Programs: Old-age retirement, survivors and disability insurance (SSDI).
Eligibility: Age or disability plus history of working and paying FICA tax.
Basic policy goal: To protect family income when wage earner retires, dies or becomes unable to work
Beneficiaries: Disabled/retired wage earner and certain dependents and survivors, including disabled adult child, disabled widow/er
Benefit amounts based on: wage earner's history of paying into FICA system
Maximum monthly benefit (as of Jan. 01): $1,536 individual
Linked medical coverage: Medicare (29-month wait after disability to be covered) copays & deductibles, no drug coverage, no long-term (PCA) coverage
Disability defined as: "Severe physical or mental impairment (or combination) that makes the individual unable to perform "substantial gainful activity"
"Substantial Gainful Activity" (SGA) presumed.... If earning $700 per month or more in employment
Unearned income... Except for worker's comp, does not reduce benefits
Earnings from work... Do not reduce benefits, until SGA is reached; then benefits eventually stop
Resources (wealth) have no effect on benefits -- millionaires may bet monthly checks and Medicare