If you did not work enough in your lifetime to get Social Security benefits, but your spouse did, you may be eligible for free Medicare Part A based on your spouse's work history when you turn 65
If you develop a disability before the age of 65, and do not have enough work history, you cannot qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) based on your spouse's work history.
When you turn 65, you may be eligible for free Medicare Part A based on your spouse's work history if:
- You are currently married and your spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits (either retirement or disability). In addition, you must have been married for at least one year before applying.
- You are divorced and your former spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits (either retirement or disability). In addition, you must have been married for at least 10 years and you must be single.
- You are widowed and you were married for at least nine months before your spouse died. In addition, you must be single.
To date the federal government does not recognize domestic partners
(neither opposite-gender nor same-gender) as spouses. Therefore, you cannot be eligible for Medicare based on the work history of a domestic partner.
To find out how much your monthly Part A premium would be if you do not qualify for free Part A, click on the link in the GO TO box.
Because Social Security and Medicare eligibility rules are complex, and there are some exceptions to the rules
listed above, you should call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or, if you are a railroad worker, contact your local Railroad Retirement Board field office to get the most accurate information regarding your particular situation.
To learn more about Social Security eligibility, click on the link in the LINKS box.
To find your local Railroad Retirement Board field office, call the Railroad Retirement Board at 312-751-7139 or click on the link in the LINKS box.