Prior to 1983, Federal employees who were covered under a Federal retirement system
did not have FICA taxes withheld from their Federal earnings. As a result, their Federal
earnings could not be used to insure them for title II benefits or for hospital insurance
Beginning 1/1/83, section 278 of P.L. 97-248 amended the law to provide for deduction
of the HI portion of the FICA tax from Federal earnings. Also, individuals who were Federal
employees at any time during January 1983 are deemed to have paid the HI portion of
the FICA tax on their Federal earnings prior to 1/83. These individuals earn government
employment quarters of coverage (GEQCs) which may be used to insure them for HI but
not for title II benefits.
Federal employees hired after 12/31/83 are subject to the full FICA tax and earn regular
Social Security quarters of coverage (SSQCs).
The first possible month of HI entitlement based on Federal GEQCs is 1/83.