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  • RSS New on Our Blog

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    • SOCIAL SECURITY’s 80th ANNIVERSARY August 5, 2015
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new working draft (benefits page)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI (also called Title XVI) is a needs-based program funded by general taxes. You are eligible for SSI if:

  1. You are a disabled adult OR
  2. You are a disabled child under 18 years old OR
  3. You are blind OR
  4. You are age 65 and older

AND

  1. You are a U.S. citizen OR
  2. You must be a lawfully admitted U.S. permanent resident

    (If you are a lawfully admitted U.S. permanent resident over age 65, you will, in certain cases, have to establish that you are disabled.) OR

  3. You fall into certain categories of aliens

AND

  1. You must also have low income.

    (Income is what you use for food or shelter.)

    The amount of SSI you receive will vary depending upon the amount of your income from other sources. Your living arrangements such as whether you are homeless, residing in someone else’s home, or staying in a residential care facility will also affect the amount of SSI you receive.

  2. Limited Resources (Resources are the things you own, although certain resources are excluded.)
    1. An individual can have resources worth up to $2,000
    2. A couple’s resources can be worth up to $3,000.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI, also called Disability Insurance benefits (SSD or DIB) or TITLE II benefits, is funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax paid by employees and employers. To meet the first requirement of being “fully insured” for SSDI, you will need to have 40 quarters of coverage, i.e. worked for 10 years. Additionally, to meet the other requirement of “currently insured,” you need to have a disability that began during the period you earned 20 quarters of coverage over your last 40 calendar quarters of employment. You will receive a quarter of coverage, as long as you earn a specific dollar amount for the work you performed during a calendar quarter (three month period). This amount increases each year. In most cases, this means that you must have worked five years out of the last 10 years to qualify. If you are under 31 years of age, you do not need to work as many years to qualify.

If you begin receiving SSDI (DIB or Title II), other family members might also be eligible for auxiliary benefits.

Examples include:

  1. Your dependent child, stepchild, grandchild or step-grandchild
    1. If they are unmarried AND under age 18 years old OR
    2. Between 18 and 19 years old AND a full-time student in grade 12 or less.
  2. Your spouse at any age, who is caring for your child, if the child under 16 years old or disabled.
  3. Your spouse at 62 years old or older unless he/she collects a higher social security benefit on his/her own record.
  4. Your ex-spouse if he or she cares for a child under 16 years old or disabled.
  5. Your ex-spouse if:
    1. He or she is at least 62 years old
    2. AND

    3. Was married to you for at least ten years.
    4. AND

    5. Has not remarried unless the marriage ended by death, divorce or annulment
    6. AND

    7. The ex-spouse is not eligible for an equal or higher benefit on his/her own work record or on someone else’s record.

Disabled Widow’s/Widower’s Benefits (DWB)

Disabled Widow’s/Widower’s benefits (DWB), also called Retirement Survivors Disability Insurance (RSDI), is also funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax paid by employees and employers. You may be entitled to DWB if your deceased spouse worked long enough to have earned sufficient quarters of coverage to be insured. The number of years that your deceased spouse must have worked for you to be eligible for widow’s/widower’s benefits depends upon the age of your deceased spouse when he or she died. The maximum number of years that your deceased spouse had to work to be insured is 10 years to earn 40 quarters of coverage.

To qualify for DWB, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. If you were married to your spouse when he or she died:
    1. You must be between ages 50 and 60 and you must have become disabled before your spouse’s death or within seven years after the death of your spouse;
    2. AND

    3. You must have been married to the deceased spouse for not less than nine months immediately prior to the day in which the deceased spouse died, unless an exception applies;
    4. AND

    5. You did not remarry before age 50 unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment;
    6. AND

    7. You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record.
  2. If you were divorced when he or she died:
    1. To qualify for DWB, you must be between ages 50 and 60 and must have become disabled before your spouse’s death or within seven years after the death of your spouse;
    2. AND

    3. You had to be married to your spouse for 10 years or longer;
    4. AND

    5. You must be unmarried;
    6. AND

    7. You are not otherwise eligible for higher benefits on your own or another’s earning record.

Surviving Child’s Insurance Benefits (SCIB)

Surviving Child’s Insurance Benefits (SCIB) is also funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax that is paid by employees and employers. SCIB provides financial assistance to children whose parent(s) or grandparent(s) have died. You may be entitled to SCIB if your parent(s) or grandparent(s) worked long enough to have earned sufficient quarters of coverage to be currently or fully insured. The number of years that your parent(s) or grandparent(s) must have worked for you to be eligible for SCIB depends upon the age of your parent(s) or grandparent(s) when he/she died. The maximum number of years that parent or grandparent had to work to be insured is 10 years to earn 40 quarters of coverage.

To qualify for SCIB if you are a child, or, in some cases, an adopted child, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild, you must meet the following requirements:

  1. You are dependent on the insured

    The evidence required to prove your dependency will vary based upon how you are related to the insured.

    1. You may be asked to show that you lived with the insured at one time OR
    2. You received contributions for your support from the insured OR
    3. The insured provided at least one-half of your support.
  2. AND

  3. You are the insured’s natural child by meeting any of the following conditions:
    1. Under the state law where the insured had his permanent residence when he/she died, you could inherit a child’s share of the insured’s personal property if he/she were to die without a will OR
    2. Your mother or father had a ceremony, which would have resulted in a valid marriage between them except for a legal impediment OR
    3. Your mother or father did not marry the insured, but the insured acknowledged in writing that you are his/ her child OR
    4. A court has decreed that the insured is your father or mother or a court ordered that your mother or father contribute to your support because you are his/her child. The acknowledgment, court decree, or court order must have been made or issued before the insured’s death
    5. OR

    6. Your mother or father has not married the insured but you have evidence, other than above, to show that the insured is your natural father or mother. Additionally, you must have evidence to show that the insured was either living with you or contributing to your support when the insured died.
  4. You are unmarried
  5. AND

  6. You are under age 18 OR
  7. You are 18 years or older and qualify for benefits as a full-time student in grade 12 or below as described in 20 CFR 404.367.

Disabled Adult Child Benefits (DAC)

DAC is also funded by the FICA tax, which is the payroll tax paid by employees and employers. DAC provides financial assistance to children whose parent(s) or grandparents have died or whose parent(s) or grandparent(s) are receiving retirement or SSDI benefits. You may be entitled to DAC benefits if your parent(s) or grandparent(s) worked long enough to have earned sufficient quarters of coverage to be currently or fully insured. The number of years that your parent(s) or grandparent(s) must have worked for you to be eligible for DAC depends upon the age of your parent or grandparent when he/she died. The maximum number of years that parent had to work to be insured is 10 years to earn 40 quarters of coverage.

If you are a child, or, in some cases, an adopted child, a stepchild, grandchild, or step grandchild, you may be eligible for DAC benefits on your parent’s or grandparent’s work record if:

  1. You are unmarried
  2. AND

  3. You are 18 years old or older
  4. AND

  5. You have a disability that began before you became 22 years old

Types of Medical Conditions