What Do I Need to Know About Medicare Disability Eligibility?

Healthcare Writer

Updated on May 11th, 2021

Reviewed by Diane Omdahl

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To qualify for Medicare disability eligibility, You’ll need to either collect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or have a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

As a Medicare beneficiary you’ll receive complete Medicare coverage, including coverage for disability-related issues.

Considering a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Plan?

Review options now.

What If You Get Social Security Disability Insurance?

If you’ve just begun to receive SSDI payments, you can’t enroll in Medicare right away. Your enrollment begins automatically on the 25th month that you receive SSDI benefits. You’ll get your Medicare information and the official card in the mail soon after your 23rd month of receiving SSDI.

The 24-month requirement is cumulative, meaning that you don’t need to have received all 24 months during the same 24-month period to qualify.

If you have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), your Medicare benefits will begin as soon as you receive your first SSDI payment. It typically takes 5 months for your first SSDI payment to arrive.

What If You Have End-State Renal Disease?

If you’ve received a diagnosis of end-stage renal disease, you can enroll in Medicare by contacting your local Social Security office. To qualify, you must already receive SSDI or have worked in the U.S. for about 10 years to have paid a sufficient amount of taxes.

  • If you have ESRD but don’t meet those requirements, you can also get Medicare if you are the spouse or dependent child of a person who would have qualified.

The start of your Medicare coverage will depend on the type of treatment you receive.

Considering a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Plan?

Review options now.

Considering a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Plan?

Review options now.

  • If you take part in a home dialysis training program, your coverage will kick in during the first month of dialysis.
  • If you receive treatment at a dialysis facility, coverage will begin after your fourth month of dialysis.
  • If you’re admitted to the hospital for a kidney transplant or transplant-related health services, your coverage begins during the first month that you’re admitted.
    • If your transplant is delayed for more than two months after you’re admitted to the hospital, then your coverage will start two months before your transplant.

Taking the Next Steps

Prepare to enroll in Medicare as soon as possible. Consider which type of supplementary coverage is right for you. Sign up early for Medigap coverage that starts as soon as you receive Original Medicare.

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