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Comparison of DIB and SSI

Title II

To receive Disability Insurance Benefits you must have worked and paid Social Security taxes for 20 quarters (5 years) out of the past 40 quarters (10 years) and have earned a minimum amount per quarter. This time period is measured backward from the alleged date of onset of your disability, but does not go further back than when you were 21 years old.

The minimum earnings amount varies, but for 1999 it was $740.00 per quarter.

The disability insurance benefits program was added to the Social Security system in 1956.

Benefits range from $1.00 to a maximum of about $1,300 per month depending upon how much and for how long a person has paid into the system.

Dependents of a disabled worker can receive monetary benefits but not a medical card.

The Medicare card comes with Disability Insurance Benefits. You cannot get the Medicare card until 24 months after disability payments begin. There are no prescription drug benefits under the Medicare card and only limited days per year in a hospital or nursing home.

To receive Supplemental Security Income benefits you do not need to have worked or paid into the Social Security system at all. SSI is at heart a welfare system for very poor people. These are people who have never worked, or haven't worked enough to have earned the necessary quarters to qualify for disability Social Security, or who have not worked in the past five years as of the alleged date of onset of disability.

DIB claimants whose benefits are less than the SSI maximum are eligible to receive SSI payments so that the combined DIB and SSI benefits equal the SSI maximum.

The SSI program began in 1974

Benefits can range from $1.00 to a maximum of $512.00 per month.

Dependents of an SSI recipient are not entitled to receive any monetary benefits.

The Medicaid card comes with SSI benefits and begins the same month that SSI benefits begin. The Medicaid card provides more coverage than the Medicare card. For example Medicaid pays for some prescription medications as well as for long term nursing care.

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