His Medicare should be backdated to the first day of the month that training started, which should be October 2007. It’s possible that the dialysis clinic did not fill out the CMS 2728 form correctly. Call Social Security to ask if they have record of his having started training in October. The dialysis clinic can amend the form if the home training section wasn’t completed or wasn’t completed correctly or if the MD didn’t sign it certifying that he expected your husband to complete the training.
BTW, in case you didn’t realize this, if your husband has worked enough to qualify (or if he can qualify on your work record), your husband can get Medicare just because he has kidney failure and needs dialysis or a transplant to survive. In fact, he can keep Medicare as long as he’s on dialysis and even 36 months after a transplant. He doesn’t need to get disability to get Medicare.
When someone has a Social Security benefit (retirement or disability) check, the Medicare premium is typically deducted from that check every month. When someone doesn’t have a Social Security benefit check, bills are mailed quarterly. Your husband will likely get a bill for several months at once. An envelope comes with the bill. The payment should go to:
Medicare Premium Collection Center
P.O. Box 371384
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7384
Unless you and your husband make over $160,000 a year, his Medicare Part B premium for months in 2007 should be $93.50/month. For 2008, the Part B premium is $96.40/month.
If your family income is low and you don’t have much in savings, he may qualify for a Medicare savings program that could get state help to pay Medicare premiums. With one of the programs (QMB), the state will pay the Medicare deductible and coinsurance on Medicare covered claims.
So far as disability benefits, if he applied for Social Security Disability Insurance, as you said, there is a 5-month waiting period for anyone who applies for SSDI and it could take time to get the award letter. People usually get their first check after 6 months. There will never be any payment for the 5 month waiting period. I suspect the waiting period is 5 months to see if the applicant will regain his/her health and be able to return to work.
There is a program called Supplemental Security Income that can help very low income people by providing a very limited monthly payment to help them survive while waiting for SSDI to start. You can look on the Social Security website at http://www.ssa.gov for information on Social Security benefit programs. Since he applied for SSDI, here’s the booklet on that program:
Sometimes people on dialysis feel worse and worse as their kidneys are failing, especially if they’re very anemic. This can make them feel like it would be impossible to work. Getting the extra fluid and toxins off with dialysis can allow them to feel good enough to return to work. If it’s possible for your husband to return to work, he will probably do better physically and emotionally. In my experience working with patients, many men feel uncomforable depending on someone else to be the primary breadwinner. As you’ve probably figured out, SSDI does not come close to replacing a wage earner’s income and even when it pays for dependents, there is a maximum family benefit.
If your husband wants a transplant and he gets SSDI based on ESRD, he should start thinking about his work options, decide if he wants to return to the same or a different job, and seek help from Vocational Rehabilitation (a state agency) for any training he would need for a new job. If possible, he should do this while he’s on dialysis. SSDI based on ESRD can end as soon as 12 months post-transplant and it would be best if he has a job before losing his disability check. If he is approved for disability based on something other than ESRD, he may be able to keep disability, but Social Security will ask him to complete forms and get a medical evaluation periodically to make sure he is still disabled.