After being entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, you are eligible for Medicare beginning the 25th month. 

Person in wheelchair

Generally, enrollment in Medicare Part A and Part B is automatic for people on disability benefits. You should receive a Medicare card in the mail, that shows the date your Medicare benefits begin.

Exception for ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease)

However, if you have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, it impacts when you are Medicare eligible. If you have ALS, Medicare can begin the first month you are entitled to Social Security disability benefits.

Read our factsheet on Medicare and Other Insurance for People with Disabilities for more information. Or call SHIIP–SMP at 800-351-4664 (TTY 1-800-735-2942) to have a copy sent to you.