Q. I am a former air traffic controller, age 62, retired on disability in 1979 (before the 1985 Medicare Act). Because I was never eligible to pay into Medicare, Social Security tells me that I am forever ineligible for Medicare benefits. OPM says that is not so, but hasn’t provided a law to challenge Social Security’s decision. OPM suggested that there is a rule just for people like myself, which uses a 10-year combined service (Civil Service & Social Security) rule to determine eligibility. I am unable to find such a rule and I’m not in financial condition to hire an attorney to locate it. Can you suggest a solution ?
A. I don’t believe there is any such rule. As far as I can tell, to be eligible for Medicare you have to have worked for 10 years in jobs where Social Security (FICA) deductions were taken from your wages or self-employment income.