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Will my benefits increase because I became disabled while collecting early Social Security Retirement benefits?

By   /  November 11, 2012  /  300 Comments

Learn how, depending on your age, you can get a higher Social Security benefit if you become disabled while receiving Social Security Retirement benefits.

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Watch the Video: “Will my benefits increase because I became disabled while collecting early Social Security Retirement benefits?”

Disability during Early Retirement

If you become disabled while receiving Social Security early retirement benefits, whether or not you receive an increase in benefits depends on when you become disabled. Social Security does not pay disability benefits for the first five full calendar months of disability, so you would not get an increase during those months. You would receive an increase in the sixth month if the sixth month is before your Normal Retirement month.

Social Security Normal Retirement Age

For many decades full retirement age was sixty-five. In recent years, the Social Security Normal Retirement Age was increased. The increase is being phased in so that, depending on the year you were born, normal retirement age is sixty-six with future retirees born in later years having to reach sixty-six and a half or sixty-seven for full retirement. The gradual increase in age has been put in place because people are living longer and the Social Security Administration needs to reduce its financial obligation.

If you don’t know your Social Security Normal Retirement Age, you can find out by calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or by looking it up on their website, www.socialsecurity.gov. If you become disabled more than twenty-nine months before your Normal Retirement Age, you will become eligible for Medicare before your full retirement age. Our article (I-11) “If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability, Will I Get Medicare and Medicaid Heath Insurance?” offers more information about entitlement to Medicare health insurance.

Tips for Counting Your Disability Benefit Waiting Period

Here are two tips for counting the unpaid disability waiting period. First, the month in which you become disabled does not count as one of the five unpaid months. The second tip is an exception to the first rule: If you become disabled on the first or second day of a calendar month, Social Security will count the month you became disabled as part of the unpaid waiting period.

Social Security Retirement after Disability

If you receive disability benefits after receiving reduced early Retirement benefits, when you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age, there will be another change in your benefit amount. At that time, the Social Security Administration will switch you back to Social Security Retirement and your ongoing benefit typically will be less than your disability benefit, but more than your earlier reduced retirement benefit.

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300 Comments

  1. Betsy Crowe says:

    I began drawing disability in 2009 at the age of 59. When I turn 66 will my disability become social security? And if so will my benefit from social security be less than my current disability benefit?
    Thank you.
    Betsy Crowe

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Betsy,

      If the disability benefit you are receiving is Social Security Disability, then your benefit will automatically become Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits and will continue in the same amount.

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to apply for Social Security Retirement. You can do this up to three months before your sixty-sixth birthday. The amount you will receive will depend on your Social Security earnings record. Your SSI will either be reduced or terminated, depending upon the amount of your SSR. Your total income will not be less than you are currently getting from SSI at that time.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Carmelo Gonzalez says:

        I Will be 62 next year and I Will get $679.00 from my retirement check,I also will collect$400.00 from rent as income,too.Will this affects mi Medicaid elegibility?Currently i am desaible and on ssi.I am from Philadelphia,Pennsylvania.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Carmelo.

          If you remain eligible for SSI, you will probably remain eligible for Medicaid. If you are no longer eligible for SSI, you might still qualify for Medicaid. I suggest that you discuss the matter with your local state or county agency that administers the Medicaid program.

          With regard to your SSI eligibility, your retirement benefit will reduce your SSI payment and the retirement plus $400 rent will make you ineligible for SSI. If the rent is someone renting a room from you, it might be better to treat the person as a roommate making a contribution toward shelter costs; that none or only part of the $400 may not count as income. If the rent comes from another property, the situation is more complex. The property may be excluded as income producing and if you have rental expenses such as property upkeep, less than $400 may count as income. If the latter is the case, it could be helpful to talk to a tax accountant about what you can claim as a rental expense.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  2. danham says:

    My SSDI was offset by a workers comp settlement for a term of 25 years, but after a divorce, 2000 dot com crash, and then the 2008 crash the settlement is gone. Can my SSDI be updated to reflect the lack of any settlement? Would it be updated at for the income i had at the time I was disabled? Or will it be my lack of income today?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danham,

      I believe that you will not be able to get an adjustment in your Social Security due to loss of assets derived from a workers comp award. The offset (reduction) in Social Security is based on the amount you received, not on the amount you have left at a later point in time related to adverse investments or other financial events. Of course, always check with the Social Security Administration to be sure of your rights.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Patti Nelson says:

        If you’re on Social Security do you have to switch retirement when I turn 67? And will the amount I receive on S.S.Disability be reduced? Also if my husband dies will I receive some of his S.S.Disability?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Patti,

          Your Social Security benefit will be changed from disability to retirement when you reach full retirement age; the amount will not change. If your husband dies before you and a widow’s benefit on his account is higher than your benefit, you can receive widow’s benefits to supplement your retirement.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  3. Joan Gibbs says:

    I began receiving early retirement at age 62 1/2 and became disabled last year at age 65, 8 months. Would I be able to receive any social security disability? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joan,

      Please tell me the year you were born so that I can answer your question.

      Thanks,

      Kay

      • richard humphries says:

        I began receiving social secuity retirement benefits at age 62. Not knowing the in’s and out’s of social security I merely accepted social security retiirement benefits as I am currently. Before age 62 I was on medications for “cluster headaches” which is a disabling condition that stops you from doing anything short of laying down in a dark room with no sounds of any kind. In 2011, I underwent surgery twice for “Spinal Stenosis” which is surgery for deteriorating spine discs which affects your ability to function in any capacity, sitting, walking, lifting anything in excess of 8 lbs. My occupation since then involved a lot of driving, carrying heavy objects into one’s home for demonstrations, and then back out to my vehicle, going up and down steps, etc.’ Obviously I cannot attempt to continue this practice, or any other occupation that requires a lot of walking, sitting, or anything that requires periods of physical activities. This condition is considered to be an ongoing condition and it can be perpetual along with having to take sedative medications to tolerate constant pain. In view of this, can I be switched from social security retirement income to social security disability income? I was born in 1947 and currently 67 years pld?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Richard,

          Social Security Disability is for individuals who are younger than full retirement age. You reached full retirement age at age sixty-six. Therefore, you are not eligible for Social Security Disability.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

      • Joan says:

        Year of birth is 1947. Thank you.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Joan,

          You are not eligible for Social Security Disability because you became disabled less than five months before your sixty-sixth birthday, which is your full retirement age. Disability benefits are not paid to individuals who have reached full retirement.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

    • cora jacobs says:

      My husband took earl retirement at age 62 he becoweme disabled in august 2013 we was told try s docial security disability and we did we got a ward lettersaying he was approved his disability date was in march 2014 what we like to know no back or nothing we only gettyng monthly check we wait a year no back pay or retro h

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Cora,

        If Social Security accepted August 2013 as your husband’s disability date, his benefits would begin in February 2014 because Social Security does not pay the first five full-calendar months of disability. Benefits are paid in the month after the month for which they are due, so the February benefit would have been paid in March.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Connie Shaner says:

      I am receiving Social Security because I retired at 62. I was told if I get disabled that I would never be eligible for social security disability because I chose to accept Social Security monthly at age 62.I live in Florida and was told that by a social security office employee.

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Connie,

        If you become disabled more than five calendar months before your full retirement age, (Social Security Disability [SSDI] does not pay the first five calendar months of disability), you can receive the higher benefits until you reach full retirement age, if you are still insured for disability benefits at the time you become disabled. At full retirement age, your retirement benefit will be recalculated and it will be less than the disability benefit, but more than the reduced retirement you began to receive at age sixty-two.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  4. william alleñ says:

    I received ssdi and worker compensation,I am 63 , under Michigan law will there be a offset of my workers compensation at age 65 or 66 , and if so how much?I started workers compensation benefits at age 56.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear William,

      The worker’s compensation offset will end when your Social Security benefits are converted to Social Security Retirement benefits at your full retirement age, which is age sixty-six and six months if you were born in 1957.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  5. karl says:

    Kay: I lost my job in May 2010 and new I would not be able to get another because of disability. I was unaware of the Social Security disability requirements. I took early retirement in February 2012 (age 62) because I needed the income. A doctor informed me in late 2013 that I should qualify for disability. I applied and was approved in April 2014, but they established the disability onset date as 1/1/2013.

    Where does that leave my payment, and can I appeal the onset date to get full disability/Social Security?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karl,

      The current decision will result in an increase in benefits from your current reduced retirement beginning June 2013. You will be paid the difference between the two benefits for the retroactive period and will receive just disability benefits until you reach your full retirement age.

