If you have been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, you will automatically be enrolled in Medicare the first month you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or, if you are a railroad worker, a railroad disability annuity check.

Once you are diagnosed with ALS and submit your completed application for SSDI to Social Security or your application for a railroad disability annuity to the Railroad Retirement Board, you are subject to a five-month waiting period for disability benefits. Make sure you explicitly state that you have ALS on your disability benefits application.

To enroll in SSDI, go to your local Social Security office. To apply for a railroad disability annuity, contact your local Railroad Retirement Board field office.