Many people understand that they will start receiving Medicare when they turn 65. However, there are other criteria that qualify certain individuals under the age of 65, including disabilities. If you qualify for Social Security disability benefits, you may also qualify for Medicare to cover your medical expenses.

If you receive a monthly benefit to help replace lost wages that result from your permanent disability, you might be eligible. To see if you qualify, click here to take our Medicare Benefits Finder Quiz.

What Medicare benefits are available for people with disabilities?

Medicare coverage is the same for people who qualify because of a disability as for those who qualify based on age (turning 65). In both cases, those who are deemed eligible have the full range of Medicare benefits available to them. These benefits include but are not limited to hospital, nursing home, home health, physician, and community-based services.

There are restrictions for each, so be sure to do your research and get clarity on all the details when you purchase your plan to have a full understanding of what will be covered.

As mentioned, if you qualify, you will be automatically enrolled into Medicare Part A and Part B. You can elect to add a Medicare Advantage Plan (Plan C) and a Medicare Drug Plan (Plan D). Plans vary state to state, to be sure to speak with someone to ensure you get the best coverage for your individual needs.

How do people with disabilities enroll in Medicare?

In most cases, to be eligible to enroll in Medicare, you need to have been collecting Social Security disability for a period of two years, though there are a few exceptions to this waiting period including beneficiaries with ALS and ERD.

People who qualify for Social Security Disability benefits should receive a Medicare card in the mail when the required 2-year waiting period has passed. If this does not happen, you should contact your local Social Security office.

You do not need to drive to your local Social Security office or wait for an appointment with a Social Security representative to enroll.

Instead, Social Security offers an online disability application that can be completed in the comfort of your home at your convenience.

Who can apply for Medicare for adult disabilities?

  • Ages 18 and older
  • Not currently receiving benefits on their own Social Security record
  • Unable to work because of a medical condition expected to last at least 12 months or result in death
  • Have not been denied disability benefits in the last 60 days

There are Medicare benefits available to individuals under the age of 65 with a disability. Contact us today to see if you qualify.