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The purpose of health insurance is to make sure that you can afford medical treatment. Unfortunately, when people become disabled and can no longer work, they frequently lose their health insurance just when they need it the most.
A claim for Social Security Disability (“SSD”) benefits can take years to process. If a claimant cannot afford to continue medical insurance under COBRA, then even if the SSD application is approved, Medicare may not be available for 24 months. During the interim, a claimant’s condition can become much worse.
A disability claimant who lacks medical insurance and is unable to obtain medicine or medical care should notify the Social Security Administration (“SSA”). The claimant should specify the basis for the lack of medicine or medical care. For example, stating that the he or she needs medicine or medical care, but is unable to obtain it either because there is no health insurance or because of lack of resources. When a person has a dire need for medical care, that critical situation is supposed to receive expedited treatment by the SSA.
I represent a claimant whose SSD application was denied on October 22, 2007. I submitted a request for a fully favorable decision on the record (“OTR”) on January 4, 2008. On February 15, 2008, I notified the SSA of the claimant’s dire need for medical treatment. That same day, the claimant’s OTR was approved, which could be a coincidence. Nonetheless, it certainly cannot hurt to notify the SSA of dire need circumstances, such as lack of medical care, food or housing.Previous Next
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