      You do have the right to appeal the onset date. If you do, I would suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so that you can tailor your appeal to the reasons that the disability examiner stated for your not being disabled before January 2013 (insufficient records, records don’t support disability, etc.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  6. ROBERT ALLEN says:

    I will be 62 yrs old on June 1st 2014. I have been on Social Security Disability for 1 yr. When will I be eligible for Medicare benefits and also when will I turn from Disability to Medicare and will I get less money or keep my current Dollar amount ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      You will be eligible for Medicare after you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability benefits, including back pay months. Your benefits will change from disability to retirement benefits when you reach age sixty-six, your full retirement age. The benefit amount will remain the same.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      S

  7. ken fields says:

    i was born in 1958. i got hurt in 7/27/2012 and have been getting ssd since the end of 2013. when i go back to work and stop ssd and i retire at 70 and go to collect ss retirement will i get the amout i was supposed to get or am i stuck at the amout i get now?? i am looking at not receiving ssd for ten years before i file for retirement. If i am stuck getting what i am getting now then why do they kept talking SS from my paycheck??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ken,

      Your retirement at age seventy will be based on all your work earnings before and after your period of disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  8. Diane says:

    my husband took early retirement at 62 in 2010 could not find work but in January 2014 he had a heart attack and had to have a stent put in also on alot of meds can he apply for disability or is it to late for this he can not go back to construction to hard can not lift heavy things with this stent

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      Your husband is at least sixty-five years old. His Social Security full retirement age is sixty-six. He would be able to receive disability benefits at a higher rate than his reduced retirement only from July 2014 (his sixth full calendar month of disability)through the month before his sixty-sixth birthday. If there are any such months, he could apply for benefits. Once he turns sixty-six, his benefits would revert to retirement benefits, which could be slightly higher than his previous retirement benefits because he would be no early retirement reduction for the months he received disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  9. Michael Furia says:

    I began collecting social security benefits when I was 62. I have since worked part time making less than $12,000 a year. I am now 67 and have multiple medical and mental issues which I believe will quality me for social security disability status. Is it possible for me to collect s.s. disability even though I am already receiving standard s.s. benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      No Social Security disability benefits are payable for individuals who have reached full retirement age, as you have.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  10. Rachel says:

    My husband is 63. He had a lumbar fusion in 1999 becuase of spinal stenosis. He has nerve damage and sciatic nerve pain, his left arm does not work much due to torn muscles. He has become unsteady and has fallen a few times. He was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. We think he would qualify for dissability but can’t afford to be without his income while going through the process. When we inquired last year about early retirement or possible dissability amounts, we were told that he could file for early retirement while the dissability claim was processed. Is this true or would it effect his chances on getting approved for the higher disability amount?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rachel,

      Yes, your husband could apply for reduced retirement benefits to tide him over financially during the first five months of disability for which no disability benefits are paid. Once he was switched to disability, the benefit would go up to an unreduced amount. When he reached full retirement age and was switched back to retirement benefits, he would have a small permanent reduction in retirement benefits because of the five months of early retirement he received before disability benefits began. (I suggest that he also check with his employer to see if they have a short-term or long-term disability policy under which he is covered.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  11. Mari says:

    My husband retired at age 60. At 62 he started receiving regular SS
    payments at a reduced amount. He has been under medical care for kidney failure for 5 plus years and now requires dialysis. Can he apply for SS disability benefits? DOB 1948.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mari,

      No disability benefits are available after a person reaches full Social Security retirement age, which for your husband would be age 66. If he became disabled more than five full calendar months before his 66th birthday, he can apply for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  12. Louis says:

    Hi Kay,

    I am applying for Medicare. I am 65 now (birthday in March). On the medicare application, they ask if I “want to receive reduced benefits while waiting for the disability decision?”

    If I say “Yes”, what impact does this have on my retirement benefits?

    Thank You Kay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Louis,

      If you choose to receive reduced Social Security Retirement benefits now, your benefit will be permanently reduced. However, if you are not working now or are earning less than $15,480 gross this year, it could be to your advantage to take the reduced benefit. I suggest that before you make the decision, you talk with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative) and ask them to tell you the dollar amount and percentage of reduction you would have if you take reduced retirement before age sixty six and how many years would pass (i.e. how old you would be) before you started to lose money over all.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  13. Rita says:

    I am going to be 62 in June and I am going to apply for early SSR to help supplement our income. I am working fulltime at this time. I have a lot of medical issues and if I was to become disabled within the next 3 yrs would I qualify for Disability benefits and Medicare? Would my SS check increase and then go back down to what the decrease amount I am going to receive? DOB 1952..Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rita,

      If you are earning little enough to allow payment of reduced Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits while you are working and then become disabled, you could receive Social Security Disability benefits for the months before you reach your full retirement age (age sixty-six). You would receive Medicare the earlier of age sixty-five or your twenty-fifth month of disability benefits. At full retirement age, your benefits would be adjusted downward for any months of reduced retirement benefits before your disability benefits began. This means that your retirement benefit would be less than your disability benefit but more than your retirement benefit at age sixty-two.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  14. Frank Zoellner says:

    I have been receiving ssd since I was 50, when I become of normal ss retirement age, will my benefit decrease or stay the same? Thank you very much, frank

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Frank,

      Your Social Security benefit will stay the same when you transfer from disability to retirement benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  15. Frank Zoellner says:

    I forgot to give you my date of birth-1955. Thanks, frank

  16. Donna S says:

    Kay,

    I began getting early retirement benefits earlier this year at age 62. I have a disability but was told I did not have enough credits for disability. I am 4 short. I am getting a very small check and I have 2 questions. First will my current benefit be adjusted based on earned income I will have before my full retirement age of 66. I will make well below the penalty income level. Second I should have enough credits for disability this year How will that effect my benefits if I can now qualify for disability? Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      Retirement benefits are based on your thirty-five years of highest earnings. Your current retirement benefit will be increased only if your recent earnings are sufficiently more than earnings you had in one of the years used to calculate your benefit.

      If you become eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your benefit will increase to a level of unreduced retirement, which is the amount that you would have received at age sixty-six if you had not taken early retirement. Then at age sixty-six your benefit will change from disability to retirement again and will be reduced. The retirement benefit at that time will be higher than what you are getting now because you will have reduction only for the months you received reduced retirement benefits not for the disability months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. Frank Zoellner says:

    Many thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      You are welcome, Frank.

      • Mary says:

        I just got my SSD in Feb. after applying in July, I am on OWCP with pending opm. I want to get off of OWCP as soon as my opm is approved which will be in about 2-3 months from what they are telling me when does the offset start between SSD/OWCP? I am 56 .

  18. beth says:

    my husband became disabled after having heart surgery in 2008 he is 59 years old he gets 1.400 a month in disability. when he reach retirement age of 65 will it be converted over to social security and will his income increase or remain the same?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Beth,

      Your husband’s Social Security Disability will be changed to Social Security Retirement when he reaches full retirement age, which for him is either age sixty-six or sixty-six and two months. The amount will stay the same.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  19. Barb says:

    My husband was let go from his job as an RN after 32 yrs due to increase in confusion and memory. He has since been diagnosed with dementia. He was 61 when released of duty, and retired early at 62. Can he apply for disability now or is he receiving the best benefit now?? What about Medicare?? He is no longer able to care for himself and I have had to cut my hours drastically to care for him. Thank you so much for any insight!! So appreciated!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      You should start an application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) for your husband before the end of the month, if possible, to avoid possible loss of retroactive benefits. You can do this by going online to http://www.ssa.gov and beginning a disability applicatio. That will protect June as the filing month. You can complete the application later. Alternatively you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or go to a Social Security office before the end of the month and request an appointment to apply for him.

      Your husband is now receiving reduced early retirement benefits. If he is approved for SSDI, he will receive unreduced benefits. Additionally, after he has received twenty-four months of SSDI including retroactive months, he will be eligible for Medicare. If he has not already had cognitive testing to document his dementia, I recommend that you get in touch with his physician right away to arrange it.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Barb says:

        Thank you so much! I should add, he is now 64, and will be turning 65 in May of 2015. He also receives benefits for myself and our child who is a young minor. Would he lose this benefit if he applies for disability? He should receive Medicare next year anyways correct?? Thanks again!!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Barb,

          The disability benefits could be retroactive for as much as twelve months from the month of application; but even so, your husband would receive Medicare based on age before he would receive it based on disability. The dependent benefits would continue in a higher amount than now. When he reaches full retirement age (sixty-six) benefits will be changed back to retirement benefits reduced again for the years he previously received reduced benefits, but they will be higher than if he had never had years of disability benefits. It will definitely pay to apply to see if he can be approved for disability.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  20. I have been on FMLA from work since 4/1/14. I had bilateral SIJoint fusion surgery and also in 2008 lumbar surgery. The last surgery has left me in much pain sitting, standing, walking. Although PT will I.prove certain areas it is not expected that I will be able to sit painfree for more than 10 minutes indefinitely and will have limited mobility. I am currently on short term disability insurance which will last until 9/30/14. I was born in 1955. Should I apply for SSDI now, as returning to work is doubtful. What am I entitled to? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary Lynn,

      If you cannot work standing or walking and all the occupations you have done in the past have required extended sitting, then you may be eligible. The only way to find out is to apply for benefits. You can get an estimate of what your benefit would be by requesting an earnings record statement (not a benefit statement) from Social Security either online or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  21. Also…will I have to pay back any of the short or long term disability payments that I received prior to getting SS Disability. Thanks. M.Lynn

