How does one get Medicare??!!

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2009 at 12:04 am

      Well I should say how does a disabled, youngish;) , Public(State) Employee, get medicare?. I have filled out All the social security/medicare papers, this took over 4 hours on Oct 10th 2007, at the ss office. I was denied ssdi, as was expected because of my Public employee status, in Dec 07, but that is not the problem because I was already told and knew I would not qualify for social security disability income-I already get a disability income from my state job. The medicare is what I was going for anyways and the ssdi was one of those necessary first steps in the process to medicare. At least that is what I was told during my 4 hour filling session. I was also told that I would be given 1 year credit and would only have to wait 1 more year(from oct07-oct08) to get my medicare started. Yesterday the 31st I went down to ss office and was told there was nothing in the computer of me filling for medicare and that I would have to start All over from the beginning and I would have to wait 2 years and be on ssdi in order to receive medicare benefits. Has anyone else had problems getting medicare? Does this sound normal to those of you who knows about this stuff, the medicare ss procedures?
      I am up the creek right now without paddles and not sure where to turn to next. I can’t wait another 2 years, I have to have medicare like I was supposed to back in Oct, I will be loosing my benefits and Only income for my family, if I don’t get it-In a very dire situation at the moment. The social sec lady who I was talking to on the 31st admitted to me she knew nothing about the public employees special arrangements or procedures, which didn’t help me at all. She only knows about regular ss matters. Obviously I don’t know what I’m doing otherwise I would not have been there. I have tried the online filling but was told to call and make an appt with my area ss office for special people:p problems(job wise), and when I did just that they dropped the ball and put me into this nice tight hard spot I’m now in:mad: . Any one have any ideas or knowledge or suggestions as to what I need to do, Please let me know!! Let me tell you, I’m not a happy camper, which makes me even more determined to get what I have coming to me, anyway that I have to get it. I already have a note started to my state reps, its really hard to keep my feelings out of it let me tell ya!;)

    • Anonymous
      January 2, 2009 at 12:39 am

      I cannot really help about medicare, but having worked many years in healthcare and seeing the number of problems with getting disability anything including having several people tell me that whole files have been lost–I suggest that you copy all paperwork and note all calls and who you spoke with and about what.

      Could someone in human resources/benefits at your previous job help?

      Ed Gdula is at the Foundation who works in advocacy. He spoke at the symposium. He might could send information about disability including websites to help. He said he was going to supply his handout from the symposium for people that would like it to get by asking the Foundation. He had a lot of information and I am sure that it would be helpful.

    • Anonymous
      January 3, 2009 at 12:02 am

      Thanks Withhope, I’ll look into what info they have. I have disability income from my state job, but I was told by ss that I don’t qualify for medicare because I’m too young and I have to be on ssdi for 2 years to get medicare-well there is the problem-I can’t get ssdi because I’m a state employee and ss people don’t know what to do with us state employees who are too young to retire with medicare and who are disabled at that. It really does stink!!! and I have been fighting for this since 05! In just a few months it may be a bigger problem.

    • Anonymous
      January 4, 2009 at 2:00 am

      I was in federal Civil Service in March 2004 when GBS hit me. I took a normal retirement not a disability retirement from the government. Then I applied for Social Security disability in July. I was approved in September and received my first check in October. In September 2006, Social Security notified me that I was being placed on Medicare. I didn’t do anything. They came to me. If you took a disability retirement, that may be the problem. I don’t know how or if that can be changed or even if that is the problem. I hope something good happens for you soon.

    • Anonymous
      January 4, 2009 at 5:35 am

      I am on SSDI and I have to wait the 2 years to get medicare but I was not a state employee so I called a friend who was before she was disabled and went on SSDI and she was told something similar to what you said but unfortunately she also had to wait the 2 years for medicare because of age but was elidgible for state medical assistance/medicaid when her work insurance benefits ran out and she was the only income for her household. She filed and recieved medicaid and when the 2 years were up she was contacted automatically that she would be put on medicare. I don’t know if this helps but I hope the best for you!

      good luck!

    • January 5, 2009 at 12:02 pm


      I was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in 1996 and went on dialysis in 1998. Since I was an End Stage Renal Disease patient, I qualified for Medicare after being on dialysis for 2 months. Since I was working, it became my secondary. I had a kidney transplant in May of 2001 (and it’s still tickin’!). In August of 2001, I was diagnosed with GBS and when I got out of the hospital, I contacted SS to begin the application process for disability. (During my hospital stay for GBS, I was terminated from my job as I had exhausted my FMLA.) I was approved on the first try and have been on Medicare since.

      From reading your post, it seems that your employment is what is inhibiting you from qualifing for disabilty and Medicare. I received LTD from my former employer but when I qualified for disability, that stopped. Attempting to live on disability is tough. It’s about 1/2 of what I was receiving on LTD but Medicare is [U][B]WAY[/B][/U] cheaper than COBRA!

