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Do I Get Medicare If I’m Getting Social Security Disability Benefits?

You will typically be automatically enrolled in Original Medicare, Part A and B, after you’ve received Social Security disability benefits (or certain Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits) for two straight years. Your Medicare coverage will start 24 months from the month you qualified for disability benefits. In some cases, this could be earlier than the month when you received your first check. You must be either a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of at least five continuous years to be eligible for Medicare.

Note that certain conditions may qualify you for Medicare under age 65, but have different enrollment details than those described above.

  • If you have Lou Gehrig’s disease (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), you’re enrolled in Medicare automatically the first month you receive disability benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • If you have end-stage renal disease (ESRD), you might qualify for Medicare, but you’re not automatically enrolled. If you’re on dialysis or you’ve had a kidney transplant, contact Social Security (information below).

You can get more information about Medicare and Social Security disability benefits from the Social Security Administration:

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