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary Lynn,

      Most short-term and long-term disability policies reduce benefits when Social Security is paid for the same period. However, Social Security does not pay the the first five full calendar months of disability. You became disabled in April, so benefits would begin for October (paid in November) If you file now and your claim doesn’t pend long, you will not have much to repay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay
      Sincerely,

      Kay

  22. Barbara says:

    I began receiving disability social security in 2003 and now I am 67 years old and my SS has converted to regular SS. I recently found out that my ex husband died in Dec 2012 and was married to him for 15 years. I am not married now. I found out that I can file for 100 % of the amount of SS that he was receiving which is more than I receive now. Will I be eligible for retroactive pay and if so will it be for 6 months or 12 months since I did originally retire on disability and am still disabled. Just wondering if the change to regular SS after I turned 66 will affect the retroactive pay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barbara,

      The maximum retroactivity for survivor benefits is usually six months from the date of application for the widow’s benefits. Only disability benefits have twelve months retroactivity.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  23. Rita says:

    Hi Husbund has been on ssdi for 12 yr now 66 on 7/30 received letter and it reads that check for July will be received in August and as of July it says he is no longer entitle to disabilty Ben so we don’t know if we will get a check in July or not ??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rita,

      Both Social Security Disability and Social Security Retirement are paid the month following the month for which they are being paid. Your husband should receive his last disability check in July for June and his first retirement check in August for July.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Rita says:

    It says you will receive $ for July around August — any thoughts ?thx Rita

  25. Mike says:

    Kay…my partner been on disability for years and turns 66 this week. We got a letter stating changeover.. will he still get cola each year….also..i am 63 but cant retire till 66….will getting married be plus or negative…mike

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mike,

      Social Security Retirement benefits receive cost-of-living increases on the same basis as disability benefits do. Unless one of you is a widower and eligible on a deceased spouse’s Social Security record, I cannot see a Social Security disadvantage in marrying.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  26. Linda says:

    I am receiving early sir benefits. If my ex of over ten years predeases me, can I convert my benefits to his greater amount? I am 65

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      Yes, assuming your have not remarried, you can switch from your retirement benefit to a widow’s benefits when your former spouse dies.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  27. Diane says:

    My husband started receiving retirement Social Security at 65 while working. One year later he fractured his skull and has been disabled ever since. Does he qualify for any other disability benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      Individuals who have reached full retirement age are not eligible for Social Security or SSI disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  28. Dave says:

    I have been on SS disability since the summer of 2006. I am also on Medicare. I turn 65 next month in August. My employer is retiring me out as of my 65th birthday next month. Once I switch over to SS retirement, will my monthly payments stay the same as they was before? My employer is retiring me at age 65 instead of age 66. Thank you very much

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      Social Security will switch you to retirement benefits at your full retirement age. At that time, the amount will stay the same as your disability benefit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  29. Dave says:

    Hi there, I have a 2nd question. As I said in the last post I sent you I begin drawing regular Social Security after my 65th birthday in August. Now my wife, who also turns 65 in August, she had not worked in several years, can she apply for and draw her regular Social security at the same time I draw mine? THanx again

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      If your wife has enough credits for retirement, she can apply for benefits at age sixty-five. The benefit will be slightly reduced because she is taking it before her full retirement age of sixty-six.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  30. jimmy says:

    I turn 62 on 10/27/1952..I’ve been on ssdi for 3yrs…do I have to apply for early retirement if I choose to retire at age 62.because my disabling conditions haven’t changed if anything gotten worse.social security informed me via mail when I first got my ssdi that in three yrs they would reevaluate my condition…I diagnosed with fibromialga, spinal cervical disease, degenerative dics disease, depression,,,arachatitis…I. want know what my next move should be …

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      Social Security Retirement benefits are reduced substantially at age sixty-two. Stay on your disability benefits as long as you believe you are disabled or until Social Security tells you otherwise. If they review your claim and terminate benefits, you can both appeal and file for reduced retirement at that time. If your disability is reinstated you will be paid back pay for the difference between the reduced retirement and the higher disability benefit, which is equal to unreduced retirement.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  31. Vickie Cox says:

    I was planning on leaving my job and filing for disability due to medical issues that were preventing me from continuing my job. I was having difficulty concentrating and keeping focused along with some other physical issues. Fortunately, before I did so, my company offered voluntary severance which I took and have been off work since 12/31/13. I just turned 63 and am going to file for disability. If I understand correctly, I can then go ahead and file for early retirement benefits so that I have income while waiting for approval. Thanks for you help.

  32. Dave says:

    Thank you Kay for your advice. We really appreciate it!

  33. Tammy says:

    Disabled male vet, aged 62, on early retirement benefits- can he switch to disability benefits? His disability happened many years before he took early retirement (as a result of his military service). Not sure why he did not apply for disability instead of early retirement, but wondering if it is too late to try and switch him?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammy,

      Your friend can apply for disability if he is disabled from all occupations he has performed in the past and, if approved, he can switch over to disability benefits. He will have to prove that he became disabled while he was fully and currently insured for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  34. Betty Sue says:

    The company I worked for put me on short term disability because I was not able to do my job any more because of heavy lifting, injuring my shoulders. I am 65, but intended to work until I was 70. I took out and paid every week for extra long term disability coverage. My short term disability payments will only be around 300.00 a week. Since I am 65, have paid in SS for 40 years and took out extra disability coverage, can I go ahead and file for my early SS benefits, (not SS Disability, but regular SS retirement benefits) and still draw my short and long term disability payments? Thank You, Betty

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Betty Sue,

      You can probably do as you suggest; however, it is possible that that your short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits will be reduced by the Social Security. If this is the case, then you might consider either applying for Social Security Disability or waiting to get Social Security retirement until you are at full retirement age (sixty-six) to avoid a permanent reduction. I suggest that you read your STD and LTD policies to familiarize yourself with the provisions of your policies.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Betty Sue says:

        Thank You very much for the information. I cannot find any information on this and did not get a policy for my LT and ST disability. Since I was sent home from my job against my wishes and not allowed to return, it would seem that I would be allowed to do so, since I paid every week for my LTD insurance and am allowed to draw my regular retirement benefits, regardless… I wonder if anyone else has had this happen? I appreciate your help and replying so quickly.
        Betty

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Betty Sue,

          You have a right to get a copy of your policy. You can ask the insurance company directly if you think your employer will not provide it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  35. Julie says:

    I have been receiving SSDI & SSI since I was 30. My birthday is December 8 and I will be 67. Do I need to apply for retirement benefits? I have been working at Build resources In California for over 20 years. Please advise me.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julie,

      You will automatically be switched from Social Security Disability to Social Security Retirement when you reach full retirement age. The benefit amount will remain the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  36. David says:

    Hi Kay, I was on SS disability for eight years. I turn 65 this month and I will go from SS disability to SS retirement pay. My wife signed up for SS retirement as well. Will we be taxed by the government every month for our monthly SS checks? How much tax do they take out? I was not taxed when I was on disability. Will they automatically take taxes out from the start? And will they take out for Federal, an State taxes? Thank you again for your help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Taxation of Social Security Disability and Retirements are the same. You have to request to have federal taxes withheld from your Social Security. You cannot have state taxes withheld. If you will owe state taxes, you will have to file estimated tax returns. The IRS can provide you with a worksheet to figure out whether any of your Social Security will be taxable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  37. David says:

    And one more question, Once my wife and I start receiving SS monthly retirement pay. Willl they tax our monthly amounts from the start or will they not take anyting out thru the year but hit us up for it all come income tax time? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Please see my response to your previous question. If you request tax withholding, it will be withheld every month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  38. Peggy DuPont says:

    I currently receive SSDI. I am on a ticket to work program and work part-time earning less than 13000.00 yearly. Will my benefit increase at full retirement age? If so at what percentage? I was born in 1955.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Peggy,

      The calculation of benefits is a complex formula executed by computer calculation, so I can not give you a specific answer. In general, for your benefits to increase, your current annual earnings have to be sufficiently higher than the lowest year previously used to calculate your benefit. When you work, the calculation is done automatically in the fall of each year and you will be notified late in the year if your prior year’s earnings give you an increase in benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lauri says:

      This is interesting, I thought if you made over $1070 a month it was considered gainful employment by SSA and you’d lose your SSDI benefits?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Lauri,

        If a person receiving Social Security Disability has not recovered medically, he or she can earn more than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is currently $1,070, during the nine-month Trial Work Period. During the following thirty-six month Extended Period of Disability, benefits are paid in any month that earnings are below SGA.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  39. Susan says:

    Hi Kay, I am 64,my full retirement age is 66 .I have not worked since this july due to 2 herniated discs.my job requires lifting patients,pulling
    pushing beds .I don’t think that I can go back to work.i want to apply for disability .If I get approved,my income will be same as when I get my regular social security income at age 66 or lower. Also I am planning to apply for Medicare on next May when I turn 65. Will applying for disability with cause any problem.Please advise. Thanks very much Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      Social Security Disability benefits are paid at the same rate as full unreduced retirement benefits. You can apply for both disability benefits and Medicare at age sixty-five.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. Lauri says:

    Hi Kay,

    I’ve been on SSDI since my early 30′s, I’m now 54. I’m attempting a trail work period this month – 20 hours a week through the ticket-to-work program. I attempted this unsuccessfully last year and was reviewed within weeks by SSA. I’m giving it another try at only half the hours this time. What if a worse case scenario happens and I lose both my benefits and still can’t work, how would retirement benefits work for someone who can’t build up any more credits? I am divorced and realize I could get a reduced amount based off my ex-husbands record, but my current SSDI payment would be higher.

