Despite being eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits after becoming disabled, beneficiaries are denied payments for the first five months after becoming eligible and are forced to wait an additional two years before being able to access health coverage through Medicare. These exclusion periods delay people from seeking treatment, prevent them from accessing health insurance coverage, and leave them without financial support to pay for healthcare and other essential expenses. The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated these issues, as millions of Americans have become newly disabled after being exposed to COVID-19.
The COVID–19 Health and Safety Taskforce (CHeST) is proud to announce its endorsement of the Stop the Wait Act (H.R. 883 and S. 320) introduced by U.S. Representatives Lloyd Doggett (D–TX) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R–PA), and Senator Bob Casey (D–PA). The Stop the Wait Act seeks to end the 5-month waiting period for individuals to receive SSDI benefits, as well as allow those who are uninsured or unable to afford insurance during the 29-month waiting period for Medicare to receive coverage. The Act is intended to provide much needed health and financial support to individuals with disabilities, which is critically important for people with long COVID.
The Taskforce’s statement on the Stop the Wait Act is available below:
Visit our COVID-19 Advocacy Center to contact your elected officials to request they cosponsor the Stop the Wait Act today!