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

7 answers | Last updated: Oct 27, 2015
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
Caring.com Expert
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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Joseph L. Matthews answered...

See also:
Is my disabled sister eligible for Medicare parts A&B?

See all 937 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.


Getting no help answered...

Our government is living in an affluent life, therefore have no concern as far as how a widow will take care of things, after her husband passes. They have control over everything. and could care less if you get what your husband worked hard for. Although that is money he made, not them. So my heart goes out to you, as I am in the same situation. Sad huh?


lstewart0312 answered...

My husband passed away 13 yrs ago and as soon as I turned 60 I applied for widow benefits. I had no problem getting them and it only took 4wks before my first check was in my bank. The only problem now is that I have to work part-time in order to keep these benifits.


FMV answered...

Next year I will be eligible for Medicare. I am currently collecting a widow's benefit from social security and plan on taking my own social security later. Will I be getting medicare automatically ? I am retired and have group health plan coverage from my former employer.