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When I applied for widows benefits a year ago, I was told...

4 answers | Last updated: Dec 05, 2013
martina asked...
When I applied for widows' benefits a year ago, I was told I could get Medicare at age 64 (I'll be 64 in August). I've been paying $275.16 for COBRA, which is going to expire in October. I called the Social Security 800 number and was told I had to wait until I was 65. Who is right?

Caring.com User - Joseph L.  Matthews
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Joseph L. Matthews is a Caring.com Expert, an attorney, and the author of Long-Term Care: How to Plan & Pay for It and...
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See all 493 questions about Social Security Benefits
I'm afraid Social Security is right -- you have to be 65 to be eligible for any of Medicare's programs (unless you are disabled and have been receiving Social Security Disability benefits for at least 24 months, in which case you'd be automatically enrolled). You should plan on considering which parts of Medicare to enroll in and begin filling out the paperwork three months before your 65th birthday.


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CA-Claire answered...

There are some loopholes in Social Security that really stink. My husband was on SSDI for 3 years, and passed away recently. When I got the letter from Social Security, I answered all their questions, then was informed that I would not receive a survivor's pension until I was at least 60, I am 51. And there's no guarantee that I'll receive a survivor's pension at 60, I have to call back to see if I qualify. That's my thanks for being a 24/7 caregiver with a full time job.


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