Since the 1960s, the United States government has provided its citizens with Medicare and Medicaid programs—as well as SSI and SSDI, which came earlier—to help support people with disabilities with lower incomes. These programs give people with disabilities the health care and financial support they need to remain healthy and live long, productive lives. These programs also provide home health care so you can live at home.
There are important differences between these government programs that are important to know. While we have full explanations of these programs in separate learning portals, here is a short explanation of each program that is vital for people with spinal cord injuries.
A joint federal and state program, Medicaid covers the medical costs of millions of people with disabilities who have limited income and resources. Medicaid varies from state to state; for example, some states provide financial support for caregivers, while other states do not. Medicaid in general will cover important medical care that is needed by people with spinal cord injuries. Click here to learn more
A federal health insurance program for people who are 65 years or older as well as younger people with disabilities—including many people with spinal cord injuries—Medicare provides medical coverage to millions of people with disabilities across the country. Once you are eligible for Social Security Disability benefits, you automatically qualify for Medicare. Medicare is usually the first insurance that will cover your medical expenses, with Medicaid covering the rest, if you are enrolled in both programs. Click here to learn more
SSI & SSDI
SSI & SSDI are benefits that are given to people with disabilities who have lower income. These benefits can help pay for life expenses such as rent and bills. SSI is a federal benefit program paid by the tax revenue system, whereas SSDI is for people who have paid into Social Security and receive benefits from that system. These programs also provide food stamps and housing support, but this can vary depending on the state you live in. Click here to learn more