Will the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Affect Social Security Disability?

 The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” enacted in 2010, has impacted those applying for Social Security Disability.  Most notably though dramatically improved access to health care that disabled people need to make their case when applying for Social Security Disability.

ACA and Social Security Disability-w

Having health insurance helps Social Security Disability applicants get the medical care they need.

When you apply for Social Security Disability, your claim hinges on proving your disability.  This is accomplished through medical treatment and records that confirm you are unable to work and support yourself financially due to your disability.

Before the ACA, disabled people were often unable to seek the aide of a medical care provider due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of medical insurance
  • Inability to Work – Affordable health insurance is typically tied to employment, and most disabled seeking SS Disability cannot work full-time
  • Extensive cost of doctor’s visits

What advantages does the ACA give to me if I am applying for Social Security Disability?

The ACA expanded health care access in a variety of ways. Two of the most significant include the creation of the “Exchanges” and the expansion of Medicaid.

  • The Exchanges are government-run website portals where people can shop for affordable private health insurance that was previously too expensive or simply unavailable.
  • Medicaid is a medical insurance program for the indigent; administered and funded jointly by the federal government and the states.

The ACA changed Medicaid in many ways, but most markedly by providing federal funds to support Medicaid expansion so that virtually every person below the poverty line (and a great many people near the poverty line) can benefit.

The states that have used this money have seen a large increase in Medicaid.  In Colorado, for example, you can qualify for Medicaid if you earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level, which (in 2014) equates to about $16,100 for an individual or $32,900 for a family of four.

With the new access to affordable health care provided by the ACA, you can obtain the necessary treatment and records you need to help prove your SS Disability claim.

If the government is able to sustain the ACA long-term, it could mean helpful assistance to those seeking Social Security Disability.  The road to receiving these disability benefits can still be lengthy and difficult.  We suggest getting the assistance of an attorney to help navigate these murky waters.

Contact McDivitt Law Firm today to receive a FREE case evaluation.

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