Are disabled vets under 65 eligible for Medicare?

3 answers | Last updated: Sep 16, 2016
Rapids asked...

I am 60 years and receive 100% disability from the VA

Expert Answers

You can become eligible for full Medicare coverage based on a disability, but your VA disability rating does not automatically qualify you. Instead, you need to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Once you have been receiving Social Security disability benefits for 24 months, you then qualify for Medicare coverage at any age.

If you have been rated with a 100% disability by the VA, you will probably also qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, there are two parts to qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. First, you must have a physical or mental condition that is expected to last for more than a year and that prevents you from engaging in any substantial gainful work. The test for substantial gainful work is whether you can work and earn over $1,010 per month; if your disability is blindness, the substantial gainful work test is $1,690 per month.

The second part of qualifying for Social Security disability benefits is that you must have enough Social Security work credits, based on work for which you and/or your employer paid Social Security taxes, to qualify based on your age. The amount of work credits required ranges from 6 if you became disabled very young up to 40 work credits if you became disabled at age 62. You will have earned up to 4 work credits per year, depending on how much income you had during any particular year. Even a small amount of income on which Social Security taxes were paid will have earned you the 4 yearly credits. If you have enough work credits for your age and you cannot perform substantial gainful work, based on your work earning records since you have become disabled, you can qualify for Social Security disability benefits, which can lead to Medicare coverage after 24 months.

Contact a local Social Security office to make an appointment to begin the process of applying for Social Security disability benefits.

Community Answers

Perrie answered...

Be prepared to battle the SSA. This one governmental organization is less friendly to the client than the IRS. Their chief aim is to deny benefits and to place draconian penalties in mutiples of 10% for your lifetime. Be as grateful that you have VA benefits as I am that I have a private for profit insurance. Also be prepared to retain an attorney as most applicants for social security disability must do.

Frankinmoultrie answered...

If I served my time in the Army, hurt my back during my time, got an honorable discharge when my time was up but was not told that I was even eligible for VA health insurance much less service connected disability, then got approved got total disability from Medicare, then filed through the VA 24 years later, will I get my backpay just from the time that I virst applied for VA in 2011?????? Very confused! Was sent a check for my 40% approved for from back the last 4 months but not back to when I first filed .....Thank you to anyone that can answer this for me!!!