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lauri,

      If you are still receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) at the time you reach full retirement age, your retirement benefit will be the same as your disability benefit. If you become ineligible for SSDI before retirement age and do not work, it is possible that your retirement benefit could be less than your disability benefit because the retirement benefit (when not preceded by disability benefits) is calculated based on thirty-five years of work. Years that you receive SSD are excluded from the formula and do not have a negative effect on retirement benefits, but years of no work and no SSDI could result in years of zero earnings being included in the calculation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  41. Glenn Smiley Robinson says:

    Your advice although addressed to others was very informative thank you

  42. Aaron says:

    1952 YOB: I last worked August 2011. I become disable the next year and filed for SSDI Dec 2012, I will meet the SSDI Law Judge in Nov this year right after my 62nd birthday the same month. I want to apply for early retirement at 62. Should I wait after the Judges decision, or apply now. If I apply for early retirement will retroactive pay be off set or any at all if the decision is in my favor? Thanks Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Aaron,

      You can apply for and receive Social Security reduced retirement while you are waiting for a decision on your Social Security Disability claim. If you are approved for disability benefits, you will be switched to disability and the difference between the disability rate and the reduced retirement rate will be paid for the overlapping months. The full disability benefit will be paid for months before the retirement benefits start.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  43. Wanda Butler says:

    I have been on Worker’s Comp since 1997, I turned 62 in 2013 and now I am 63 still on Worker’s Comp and Social Security Retirement. I received a letter September 8; 2014 that my worker’s comp has been offset because I opted to take an early retirement. I am not on Social Security Disability, just SSR early. Now, Worker’s compensation is saying I owe it back. I get 853.00 per month, now reduces to $636.00. Workers Comp said it was done intentionally and can be punished by jail time. Also, second part I was receiving $1653.00, reduced to 853.00 because IME doctor said I could go back to work I am not able to return to the workforce due to a severe injury sustained on the job. I am paying the price for negligence of the government. I can not pay my bills and they continuously reduce my pay. Help, please

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wanda,

      It is my understanding that in states in which Social Security is reduced by workers comp benefits, the offset applies only to Social Security Disability and not to retirement benefits. It sounds as if you live in a state that reduces workers comp by Social Security and not the other way around. It is possible that the law is different in such a state and includes offset for Social Security early retirement. You can appeal the decision and request a copy of the law that says that workers comp is offset by (reduced by) early SS retirement. It could also be advisable to contact a workers comp attorney in your state for guidance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  44. Wanda Butler says:

    I meant to ask if you receive Worker’s Comp can you receive your SS too without an offset, by Worker’s Comp. Not SSDI, but SS because you turn 62 and are eligible to draw it.

  45. mom says:

    I have been receiving OWCP and SS disability I don’t know if it was supposed to be reduced. I was never asked or told about it. Am I gonna have to pay back anyone for getting overpaid. I am now 62 and they are telling me I need to file for retirement.

  46. Charlie Kay says:

    Hi, I was born in 1953 and in 6 months I will be eligible for early retirement at 62. I have also been on workers comp. these last 6 months. I understand that my comp. settlement may be used to offset SSDI and medicare if i file for that. Would I be better off to take my early retirement and not worry about paying an offset then later apply for SSDI? Or should I go a head and apply for SSDI anyway? I make $1,180.00 weekly from my comp. My SSDI would pay me $2,132.00 monthly. if I take early social security retirement that would be $1,612.00 monthly. I just don’t want to make a costly bad decision. I’m guessing my comp. settlement could be around $25,000.
    Thank you for your time , CK

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Charlie Kay,

      I would consider applying for Social Security Disability because the offset is not dollar for dollar. You can receive SSDI and workers compensation equaling eighty percent of your current average earnings (as determined by Social Security) at time of disability. This amount is usually more than either benefit alone. (Note that for the purposes of the offset the workers compensation settlement will be prorated out at a monthly rate Additionally, the reduction for taking early retirement benefits is permanent. If you get on SSDI, you will not have that reduction. Also, if you qualify for SSDI, you will become eligible for Medicare after twenty-four months of benefits before the usual eligibility age of sixty-five. Lastly, when you reach full retirement age, you will automatically be converted to Social Security Retirement benefits and the offset will stop.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  47. Kim Perry says:

    My mom had to retire early because of her health and has now passed away. She was receiving social security retirement benefits, but could she have also received disability from social security? She received $1400 per month.

    Thank you,

    • Kay Derochie says:

      You can apply posthumously for disability benefits if your mother became disabled at least six months before her her full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  48. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    My husband passed away on. 18 Nov 2012. At the time he was 65yrs10months (DOB 2 Feb 1947) At the time he was receiving early
    Retirement Social Security benefits. He retired early for health reasons.
    When I went to claim widows benefits, the representative told me I should apply for posthumous disability, which I did The representative asked me for an onset date which I gave as 10 March 2010. After many inquiries I was told by telephone that he had been approved and two deposits of $1914(back payment for one year) were made to my bank account. I never received a determination letter. I am currently receiving a widows benefit based on his early retirement benefit. Am I entitled to receive a widows benefit based on his disability benefit which would have been his full benefit at 66? While I received the back payment for I year my widow’s benefit was never adjusted. I have no idea what date his determination was based on. He worked 38 years at maximum FICA deductions
    Thank-you for any advise you can offer.

    Jennifer

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      It is possible that your survivor’s benefit should be increased because your husband’s early retirement reduction of benefits would have been less with some months changed to disability benefits. I can see that this “detail” could easily have been overlooked. I recommend that you formally request a recalculation of your widow’s benefits based on the facts you outlined. Also, you have a right to a letter of approval on the disability determination that includes the disability onset date that was established. Letters can arrive two to three weeks after the money does. If it has been longer than that, you can ask for a letter. In the meantime, you can ask a representative to check the computer for the date of the disability onset.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank-you for the information. When I applied for widows benefits, the representative asked for the date of his disability onset, and frankly I pulls a number out of the blue that seemed close to his retirement date. I,
        not being familiar with the system assumed that when SSA examined his medical records would establish the disability onset date. He took early retirement at age 60and received a social security supplement from his employer until he reached 62. That is why he took the early SS benefit. What he actually should have done is applied 6months before his 62nd birthday for SSDI. Because I never received the determination letter( the SSA representative said the letter was never sent) I was granted an appeals hearing. That was last September and the hearing is scheduled for 23 October 2014. The attorney who I saw when the appeal was granted is now telling me that even if the medical evidence is accepted, the SSDI cannot be granted retroactively. I am not asking for back payments, I understand those can only be paid for one year, but for all those years he paid in at the max , it would certainly be nice to receive the full widow’s benefit. From what I read here it seems like that is possible. If I turns out to be the case, would his benefit have been the full amount he was eligible for in February of 2009? Additionally would his benefit have been increased for COLA up until 2012? And would that be the amount that I would have been eligible for in November of 2012? I was 65 and 10 months at the time. Thank-you so much in advance for your time in reading and responding to this lengthy question.

        Jennifer
        ep

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jennifer,

          Only the months for which disability benefits would have been payable (the maximum twelve months) can be changed from retirement to disability, so the maximum cancellation of monthly reductions is for twelve months or about 6% total as I figure it. However, your situation is a bit complex, so I recommend following the advice of your attorney regarding understanding whatever decision is rendered and regarding appealing if it is unfavorable.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  49. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    Sorry two more questions. If they won’t go back, would his benefit be reduced for 11 months or for 17 months? What is the monthly reduction
    rate? Thanks again.

    Jennifer

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      Please see my response to your prior posting. The reduction ratio is 5/9 of 1% per month for the first 36 months of reduction and 5/12 of 1% for each additional reduction month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  50. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    Thank-you so much, I think I am finally getting a grasp on the basics of these computations and realizing what a labyrinth it is! You have been extremely helpful. I don’t feel like I’m trying to solve an equation with all unknowns anymore and I think know what questions to ask my attorney.

    Jennifer

  51. Matt G says:

    I started receiving Social Security Disability in 2007 at the age of 55. I understand that when I turn 66, my disability will become social security retirement and I will continue receiving the same amount, which was originally reduced because I am living outside of US. I am planning to continue living abroad; will I continue getting the reduced amount when I turn 66?

    Thank you!

