Children & End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD)

Your child is eligible for Medicare if both you and your child meet certain conditions.

One of the these conditions must apply to you:

  • You (or your spouse) have earned at least 6 credits within the last 3 years by working and paying Social Security taxes.
  • You (or your spouse) are getting, or are eligible for Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board benefits.

One of these conditions must apply to your child:

  • Your child needs regular dialysis because his or her kidneys no longer work.
  • Your child has had a kidney transplant.

To enroll your child in Medicare, or to get more information about eligibility, contact Social Security. If you visit your local Social Security office, you might be asked to bring the following documents:


A child is defined as an unmarried person younger than 22 (or a person who is between the ages of 22 and 26 who meet other requirements). Also, they must be your child, legally adopted child, stepchild (for at least 1 year), or a grandchild or step-grandchild (in some cases).