      I know all too well how dealing with the government can be but once you’re in the system everything runs smoother. Just keep good records and COPIES of EVERYTHING you send to them.

    • Anonymous
      January 6, 2009 at 8:48 am

      Hi Cheryl! So sorry you are having such a hard time with this. I really would not know what you can do. Maybe talking to a Social Security Lawyer about it. He would probably know more about situations like this. That is worth a try. Most of them give consultations for free! Hope this helps! Good luck Cheryl! I hope you get some help soon!

    • Anonymous
      January 7, 2009 at 12:20 pm

      Hi Cheryl, one additional comment-you did not mention an attorney skilled in SS issues, as Linda mentioned. I was denied the first time also and got an attorney and got accepted with arrearages checks. Hope it helps-I don’t know about publis service issues but I was young and I do know all about waiting. Good luck Cheryl.

    • Anonymous
      January 7, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      Hi Guys, Thanks for your ideas. I did talk to an attorney skilled in ss matters. He said I have to start with medicaid-well that step has been done already also, they switch me over to the ss office who is the one who dropped this issue in the first place. I am getting no where, no matter where I go, I always end up back at the beginning with nothing to show for my efforts except spent energy, time and wits. I guess the next step is to write to my state rep, she is well known to be a helpful person. Thanks again. One note to anyone thinking about getting into a state job, yeah its good pay and benefits -while you are working-but watchout if you get disabled.:mad:

    • Anonymous
      January 9, 2009 at 9:21 am

      Gosh Cheryl! I am so sorry to hear that you are getting a hard time with this.It might pay to go into a Social Security Office and talk with them in person. I know this must be very frustrating for you. Don’t give up though! Keep pushing the issue and see if somebody in those offices will find a loop hole for you. I wish you my best and hope they get you on Medicare soon! Good luck Cheryl! Hugs
      Linda H

    • Anonymous
      January 9, 2009 at 2:33 pm

      Yep Linda, done that too. Twice actually, and as it turns out no one in my area office knows about state employee off set stuff, and I guess you can count the agent on the phone as not knowing it either. I just exploded at my poor hubby the last time we went to the office and was told all the bad news instead of hearing the news I was told over the phone that I was supposed to hear in person. I really felt like just giving up and then I cooled down 20 mins later and relit the fire again;) Now I just have to keep calling to see if maybe by chance I will hook up with a knowledgable person. I just don’t want to have to start all over at the beginning because I am running out of time with my disability. I just have to keep repeating my phrase-“Life is Good” and “Just peachy” until I go hoarse:D

    • Anonymous
      January 10, 2009 at 12:51 am

      Hey Cheryl,
      I was a state/county employee and I receive PERS disability thru the state of Ohio. Are you receiving this or where do you stand. send me a PM or an e-mail if there is some way I can help you with that.

      Take care.

    • Anonymous
      January 10, 2009 at 11:31 pm

      Hi Cheryl: I have no experience nor concrete help but just writing to say keep on fighting. We are seeing and hearing your struggle here and I for one am struck by your fire and determination. What a hard struggle on top of all the physical stuff. I have a friend dying of heart disease who was turned down the first time, got herself a good medical attorney and won the second time. Maybe a new lawyer would help. All the best in your fight for what you deserve. Jeff

    • Anonymous
      January 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks for the Well wishes everyone. You guys are the kindleing behind my fire:) I’m sure there are others who are fighting this battle themselves, I just want to make their fight alittle shorter, if I can.

      Sherry, yep I get pers, but with the stipulation that I see/get continued treatment from my neuro. My current situation does not allow me to go to my neuro(at U of M) so I’m put into a sticky situation without medicare. If I had my medicare coverage I could go to my neuro and satisfy my pers at the same time and possibly get the best dx that my neuro is working hard on. And the ss people are telling me since I’m getting pers I can’t qualify to get medicare cause I can’t be on ssdi for 2 years that is needed to get medicare-I feel there should be a way to do this but no one in my area ss office knows the state employee special exemptions. I guess I really have to start at the center of this state stuff-My congress people. Thanks again Everyone!!:)

    • Anonymous
      January 12, 2009 at 7:42 pm

      Gosh Cheryl! I really feel bad for you right now. I do know that when your disability runs out you might qualify for Medicaid until you can get on SSDI or SSI!
      I went 3 longs years fighting with Social Security trying to get on Disability. I finally had to hire a lawyer just so I could get approved. And then he ended up getting a huge chunk out of that back pay leaving me with barely nothing left after I got stuck having to back pay all my medical bills.
      It is truely frustrating for those that are disabled. We shouldn’t have to go through such bull in this world. We did not ask to be sick nor did we want it landing on our plate. And yet I truely feel that many of us get punished before we even get the benefit! After we paid into the system.
      I will keep you in my thoughts and hope that something at least lets you have something without having to suffer as many have had to do. You certainly don’t diserve having to go through this! I hope something good happens.
      I swear! If I could just win a big lottery ticket and one of those 120 Million Dollar ones. I would give you enough money to help you with those bills just until you got on Medicare! But have not gotten lucky hitting that ticket! If I do though.. you will be one I certainly would try to help! Hugs
      Linda H