    Matt G

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Matt,

      I am not familiar with Social Security Disability being reduced due to foreign residency. I imagine that it will stay the same at retirement; however, I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration to find out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  52. Raul says:

    I was receiving SSDI while receiving Workers Comp in 2012..Now SS wants all the money I received for the last 2 years..Initially I informed the SS office of the injury while receiving Workers Comp..My problem is SS said I never informed them of the Workers income. Doesn’t the SS office run a check to verify a person s income before approving the application?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Raul,

      Social Security (SSDI) is not a public assistance program like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) so you income is not checked. You can ask for waiver of collection of the overpayment if you were not at fault in causing it and cannot afford to repay. You can ask that your original application be examined to show that you declared the worker’s comp when you applied or you can submit a copy of it if you kept a copy. If you did declare the workers comp and if you did not realize there would be an offset, you could be found not at fault. Even if the request for waiver is denied, you can ask for a repayment plan. Also note, that they are probably are not asking for your full benefit back because you are allowed to have workers comp and SSDI equal to 80% of your current average earnings before becoming disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  53. Kathy says:

    I filed for SSD in 2005 at which time I was 55 years old, It was awarded in 2007. I started receiving Medicare January 2008. I am still on SSD and will be 62 years old in Dec. (born in 1952). Do I have to do anything or do I actually retire at the age of 66 at which time it becomes SSR.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Your benefit amount will continue unchanged, except for cost-of-living adjustment, throughout your lifetime. When you reach full retirement at age sixty-six, you will be converted automatically to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  54. chrisiden says:

    Dear Kay,
    im a cancer survivor since 2000. in 2001 i applied and received for ss disability and as of today at 64, i am receiving my check monthly with medicare.
    at age 66 will my check change?, or will i receive the same amount plus annual cost of living increases..?
    …also, my check is about half of my retired friends ss checks…
    is there anything at all i can do to increase the amount of my check?
    also, does the amount of my check change if i inherit a home?

    thanks so much for your valuable time.
    chrisiden

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Chrisiden,

      Your Social Security will remain the same when you reach full retirement age. You will continue to receive cost of living adjustments. Your benefit is probably less than your retired friends because you stopped working and earning before they did. The only way you could increase your benefits would be to work and earn enough to change the benefit calculation, which if you are disabled would presumably not be possible. Inheriting a home will not affect your Social Security disability.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  55. Fred says:

    I have been receiving SSDI since June 10, 1996, I have also been receiving $250.00/weekly from Workers Compensation since August 7, 1995. In February of 1997, Social Security needed copies of my workers compensation award notices, which I sent. Since then I have not had any problems and I have been paid every month with no incident. I received a letter from Social Security stating that I was overpaid $20.264.00 on Oct 20 2014. They stated that this overpayment was for June 2011 through September 2014, with no explanation of why. I do not work, I am 62 and do not understand what could have caused this. Social Security wants full payment in 30 days. My payments have never changed for 20 years except for COLA. I would appreciate any information you could offer me at this time.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Fred,

      Quickly file a request for reconsideration of the fact of the overpayment and in that appeal request a copy of the calculation and the reason for the overpayment and request that no decision be made until you get the facts you need to respond fully in the appeal. Also, file a request that no collection be made until your appeal rights have been met.

      If you end up agreeing you are overpaid or lose the appeal, request waiver of repayment based on not being at fault (you reported the workers comp and have had no change in workers comp and haven’t worked–I assume you haven’t) and either you can’t afford to repay (you will be required to submit financial information) or that repayment would be unfair for some reason.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Fred says:

        Thank you so much Kay. I went to SS today and handed in my form for reconsideration, along with papers showing that SS knew about my Workers Comp.I will write another letter asking for the calculations and the reason for the overpayment. SS said the reconsideration will take anywhere from 30-60 days. I have not worked since I was forced to leave on a disability.That was in 1992. I will go there again tomorrow and also in writing ask for a request that no collection be made until my appeal rights have been met. I thank you again for all your information and will keep you updated on my situation

  56. Fred says:

    I forgot to mention that I was receiving 1711.00 a month from SS. They have now reduced my monthly payment to 1225.00. A difference of 486.00
    Thank you.
    Fred

  57. anthony says:

    I am 31 going on 32 I’ve been receiving ssa for about 7 yrs can I go back to work and claim retirement later on in the future and will They charge me thanks

  58. anthony says:

    I need to kno this cause my lawyers are saying that as a can charge 25000 dollars if I let my ssa go

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Anthony,

      I am responding to both your messages. If you have a claim pending and want to go back to work, you can still pursue ;your claim and be approved for benefits for a limited period of time, if you were disabled for at least twelve months. If you are approved, your attorneys would be entitled to benefits. I do not know what the law is or the contract you have with the attorney, so I can not advise you regarding what will happen if your drop your claim in the middle of an appeal.

      If you are already receiving benefits and wish to return to work, either your benefits will stop or if you have not recovered medically, they could continue for a while under the return to work incentive provision.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  59. Mary says:

    Hi I read a story from Mari dated May 27, 2014. My husband is in the
    same situation. In June 2014, my husband was told that he would be
    needing dialysis, he has now started dialysis two days ago Nov. 4th, and will need dialysis for life. My husband applied for disability and was immediately denied because he will be 66 years in 30 days(12/6/48). He was told that he would have had to apply 5 months before turning 66. Is this correct?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary,

      It is correct that your husband is not eligible for Social Security Disability if he became disabled less than five full calendar months before his full retirement age of sixty-six. He can apply for Medicare because he is over sixty-five and he can apply for retirement benefits now.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Mary says:

        So the date of the start of dialysis treatment is what determines the 5 months before his 66 birthday which
        is on Dec 6? His kidney failure started at least 10 years ago, higher creatinine levels started appearing in
        Jan maybe Feb. 2014.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Mary,

          The date of dialysis may or may not be the beginning of your husband’s date of disability. The date that he stopped working or dropped below $1,070 gross earnings because of his health would be the disability date to claim. If that is five full calendar months or less before the month of his sixty-sixth birthday (full retirement age) he is not eligible for disability benefits because of the five-month unpaid waiting period.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  60. Myrna Molina says:

    I began receiving SSD on 2001 at age 51. My husband passed on in 1996. I just found out that I may be eligible to receive survivors benefits since I am over 60. Since my husband was employed at the time of death, am I eligible for survivors benefits on a deceased spouse’ social security benefits. Any information would be appreciated.

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Myrna,

      You may be eligible for reduced widow’s benefits at age sixty. I suggest that you go to Social Security and talk with a claims representative to decide whether it is better to take a survivor benefit now or it would be better for you to leave it until you can get the full benefit at your full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  61. Sue D. says:

    My birthday is Oct. 29, 1952. I was on disability by 2000. My husband divorced me in 2009 after a 25 yr. marriage. The court papers have spousal support ending at age 65 (I will not reach 66 until a year later). I am trying to find out when the 65 year date became 66. I would like to take regular SS at 66 but that means a year without spousal support. When did 65 become 66? I know that I can choose to receive half of his at 66 which would be more than mine at 66. If 66 came after the divorce year I am thinking of filing an amendment to the papers.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sue,

      Without doing research, I can’t provide the exact year that the change took place, but I believe it was about 2003 or earlier. I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration for the exact date. If you take your husband’s benefit at age sixty-five, the reduction will be 6%. A claims representative can help you calculate how many years you would have to receive the reduced benefit before you would start losing money if you were to choose to take the benefit early. Also, keep an eye on Medicare to be sure the age for Medicare based on age does not increase from sixty-five.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      S

  62. bhagat says:

    My wife is on SSDI since feb 2011. she is now 61 yrs and 2 months. I am 67 yrs and is on federal workers compensation being paid by federal workers comp since may 2014. I have not applied for SSR as yet.wish to delay it till 70 yrs of age and I wish to apply for spousal benefit now. Would this spousal benefit payment from social security will affect my workers compensation payment or workers compensation payment will affect my spousal benefit from SSA.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Bhagat,

      Because you are full retirement age, you cannot apply for spousal benefits without applying for your own retirement benefits. Spousal benefits supplement one’s own retirement benefits if the spousal benefit is higher than your own benefit. There is no workers compensation offset against Social Security retirement benefits and, as far as I know, vice versa. Check with your workers compensation carrier to be sure. Note that you may be losing money over all by waiting till you are age seventy to claim benefits. It takes a long time collecting benefits at a higher rate to make up for the loss of three years of benefits. I suggest that you discuss your options with a Social Security claims representative

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • bhagat says:

        Thank you very much. I am 67 years ,my spouse is on SSDI and is 61 yrs and 1 month I am told that I can apply for spousal benefit if I apply for my social security retirement and suspend it and then apply for spousal benefit. Is it so, also if I can would this spousal benefit payment effect my workers compensation payment or vice versa.
        Thank you once again.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Bhagat,

          You cannot receive a spouse’s retirement benefit without taking your own retirement benefit. If you suspend one benefit, you must suspend both. Workers compensation and Social Security retirement benefits do not affect each other.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  63. CLc says:

    Wondering if your spouse is on disability from age 54 and now is 62 and spouse is 62 can the spouse collect SS from his disability social security. Maybe you can tell me how this works. Spouse never worked but can she be eligible to collect from husband. Thanks much

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear CLC,

      Reduced Social Security spouse’s benefits can begin at age sixty-two. Full, unreduced benefits are payable at full retirement age, which depending on your spouse’s date of birth would be age sixty-six to age sixty-seven. However, benefits are payable only if the husband is receiving Social Security benefits. If the spouse is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability, the SSI will be reduced by the amount of the Social Security spouse’s benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  64. Octavia Jefferson says:

