Title 2 Disability Insurance Benefits (DI or DIB)
DIB benefits are almost always higher than SSI benefits. You are insured under DIB once you have 40 quarters of earnings. 10 quarters have to have been earned during the past 10 years. The amount you have to earn per quarter changes from year to year. in 2012 it was $1130. In 2000 it was $780. You can earn up to 4 quarter for the year regardless of which quarters it was actually earned, once you have earned the minimum 4 quarters. The more you earn, the more you are paid in Disability Benefits. There are different earnings rules for people under 31. Once you have been determined disabled as of a certain date, you are not paid until 5 months after that date. You can be found disabled up to one year prior to your application date.
Title 16 Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
You do not need an earnings record to qualify for SSI. There are severe limits on how much income you have and on the value of your assets to qualify for SSI. For instance if you earn more than a certain amount per month you are ineligible. Most spouse income will count against you. You can not have more than $2000 in the bank. You can not own real estate that you do not live it. For more detail, pick up a booklet at the district office or see one online at: http://ssa.gov/ssi/text-understanding-ssi.htm. There are additional SSI booklets at the SSA website and at the office. Once you have been determined disabled as of a certain date, you are paid from that date. You can not be found disabled prior to the date of your application. You might be able to reopen an earlier application.
Once you have been awarded DIB and have been paid for 24 months, you will receive medicare coverage.
Once you have been awarded SSI you will be entitled to Medicaid coverage from the beginning of your entitlement.
SSI and DIB
If the DIB payment is very low and you have limited resources, you may be also entitled to SSI. This is helpful because with the combination, you get Medicaid benefits right away - you don’t have to wait 2 years for Medicare.
See the Resources page for links to more detailed information.