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BenefitsLink > Q&A Columns >

Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Benefits Q&A

Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman

Early Medicare with Occupational Disability Annuity

(Posted August 22, 2004)

Question 506: Is it possible to get early Medicare coverage with an Occupational Disability Annuity?

Answer: Yes, if you are disabled enough to meet the Social Security Administration's criteria for a disability (basically, that you are disabled from being able to perform any work activity). In that case, you become eligible for Medicare coverage after two years.

The Railroad Retirement Administration classifies a worker as being disabled for purposes of Occupational Disability if he or she is unable to perform the job he or she was doing for the railroad (even if the disability is not severe enough to be disabled from being able to perform any work activity).

So many-- but not all-- workers with an Occupational Disability Annuity will qualify for Medicare after receiving payments for two full years.

If you have questions about your eligibility for early Medicare, you can ask the Railroad Retirement Board if they think your condition will qualify you for Medicare. That decision will be made by the Social Security Administration, however.

Important notice:

Answers are provided as general guidance on the subjects covered in the question and are not provided as legal advice to the questioner or to readers. Any legal issues should be reviewed by your legal counsel to apply the law to the particular facts of this and similar situations.

The law in this area changes frequently. Answers are believed to be correct as of the posting dates shown. The completeness or accuracy of a particular answer may be affected by changes in the law (statutes, regulations, rulings, court decisions, etc.) that occur after the date on which a particular Q&A is posted.

Copyright 1997-2017 Robert S. Kaufman
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