| Thu, Jul 24, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

How To Qualify For Medicare If You’re Disabled

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

disabledDo you receive Social Security Disability and need Medicare, too? If you’re under age 65 and receive Social Security Disability, you may also be eligible to receive Medicare. However, you’ll have to wait until you’ve been on Social Security Disability for 24 months before your Medicare kicks in. An exception to this waiting period is if you’ve been diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) or Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease). The wait times for people with ERSD and ALS are as follows:

  • ESRD: Generally three months after a course of regular dialysis begins or after a kidney transplant.
  • ALS: Immediately upon collecting Social Security Disability benefits.

Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

You might not be eligible for Medicare for a full 24 months, but you’ll still be required to have health insurance. This is where Obamacare comes in. Obamacare provides access to health insurance to all U.S. citizens and legal residents (green card holders) who don’t have insurance from an employer. People with disabilities will also have access to health coverage while they wait 24 months to become eligible for Medicare. Many states have a health insurance exchange, while others are run by the federal government. Once you become eligible for Medicare, you may cancel your health insurance plan.

The Wait Is Over. Now You’re Eligible For Medicare.

After you’ve received Social Security Disability for 24 months, you’ll be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B. Your Medicare card will be mailed to you about three months before your 25th month of disability benefits. If you do not receive your Medicare card or if you have questions, contact your local Social Security office. If you don’t want Part B, you may cancel it and enroll at a later date if you meet certain qualifications. Medicare coverage is the same for people who qualify based on disability as for those who qualify based on age.

Medicare Coverage For Working People With Disabilities

According to MedicareAdvocacy.org, Medicare eligibility for working people with disabilities falls into three distinct time frames.  The first is the trial work period, which extends for 9 months after a disabled individual obtains a job.  The second is the seven-and-three-quarter years (93 months) after the end of the trial work period.  Finally, there is an indefinite period following those 93 months. Keep in mind that Medicare eligibility during each of these periods applies only while the individual continues to meet the medical standard for being considered disabled under Social Security rules.

For more information, explore MedicareMadeClear.com or contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048.


I Have A Disability: Find out how Medicare works for people with disabilities—Medicare.gov

Disability And Waiting For Medicare: Learn where to get health coverage now—AARP.org

Medicare for People with Disabilities: Medicare and still working—MedicareAdvocacy.org


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