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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Occupational Disability and Early Medicare
(Posted March 3, 2003)
Question 222: My husband has received an Occupational Disability benefit from Railroad Retirement for 11 years, due to a back injury. He never has been enrolled under Medicare. Can he qualify for Medicare now?
Answer: Please refer to Q&A 15 of this column, which explains how disabled Railroad Retirement beneficaries can qualify for early Medicare.
I suspect that your husband's condition was not severe enough to meet the strict Social Security definition of disability when his benefit began. If his physical condition has deteriorated, you should contact the Railroad Retirement Board and ask them to reevaluate his eligibility for Medicare. They will request him to submit current medical evidence and might even ask him to take another examination by a doctor selected by the RRB.
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