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Consumer Guide: Medicare and Medicaid for Those with Disabilities

People with disabilities can qualify for Medicare and/or Medicaid.

Medicare if you have a disability and are younger than 65

If you are younger than 65 and have a disability, you may be able to get Medicare. You must:

  • Get Social Security Disability Insurance for at least 24 months. This requirement often doesn’t apply to those with end stage renal disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease).
  • Meet the Social Security Administration’s standards for disability.
  • Have paid Social Security taxes while employed. This applies to you or your spouse.

Medicaid if you or the child you care for has a disability

If you or the child in your care has a disability, you may be able to get Medicaid. You must:

There are a few other programs that can help you qualify for Medicaid:

  • Medicaid Purchase Plan, P-10071—The Medicaid Purchase Plan (also called MAPP) gives people with disabilities who work or want to work the chance to get health insurance through Medicaid.
  • Katie Beckett Medicaid—This program allows kids with disabilities or complex needs who live at home to get a Medicaid card. Kids who aren’t eligible for other Medicaid programs because their caregiver’s income is too high may be able to get Medicaid through this program.

Who to contact for help

Do you have questions about Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income? Do you want to apply for Medicare or Medicaid? Contact the Social Security Administration.

Related topics

Last revised October 14, 2022