    Hi my mom retired in 2012 at the age of 55 and receive a retirement check. Now 2014 she suffered a major stroke and applied for disability which was recently approved under the medical requirements we are now waiting for the status on non medical requirements to see if she is approved for that part. She does not work and health wise she is unable to work… my question is once an official approval is made how will this effect her retirement check.. Will she continue to get her retirement check and the disability check or will it be transform in to one check and will it reduce or increase.. thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Octavia,

      Your mother’s retirement check must be coming from her past employer and not from the Social Security Administration. If she paid Social Security taxes on the work earnings that qualified her for the retirement benefit, then her Social Security Disability should have not effect on her retirement benefit or vice versa.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  65. Marilyn says:

    I am 63 years old and have been collecting disability for about 10 years. My husband is currently 65 and his full retirement age is 66. He is thinking about suspending his social security until 70 and continue working until that time. I collect more that what 1/2 his full retirement benefit will be at 66 so I’m planning just to keep on collecting my own benefit. Will he be able to take a spousal benefit from my social security benefit when I reach 66 and my disability changes over to regular social security – or since I make about less than what his full retirement benefit would be at 66, would they not let him suspend his benefit and wait until 70 to collect. Can a spousal benefit only be taken against the highest earner’s retirement benefit. Hope my question is clear (even sounds confusing to me). I’d like to keep collecting my benefit and have him suspend his and take a spousal benefit against mine. Is that do-able?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Marilyn,

      A person cannot apply for spousal dependent benefits without applying for one’s own retirement; so, no, your husband cannot draw on your Social Security while deferring collection of his own retirement benefit. I suggest that he have a Social Security claims representative figure out if it is advantageous for him to defer collection of benefits to age 70 rather than collecting full benefits while working at full retirement age of sixty-six.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  66. Marilyn says:

    I guess it would be easier to explain if I just use the dollars involved. I currently collect $1560 and his full retirement benefit at 66 would be approx. $2100 ( so 1/2 of that would be less than what I am currently getting and, therefore, not help us out financially). When I reach 66 (he would then be 67 and 8 months), could he take a spousal benefit of 1/2 of my $1560 plus whatever COLA adjustments I get from now until then (he would have previously suspended his benefit at 66 and continued to work) or does social security not let him do that and force him to either unsuspend his account and take his own benefit or just keep his on suspension and wait to collect at 70 and not be able to take any advantage from my benefit. Thanks so much for being patient with me – hope that makes it a little more clear.

  67. KL says:

    Hello,
    I am 47 and on SSDI since march 2014 and will remain on SSDI with no improvement. My husband is 54 and still working full time. When I reach full retirement age at 66 will I be able to draw my husbands social security? My SSDI is only $727 a mo and my husbands SS would be a lot more. I have had several different people tell me that I can draw my husbands SS once I reach 66. Is this true? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear KL,

      If your husband is receiving Social Security when you turn sixty-six, you can receive benefits from his account if half of his unreduced benefit is more than your disability benefit. If so, you will receive from his record the difference between the wife’s benefit and your disability benefit. If he were to pass away, at full retirement age, you could switch to his benefit and receive an amount equal to 100% of his benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  68. Dorthy says:

    Kay,
    I am reciving disability,, not ssi,,, but ssd,,, I just turned 59, a friend told me I mite be able to get more under my husbands social security retirement claim, can you tell me if this is true or not,, husband is 76 and getting retirement,, thanks
    Dorthy

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dorthy,

      You must be at least sixty-two years old to receive spouse’s benefits. At age sixty-two the benefit would be reduced and the reduction would permanent. At your full retirement age, you could potentially receive an amount equal to half of your husband’s benefits. If he were to pass away before you, at your full retirement age, you could receive an amount equal to his full benefit. If you take widows benefits before your full retirement age, they would be reduced.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  69. Larry Howes says:

    Hi Marilyn,
    I am 61. born in 1953 , I am currently receiving SSID and i am contemplating taking early retirement at age 62. how if any will my benefits be affected?
    Thank you.
    Larry

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Larry,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), your disability benefit is more than reduced retirement. If you continue to receive SSDI, when you reach full retirement age, you will continue to receive the same amount as your disability benefit at the time.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  70. Cheryl says:

    I started receiving social security before full retirement age. I was just approved for permanent disability. Will that effect the monthly amount that I have been receiving

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Cheryl,

      Your benefit will increase to the disability rate, which is the same as full retirement. When you reach full retirement age, your benefit will be decreased for the months in which you took early retirement, unless you retroactively get disability benefits for those months. If your benefit at full retirement age is reduced from the disability rate, it will still be more than your current reduced retirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  71. Peggy says:

    My husband has been on disability and will soon convert to regular social security. Since his disability amount will not change when he converts, would I be able to receive his total monthly amount, if he should predecease me. I have not started my retirement at this time. If I took retirement at 62 at reduced rate, would I be able to apply for widows benefit and then collect the difference of my early retirement and what he draws currently?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Peggy,

      If your husband were to pass away before you reach full retirement age and you decided to take the widow’s benefit, the benefit would be reduced. You can choose to take your own reduced retirement and leave the widow’s benefit until you are full retirement age and then switch to the full unreduced widow’s benefit, which would be equal to your husband’s full benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  72. Barb says:

    Hello,
    I have asked you a question before, and you were extremely helpful. My husband was let go from his job (RN of 32yrs) because of cognitive impairment. He was 61. Retired at 62 due to a decline in condition. I applied for SSDI for him, and just received an approval letter for the medical part, but didn’t realize there is a non medical part. He has paid into social security from 1975-2011. I am concerned about our income though, is there a certain amount that will disqualify him?? I make about $600-$800 a month, and that amount will go down as his condition worsens. They only other income we have is his social security. Do they count his income (SS)?? Thank you so much for any information you can give!
    Barb

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      For Social Security Disability (SSD), the non-medical eligibility refers to finalizing that he is insured and getting payment processed. From what you are telling me, there should be no problem with that. His SSD will be higher than his reduced retirement. (When he reaches full retirement age at sixty-six, the benefit will drop a little bit for any months of reduced retirement before disability benefits started.) Your income will not affect his Social Security. If his retirement benefit is low enough to allow potential eligibility to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits (less than $741 in 2014 and less than $753 in 2015), then your income will be considered in determining whether he is financially eligible for SSI.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  73. Ronda says:

    Hi Kay,

    My husband applied for benefits back in 2004 at age 61 and was denied.We appealed the decision and lost again and again then we filed a federal appeal it was then overturned and remanded back. My husband went to his ALJ Hearing on October 27. The former ALJ had erred in his decision making by deciding that my husband wasn’t able to gain SGA but further down in step 4 I believe said that my husband could perform past relevant work which was deemed by the new V.E as not true. My husband did plaster/stucco work not drywall. But now has R.A, seronegative arthritis, gross anatomical deformity etc. The former V.E was called by phone in another state and said he could continue to work, however the V.E in the current appeal and looking at the same information as the prior V.E said this is not so, in fact my husband’s work history provided to him showed my husband’s work was an art that is very hard to learn and a craft more than a job. So with this being said there were no jobs that he could transition to this is what the V.E stated and that he Could no longer do this because of the various arthritis problems, lungs and breathing problems his lawyer said that everything looked promising it’s been 7 weeks. He’s waited over 8 years worth of appeals and even the federal court found an issue and remanded it, So why is it taking so long for a decision, and because he began to collect early retirement at 62 if the decision is in his favor how do they pay back benefits to early retiree’s and will they reduce his benefits after his adjustments and retirement age kicks in born in 1942.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rhonda,

      The overall length of time your husband has been pursuing his claim will not speed up this current review. The guideline for a decision is sixty days, but many take longer. If your husband is approved, the date his benefits start will be based on the original application currently under appeal. Therefore, benefits will begin the later of the sixth full calendar month after the date of disability accepted by the Social Security Administration or twelve months before his original application. For past disability months that overlap with retirement benefits, he will be paid the difference between his reduced retirement and the higher disability benefit Ongoing benefits will be at full, unreduced retirement rate, which is the same as the disability rate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  74. Candy smith says:

    Kay,
    I am on social security disability. Iam 55. If my husband dies, he collects social security- will I keep both benefits? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Candy,

      If your husband dies before you reach full retirement age (67), you will have the choice of keeping your Social Security Disability benefit or switching to a reduced widow’s benefit. If your husband’s unreduced benefit is higher than yours, it could be to your long-term advantage to stay on your own disability benefit until you reach full retirement and then switch to an unreduced widow’s benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  75. Sandra says:

    Im 48 and approved SSD due to neck injury at a Bank in 2014 and now permanently damaged and unable to work. I asked my previous other company that I worked there from 1990 to 2008 that I would like to get my early retirement fund due to being disabled. Ive sent them 3 different times of mails and documents and all denied from that company. First they said SSD administrator find me not disabled, next second letter says in order to approve you have to be 55 years old and last letter it says Im not active at the company. I don’t know what else to do.

