Medicare versus Medicaid
Generally speaking, there are more and better medical services available under the Medicare system than the Medicaid system, for the simple reason that Medicare pays doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers more for their services than the Medicaid system.
So, how can the Medicaid and Medicare programs benefit you, as a SSD claimant?
First, if your level of income and property ownership are low enough to make you eligible for Medicaid, that program can be available totally independent of your application for SSD benefits.
If you are just at the point of applying for SSD benefits and have not yet been approved, you can apply separately for Medicaid through the state Social Services system and, if found eligible, be approved for Medicaid before you are approved for SSD. Then, even if you are later awarded SSD benefits that eventually disqualify you from the Medicaid program, you can still use Medicaid to pay for your medical care during the five-month waiting period before you receive SSD monthly benefits or become eligible for Medicare (see below).
Second, once you are found to be disabled and thus entitled to SSD benefits, you are eligible to participate in the Medicare program as if you were of retirement age. Your actual age is irrelevant; even if you are in your 20s, if found to be disabled, you are eligible for Medicare coverage just as though you were 65 or older.