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.
SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME
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
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.