My mother is about to go on Social Security Disability can can't use Medicare, what are her other options?

1 answer | Last updated: Oct 03, 2016
Helpingmom1 asked...

My mother is about to go on Social Security Disability. She is not allowed Medicare for 24 months. What options of insurance do you recommend? She has the option of COBRA but it is costly and as you are aware disability funds are limited.

Expert Answers

Barbara Steinberg is the CEO and founder of BLS Eldercare Financial Solutions, which specializes in helping families pay for long-term care for their loved ones. A registered financial gerontologist, she speaks regularly on the topic of paying for long-term care and is a financial expert for

As you stated, once your mother is eligible for Social Security Disability, she must wait 24 months before she will be covered by Medicare. She is fortunate to have COBRA, but it can be expensive. Depending on how much your mother gets from Social Security Disability (SSDI), she may be eligible for Supplementary Security Income (SSI). Recipients of SSI are eligible for Medicaid to cover their healthcare needs, as are recipients of both SSDI and SSI. Eligibility for SSDI is based on having a long term physical or mental condition that prevents a recipient from working and earning over $1,000/month. It is not dependent on assets or net worth. Eligibility for SSI is based on having $2,000 or less in assets and low income. Check with your mother's local Social Security office to find out if she is eligible for SSI. If your mother's income from SSDI is too high to qualify for SSI, she should consider holding on to COBRA.