Ask Larry

What Kind Of Health Insurance Can I Get If Social Security Cuts Off My SSDI Benefits?

I'm 62. In 2018 went on FMLA then Long Term Disability from prior employer then to SSDI awarded October 2020. I was diagnosed with Small Cell Lung Cancer treated with Chemo and Radiation but right lung tumor has shown increase recurrance or relapse not sure the correct terminology. I got a letter from SSDI asking about any work done since April 2018 which is zero due to the cancer(s) and the treatment along with mental health issues and other medical issues and the recent possibility of breast cancer. I have biopsy for right lung and breast coming up 6/30 and 7/19. I'm afraid they will cut off my SSDI and is that happens what kind of health insurance can I get and can I apply for just "regular" social security early I know but better than zero. Looking for options I'm scared of being without money, having cancer and not have insurance nor money. Thank you

Hi. My experience is limited to Social Security benefits, so I can't give you any advice about any type of health insurance coverage other than Medicare. Here is what I can tell you. If you haven't worked since your Social Security disability onset date then your Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits shouldn't stop because of earnings. However, if you received any wage payments from your former employer after your onset date then you should probably contact Social Security to explain to them that the payments were for work that you performed prior to your onset date. Otherwise, Social Security may incorrectly conclude that you worked after your disability onset date.

The only other way that your SSDI benefits would stop is if Social Security does a medical review and determines that your impairment no longer meets their disability requirements. That sounds unlikely given your description, but if it should happen you would have appeal rights. If you have Medicare coverage based on your SSDI eligibility, you could then elect to have your Medicare coverage continue during your appeal. In that event, your Medicare coverage would continue at least through the end of the month following the month that you receive notice that your appeal request has been disallowed.

And, yes, if your SSDI benefits end based on a medical review you could apply for regular Social Security retirement benefits at a rate that's reduced for age. But, that would not entitle you to Medicare coverage until you reach age 65.

Best, Jerry

Jun 23 2022 - 3:00pm
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.