    Sandra

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandra,

      Ask for a copy of the pension plan document that covered you when you were an employee; then have an attorney look at it to help you determine whether you are vested for benefits and are eligible for early retirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  76. Mae says:

    HI KAY,
    I AM 59 YRS. OLD AND RECEIVE DISABILITY GOING ON 2 YRS. NOW; MY HUSBAND IS 76 AND HE RECEIVE REGULAR SSI. SINCE I’M HIS SPOUSE,
    DOES HE GET AN INCREASE ON HIS CHECK BECAUSE OF MY DISABILITY?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mae,

      If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI), your husband can apply for spouse’s benefits on your account if he is receiving SSI, which is Supplemental Security Income. If he is actually receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, then he would apply on your account for spouse’s benefits only if his spouse’s benefit would exceed his own retirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  77. NormaLee McMichael says:

    Born May1953
    Worked for state government for ten years and will start receiving my retirement of $700 a month.
    I am currently on disability. The amount is around $1500 per month.
    Will they cut my disability by $700 and will I receive more at 67 or will they force me to take Social Security at age 62?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Norma,

      I am unable to answer your question about the calculation of your benefits. Check with the insurance company that is paying you disability benefits and request a copy of the policy as well. With regard to the Social Security question, most disability insurance policies do not require individuals to take early reduced Social Security; however, to be sure read you policy and/or talk with the benefit analyst.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  78. Leslie says:

    Husbands DOB 6/1/1952.
    1- If he retired in one year (12/2015) would his monthly benefit go up to the full retirement amount when he turns 66 in 2018?
    2- If he were to become disabled, would his monthly benefit change when he turns 66?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Leslie,

      The reduction for taking early retirement is permanent; your husband’s benefits would not increase when he reached full retirement age. However, if he were to become disabled after taking reduced retirement benefits and before full retirement age, his benefit would increase to a disability rate equal to full retirement and continue until he was age sixty-six. At that time, his benefit would be recalculated applying a reduction only for the months he received reduced retirement, not for any months he was eligible for disability benefits. The result would be that at sixty-six his benefit would go down, but it would be higher than the original reduced benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  79. Paul says:

    Hello Kay,

    I have several questions. I am receiving SSDI at 58 yo. I am most likely to receive an inheritance in the near future. My SSDI is around $1880/mo. and Medicare premiums around $105. Would this affect my amount in any way? If yes, is there anything I can invest in or do to shelter it? Another thing, I was never clear about if I have to FILE or to pay taxes. I am single with no other deductions besides the standard. Would you know? Also, if Medicare’s premium becomes outrageously high, can I opt out without SSDI cancelling? As of today’s rules, would any of these be affected when I hit full retirement age? Appreciate your reply. Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Paul,

      Your inheritance will not affect your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit and does not have to be reported. Check with the IRS about whether your income is low enough that you do not have tax liability and do not have to file.Under today’s rules, when you reach full retirement age, there will be no change in your benefits or Medicare coverage.

      With regard to opting out of Medicare, it may be the best insurance bargain in town. However, if you decide to opt out of Part B Medicare, it will not affect your eligibility for SSDI. Should you later want to reinstate it, you would have to wait to enroll until the annual open enrollment period in the last quarter of the year and coverage would not start until the following July and the premiums would be higher than if you remained insured continuously.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  80. Liz Williams says:

    Hello Kay

    I started receiving SSD Benefits in 2000. I received the Ticket To Work in 2005 and was working part time, 20 hrs per week for for 2 yrs as a clerk. I was offered a position in my field of expertise for the same amount of hours, but the pay would put my earnings way above my benefit check. I stopped the SSD check and continued to work the 20 hours per week. I was laid off the job and was collecting unemployment benefits. After a year of working, I was told that I had to reapply for SSD again if I wanted to receive a check again. I applied for early retirement at 62 a year and a half ago. I am unable to work any more because of this same qualifying disability. I will be 65 in March of 2015. Will I be able to get SSD Benefits again? I was born in 1950.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Liz,

      If your health hasn’t improved, you should be able to get benefits. If your benefits were stopped because you recovered medically for a whiel, then a new claim would be in order or if your benefits were terminated because you used up both your nine-month Trial Work Period and your thirty-six month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), you will also have to file a new claim. However, if you are within five years of your benefits ending after an EPE, you can request expedited reinstatement, which should speed up the claim process and also allow you to receive benefits without the unpaid five-month waiting period.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  81. Don Crosby says:

    Hi Kay:
    I have been on Social Security Disability since 1997. My wife receives a small supplement benefit when she retired. She receives her Social Security and the small supplement being I am on Social Security Disability. My wife is now 67 years old and my want to look for a part time job. If she decides to work part time will that effect the small supplement she is receiving being I am on Social Security Disability. Also would her working part time effect her own Social Security.
    Thank you,
    Don

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Don,

      Your wife has reached full retirement age, so her work earnings will not affect either her own retirement benefit or her wife’s benefit on your account. And, it will not affect your benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  82. ira says:

    Hello!
    I was born in 1955. This year, September 2015, I’ll be 60 years old. I am getting SSDI and SSI together since 2008 and the amount just $900. In 2 years I’ll receive my AA from a college. And I am thinking to go back to work. Can you give me some advice? When it is better to start to work, at early retirement, when I’ll be 62, or at 66, when my disability will turn to full retirement? How I can increase this amount?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ira,

      Let’s look at your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits first. If you are no longer disabled when you complete your AA degree because you have new education and skills that allow you to work with your limitation, your disability benefits will stop. If you have recovered now and are able to work, you need to report the recovery and your benefits will stop. If your medical condition will not be any better in two years and you are not sure whether you can sustain work, then your disability benefits may continue during a nine-month Trial Work Period at the disability rate. After that, during a thirty-six-month Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE), you will be paid only in months that you earnings don’t except Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is now $1,090 gross per month. You would continue to have Medicare during the thirty-six months bridging until you were eligible based on age. (Your work plus your Social Security would probably make your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to stop.

      With regard to retirement benefits, there’s no simple answer. What is more advantageous depends on how much you would be earning and your long-term income goals. Before full retirement age your annual Social Security benefit will be reduced one dollar for every two that you earn above the earnings limit for retirement, which in 2015 is $15,720. If you apply at age sixty-two and don’t receive benefits in some months due to earnings, at full retirement age, your benefit will be recalculated so that the ongoing reduction is only for the months you were actually received reduced benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  83. ira says:

    Dear Kay!
    Thank you very much for your answer.

  84. Karol says:

    Hi Kay,
    I have been receiving SSDI benefits since 2010, having retired in 2006. I have had 1 cdr (I’m 59, will be 60 end of this year) and received a letter from Social Security last week indicating that they do not need to review my case at this time. My question is: once I turn 62, will my benefits then be labeled as regular social security retirement benefits and not disability or will it change over when I turn 66 and 2 months? Thanks for all of your help.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karol,

      Your Social Security Disability benefits will become Social Security Retirement benefits when you reach full retirement age at age sixty-six and two months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  85. Ron Maves says:

    Dear Kay,

    I retired early at age 52 from my employer, due to the economy. They provided me with a supplement to my pension which was the amount of social security I would receive at age 62. Ten years later the supplement stopped, and now receive both pension and social security totaling the same amount with the pension and supplement.

    Had no choice but to take early social security at 62, because I couldn’t financially survive on half of my pension, once the supplement stopped.

    Recently diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, I might be facing surgery in the near future. If injections, physical therapy, medication or surgery aren’t helpful, I’m asking if it would be possible to sign up for total and permanent disability, and if so, would that amount be higher than the social security amount I now receive? Could I continue to draw those payments the rest of my life if the disability continued indefinitely?

    My normal social security retirement age is 66, and am currently 62.

    Thanks!

    Ron Maves

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ron,

      If you have been or expect to be disabled for a period of twelve months or more, you can apply for Social Security Disability. If you are approved, your benefit will increase to a disability rate that is higher than your current reduced retirement. When you reach full retirement age, your benefits would switch back to retirement benefits. At that time your benefit would be reduced for each month you received reduced retirement and were not eligible for disability benefits. That amount would continue throughout your lifetime.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  86. patricia says:

    Hello…I was born in 1951/July. October 1st, 2014 I had a pelvic exenteration with bladder removed and ended up with a colostomy and urostomy from cancer. I had worked through all previous treatments of chemo and radiation. I was in the hospital almost all of October. The doctor now says he is not comfortable with reporting for me to continue disability in California and is reporting for my return to work date Jan 14 the same day I have a follow up appt with him. I am an human resources and administrator of a large medical facility. I am not mentally or physically able to perform my job going forward. Would I qualify for SSDisability and when I turn retirement age and have the benefit increased with My regular social security benefits? I appreciate any help I can receive.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Patricia,

      You can apply for both Social Security Retirement and Social Security Disability (SSDI). The retirement benefit will be reduced for taking the benefit before your full retirement age. If you are also later approved for disability benefits, your benefit will increase to the disability rate, which is the same as the full retirement rate. When you reach full retirement age, you benefit will be recalculated with a small reduction for retirement benefits received before your disability benefits begin to accrue.

