disability or SSI is not necessarily an indicator that you will qualify for Medicaid if you live in one of these states.
Most people who qualify for Medicaid become eligible within one month of qualifying for Social Security Disability. If you start working and earn enough to become disqualified for SSI payments, you may be able to continue your coverage, provided that your income falls within a range which is determined to be insufficient to pay for other coverage.
While eligibility for Medicaid is overseen by the Social Security Administration, the actual health insurance program is administered by The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services.