As of 2015, it's possible to receive Medicare benefits at age 62 for those who have been eligible for disability payments for 24 months or receive a disability pension from the Railroad Retirement Board. Those with Lou Gehrig's disease or permanent kidney damage are also eligible. These requirements are conditional.
Medicare benefits routinely begin at age 65, as of 2015. Younger individuals who qualify based on 24 months of disability are not required to have received benefits for consecutive months. Those under age 65 with permanent kidney damage qualify when in need of dialysis or a kidney transplant; however, the individual or his spouse needs to have paid Social Security taxes for a specified length of time, determined by age.
Those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, are eligible with no additional qualifying conditions. Medicare payments for disabled railroad pensioners at age 62 is based on factors, such as type of disability and years of service.