The amount of benefits paid to a disabled person depends on the program under which the individual qualifies as disabled. Generally speaking, a disabled person under any program will receive three types of benefits: a monthly benefit check, a retroactive award (that is, money benefits paid retroactively from the date of approval to a date in the past) and some form of medical insurance.
Social Security disability insurance (DIB) benefits are paid only to persons with an appropriate work history. Beneficiaries receive a retroactive award (going potentially as far back as one year before the date of the application), a monthly benefit check, and Medicare medical insurance benefits. The amount of the monthly benefit check is determined by a formula which takes into account the amount paid into Social Security and the length of time of employment.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients are not
required to have any previous employment. Monthly
benefits are based upon need after taking into account the
individual's income and assets. Special rules apply to legal
residents who are not citizens. Retroactive benefits are
paid back to the month following the month of application.
Social Security Disability recipients (but not SSI recipients)
are entitled to Medicare benefits if they have been disabled
for two years after a five month waiting period. Generally, a
premium (approximately $99, but subject to change) is
deducted from Social Security Disability benefits. Some
people with higher incomes will pay higher premiums. This
entitles them to have certain medical expenses covered
SSI beneficiaries are entitled to Medi-Cal benefits. These are similar to Medicare benefits, but may be more restrictive in terms of medical providers and may cover items which are excluded from Medicare coverage. Medi-Cal benefits are available from the first month the recipient is entitled to SSI benefits.
Social Security disability insurance benefit recipients receive Medicare. SSI recipients receive Medi-Cal. Certain eligible recipients who receive both Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income receive both. These health care benefits are essential for disabled persons.