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How To Apply For A COBRA Extension Because of Disability


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The law allows an extension of health coverage beyond the initial 18 months if you have a "disability" at the time you stop work or other Qualifying Event.. Note that you can only get the extension if Social Security certifies that you are "disabled."

In order to get Social Security to certify that you are "disabled", you must apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), even if you are not eligible for it. It is through the SSDI process that Social Security determines whether you were disabled at the time you left work.

The steps to take, which are described in other sections of this article, are:

Step 1. Apply For Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Right Away.
Step 2. When You Apply For SSDI, Keep In Mind That The Onset Date Of Your Disability Must Be Within 60 Days Of The Loss Of Regular Coverage.
Step 3. You Must Present Your SSDI Notice Of Award Letter To The Plan Administrator Within 60 Days Of Receiving It And During The Initial 18 Months Of COBRA.
Step 4. Obtain Immediate Written Confirmation From Your Employer Or Plan Administrator Of Your Extended Coverage. 

Keep in mind that during the extension period, your premiums can jump up to 150% of the premium co-workers pay. If you were paying $150 per month for COBRA coverage, it could jump to $225 per month for months 19 through 29.   To figure out what your premium will be, just multiply your COBRA premium by 1.5.

NOTE: For related information, see:

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