To be eligible for Medicare coverage before age 65, a disabled widow(er) annuitant must:
- be at least age 50, and
- permanently disabled before the end of the prescribed period (see Part V, Item 6, for the definition of prescribed period).
An individual with permanent kidney failure (chronic renal disease) is eligible at any age. However, the Social Security Administration must be contacted for this coverage.
There are also special rules that apply for an individual diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease).