SSDI EligibilityTo be deemed eligible for SSDI benefits, applicants must prove they are legal U.S. citizens, that they at least 18 years old, and that they have been diagnosed with a medical condition that is terminal or will keep them out of work for at least a year. Applicants must also meet a minimum work history requirement, although younger applicants might qualify with a shorter work history.
Medicare EligibilityOnce a person begins receiving SSDI benefits, he is eligible to receive Medicare upon reaching 24 months of getting benefits.
EnrollmentThose who are on SSDI do not need to actively enroll in Medicare. They are automatically enrolled into Part A, the hospital benefit, and Part B, the medical benefit. Three months before they are to become qualified (their 21st month of receiving SSDI benefits), they are mailed receive packages that contain their Medicare cards and information about the benefit.
If they would like to switch to a Medicare Advantage plan or join a Part D drug plan, they must do so during their initial enrollment period, which is the seven-month period surrounding their eligibility month (months 21 through 27). Otherwise they have to wait for another enrollment period.