    • Anonymous
      March 1, 2009 at 10:45 am

      Hi Cheryl, I worked 13 years as a state employee and medically retired under the public employees retirement system at the age of 39. I started receiving my disability pension from the State of Oregon nearly right away. Even though I was getting my pension, I was able to get Social Security (SSDI). I started receiving cash benefits (SSDI) from Social Security approxmately 1 year after my original filing date and I got medicare 2 years after my original filing date. Today I receive both my disability pension from the state & my SSDI from Social Security. I have medicare through SSA & a medicare supplement through the public employees retirement system.

      When I medically retired from the state, I took out a loan to cover the cost of COBRA until I got on medicare. I paid the loan payments with my state pension.

      As far as Social Security is concerned, it is a nightmare system. Many people get denied 2 or 3 times and end up going to the administrative law judge level. Often this is because the paperwork isn’t written in a way to solicit true information about a persons medical condition & resulting limitations. Often both the applicant & his/her doctors fill out the paperwork incorrectly. For example, Social Security will ask you if you cook & and they will give you a yes or no box to check. Most people will check the yes box if they can make themself a sandwich. When they say yes, then SSA thinks why couldn’t that person work as a cook or at a sandwich shop? In reality, people who are truly disabled often take much longer to prepare a meal and/or skip meals altogether, therefore the answer should be no with a written explanation that the task of cooking cannot be performed either in a timely manner and/or on a regular basis. The same thing goes for laundry. Most people will check yes even if it takes them hours/days to do the laundry because they are to ill to get it done in a timely fashion like an able bodied person would. That makes SSA question why the person couldn’t work at a laundry mat. What most people don’t seem to understand is that SSA doesn’t care if you can’t perform your job. They are checking to see if you can perform any job in the economy, even if the job doesn’t exist in your home town & you have to travel 2000 miles away to find a job like that. So how people fill out forms is a big barrier to getting approved. When you answer the questions, you always have to remember to ask yourself, when I am having my worst day, can I do these things like the average person. When your doctor fills out the paperwork, it is always good to have a frank discussion about your ability to perform tasks in comparison to an average able bodied individual. I find it helpful to make a photocopy of the blank medical form, fill it out myself & then take it with me to talk about it with the doctor as he/she is filling out their copy of the form.

      Another problem with getting approved for benefits from SSA is that applicants aren’t efficient with their paperwork. They don’t send their paperwork registered mail, they don’t keep copies, they don’t write down who & when they talked to SSA. I have a friend who works at SSA & her caseload is 7,000 cases. With that kind of caseload, paperwork is bound to get lost on occasion. Therefore, it is really important to keep copies of all your paperwork & keep a notebook that chronicles any interaction you have with SSA.

      When I filed my paperwork, SSA initially didn’t want to take an application, but I called my Congressman & SSA reversed that decision within a couple of days. You are definately on the right track by getting your elected officials involved if SSA lost your app and you have copies of your application and/or you have records of when you filed.

      With regard to attorney’s, there is a lot of controversy around whether to hire them or not. They usually work on contingency & take a big chunk if you happen to be lucky enough to get awarded benefits. Some attorneys know/understand how SSA works & some attorneys don’t, but most people think any attorney can represent them. It may be true that an attorney can represent an applicant, but just because their an attorney doesn’t guarantee they will do a good job. It just depends on the attorneys level of experience and understanding of SSA’s rules & regulations.

      Hmmm…I could go on & on about this stuff because part of my job as a state worker was to help people obtain their SSA benefits. However, this post is getting pretty long, so I’m going to end it here. I hope this information may be of some use to you.

    • Anonymous
      March 1, 2009 at 9:10 pm

      Thank You for all your advise rcatfire!!! I really appreciate it. I’m just out of the hospital again, and will be filling out all the forms again, my German blood won’t calm down til I do it:D I’m really determined to win this! I will be getting a letter off to my congresswoman, she is a real go getter, if anyone can help she is it. I will be keeping 2 copies of everything and even recording my appts with ssa this time. Thanks again for All the Great help, I will be printing it out to push me along:) I just found out my state disability is not the same as ssa disability-ssa is permanent and state is only for my past employment-not sure if this will help but i have to run it. I’m perm disabled, even more so now, just tired of having to fight to make my life just a bit easier. Thanks again:)

    • Anonymous
      March 15, 2009 at 3:10 am

      I have a 1 page form (front & back) that doctors can fill out to describe your limitations to Social Security in detail so that SSA doesn’t have to try to infer your limitations from the hundreds if not thousands of medical documents they receive. Sometimes it seems to be helpful. If you want it, send me a message with your e-mail address & I will get it to you.