Trussville, AL asked in Social Security for Alabama

Q: My nephew is paralyzed from a stroke - no assets or insurance. Can an attorney expedite SSD and Medicare benefits?

He is 50 with a 15 year old. Has not been employed for a couple of years. Brook wood is trying to move him as soon as they can find a facility that will take him without insurance, may even be out of state. He is not getting the physical therapy he needs.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Kenneth Prigmore
Kenneth Prigmore

A: The short answer is yes. An attorney can gather the medical evidence and send it all in at the start. I have seen this happen with a paralyzed client in the past. If you have clear evidence, it can go very quickly. Mine took less than a month. I am not taking clients, but I am sure you can find a competent SSD benefits attorney.

As for Medicare benefits, they automatically get set up one year after an SSD file wins. If he needs it sooner, I would apply for Medicare separately now if possible.

Don't rely on Social Security to meet your needs fast though. In my experience, even after approval, it sometimes takes many months for them to get around to paying out.

If you are desperate, you may want to involve a state congressman's office.

Elizabeth Fowler Lunn
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Raleigh, NC

A: He needs an application filed for Medicaid as soon as possible and it’s likely that the hospital or rehab facility has started this process.

Depending on his work history he may be eligible for SSDI or SSI or both. An attorney can tell you which one he is likely to qualify for if you have knowledge of his work history. SSDI is for people who have worked enough recently and paid into Social Security. SSI is for people who have never worked or who haven’t worked enough recently to be eligible for SSDI.

If he is eligible for SSI and is approved he will get Medicaid automatically.

Medicare is not automatic one year after an approval. Medicare starts 24 months after the established payment date for SSDI benefits, which is 5 full calendar months after the onset date. That’s the date that Social Security says the disability began. So Medicare kicks in about 29 months after the disability happened.

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