      If you are definitely apply for Social Security Retirement, start the application before the end of the month to avoid loss of benefits. Just go online and file the application at http://www.ssa.gov or call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment if you are unable to file online.

      I suggest that you talk with the doctor again about your symptoms and why you can’t work. Explain the physical and mental requirements of the job and the symptoms you are having–fatigue, etc.–to see if he will change his mind about the California SDI. Also, let him know that you are applying for SSDI.

      If you are denied SSDI, appeal with a Social Security attorney. You need legal assistance especially if your own doctor doesn’t support continuing disability. You can obtain a knowledgeable Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  87. I was retired 2009 my birth date is 08/31/1952 I am currently on SSD I turned 62 this past august I want to know do I have to file for retirement or is it automatic and is it permanent or do I have to wait till I am 65 and a half. I have to work part time it is getting harder for me to do that but hard to live on what to get if I need to work more now how much can I make each month or is it yearly I don’t ewant to loose my ssd benefit’s. I’ll need the amount to live on once I can’t work any more can you help me with this I called SS and they were veery vague I don’t want to mess up my income for later

    Thanx Georgia Matherly
    georgia8245@yahoo.com

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Georgia,

      Social Security retirement prior to full retirement is reduced and less than disability benefits. If you are still disabled and receiving benefits when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will be automatically changed to retirement benefits and you will continue to receive the same amount.

      While receiving disability benefits, if your gross earnings reach $1,090 per month, the earnings are considered substantial. After nine months of substantial earnings, benefits will be paid the following thirty-six months only for months in which your earnings are not substantial. You will not receive benefits for any months your earnings are substantial. If you have not reported your work to Social Security, you need to do so.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  88. Deb Carter says:

    Dear Kay,
    I went on disability in 2003. I am now 65. At age 63 I went to early retirement and went back to work. I am now disabled again and was told I could go back on disability without reapplying before I reach 66 in November 2015. How will all this affect my benefits? I’m trying to decide if it would behoove me to go back on disability. My benefits were about 500 more per month on disability. thank you.
    Deb

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Deb,

      If you are unable to work, yes, you should apply for Expedited Reinstatement of benefits and get switched to Disability benefits. not only will you have more income now, when you reach full retirement age, your retirement benefit will be recalculated to remove the reduction for months in which you qualified for disability benefits. Stated another way, your permanent retirement benefit amount will be higher if you go back on disability than if you don’t.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  89. Jill says:

    My husband was approved for SSD with the disability date of Jan 2014. Benefits began in July 2014 after the waiting period. May 2014, while awaiting the disability decision, he began drawing reduced social security benefits (one month before age 63).

    Question: When he reaches age 66, will his benefit be reduced because he drew reduced benefits before the waiting period was over OR does his benefit remain the same because his date of his disability was before he began drawing reduced benefits?

    Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jill,

      Your husband’s retirement benefit will be reduced slightly at full retirement age for the two months (May and June) he received reduced retirement before disability benefits began to accrue in July.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  90. Wayne says:

    HI, I started receiving ss at age 63, i was born in 1948. if i become totaly disabled at age 67 can i apply for ss disability benefits or will my ss simply continue at the same rate, thank you in advance for your answer.

  91. Diane says:

    Hi Kay,

    I am divorced and widowed. I have been on my ex husband’s disability benefits since I became 62 years old and stopped working after many years due to my own ailments. I would like to know if the benefits will change when I become 66 this coming April. Do I need to contact them or is this automatically change?

    Thanks,
    Diane

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      If you do not contact the Social Security Administration, your benefits will stay the same. I suggest that you contact Social Security to find out whether your retirement benefit on your own earnings record is higher than your widow’s benefit. If it is, you can apply to switch your own retirement.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  92. kim m says:

    I am not applying for disability because someone told me that drawing SSDI will decrease my funds for my SS later, is this true? I currently have a small annuity to live on which is just enough to get by on today’s prices, and I don’t want to decrease my SS for later, but I also do not want to miss out on SSDI if I am truly eligible and costs of living keep rising. I have tried to find an answer online, but most answers revolve around using a spouse’s benefits, and I’m single and plan to stay that way.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kim,

      Receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits will not reduce your retirement benefits. SSDI is paid a rate equal to what your benefit would be if you were at full retirement age now. When you reach full retirement age, disability benefits become retirement benefits with no change in amount.

      If you have been disabled seventeen months, start your application before the end of the month to avoid loss of benefits. You can begin an application by going online to http://www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213 and requesting an appointment to apply. You do not have to complete the application this month to protect January as your filing month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  93. Russell rodjinske says:

    I am collecting sad since I was 59. I just turned 62. Do I qualify now for regular ss , and would there be an increase in my monthly money. Thank you for the information.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Russell,

      SSDI is paid a rate equal to what your benefit would be if you were at full retirement age now. When you reach full retirement age, disability benefits become retirement benefits with no change in amount. If you were to switch to reduced retirement benefits at age sixty-two, your benefits would decrease.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  94. linda howard says:

    I recieve ssi disability, I will be 62 in April, do I automatically go on my ex husbands social security, ( married for 18 years) or do I have to contact the social security office?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      The general rule is that you cannot receive reduced spouse’s benefits without receiving reduced retirement benefits on your own earnings record. The spouse’s benefit can supplement your own retirement. I believe that you cannot receive both disability and spouse’s benefits, but you should check with the Social Security Administration.

      If your spouse’s benefit would be higher at full retirement than what you are now receiving now, it could be to your advantage to wait to take it until you are full retirement age and then claim the unreduced benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  95. Dennis Gleason says:

    I retired early in 2011 at 61 and a half, due to severe arthritis in both hips. I had my right hip replaced three mothns before I took the early retirement and no longer met the physical requirements of working as a Lieutenant in a Maximum Prison. I also suffer from hypertension and diabetes and have had my bladder, prostate, left kidney and about a foot of my large intestine removed due to cancer in 1998, whcih caused a great deal of complications over the thirteen years until I finally pulled the plug. I was unaware that I might be able to claim disability for for the years from age 62 until when I turn 65, which is in a couple of weeks. I filed for disability five and a half months ago and just received word that I was approved for a small increase of about one hundred and forty dollars. Looking at an annual statement from 2013, it stated that if I became disabled in 2013, I would receive about $600.00 more that what I have been currently awarded. I was told that I became disable from the date I applied, which was in July of 2014. In my original application, I stated that I became disabled in 2011, due to severe medical issues and was forced into early retirement. Why the significant difference difference in disability benefits? Should I appeal or be grateful for the small increase?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dennis,

      You should ask for an appointment with a claims representative to discuss your earnings record and to possibly appeal the calculation. Take the earnings statement you have that shows a higher amount to the appointment. You should get the full disability amount for months you were eligible for disability prior to your full retirement age, which is sixty-six, not sixty-five. At full retirement age, your benefit will be reduced for the period of time you were entitled only to reduced retirement because the reduction for early retirement is permanent.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  96. Daniel says:

    I was on SS disability for eight years. This year I turned 65 in August. My SS disability turned over to SS retirement. My wife also retired and is receiving retirement SS. And I also draw a pension from my former employer. Will we have to pay federal taxes on my SS and on my wife’s SS? We was shocked to hear that we might have to pay taxes now because we thought that retirement SS was not taxed. Thanks so much!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Daniel,

      Social Security benefits are partially taxable if you file a joint return with your wife and your adjusted gross income is above $32,000. Tax publications include a worksheet to calculate the portion of your Social Security that is taxable. You can contact the IRS or a tax accountant for further details.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  97. Daniel says:

    Add on to other questions above. My wife and I both turned 65 in August of 2014. Not this year.

  98. Daniel says:

    One more question about SS disability. I was SS disability for eight years from the summer of 2006 till this past August when I switched over to retirement SS. I did not pay Federal taxes the whole time that I was on it. Will they catch up with me and make me pay all that back tax going back to 2006? Thanks again for all your advice.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Daniel,

      Please see my prior reply. If your income was above $32,000, you may need to file amended tax returns. I suggest that you consult with a tax accountant.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  99. Carol Brown says:

    I was born in 1958. 3 years ago I was approved for SSDI. I get around 921. per month. I was 53 1/2 when it started. My husband wants to retire at 62, he just cant work anymore in his field of 30 years. Bad back,knees ect. If he retires early his benefits will only be around 1500. Would I get anything from his SS?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Carol,

      You are not eligible for dependent benefits on your husband’s account because you are not old enough. You must be sixty-two. Addiitonally the spouse’s benefit (an amount equal to half of his benefit) is less than your own benefit. If he passes away before you, discuss you options regarding a reduced widow’s benefit versus leaving the benefit until you reach full retirement age.

      If your husband is unable to work in an occupation he has performed for thirty years, he may be eligible for Social Security Disability, which is paid at a higher rate than reduced retirement. I recommend that when he stops work he apply for both reduced retirement and disability benefits. If he is eligible for disability, he will be paid reduced retirement until he is approved for disability and then switched to the higher disability benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  100. Gary Smith says:

    Kay my dob is 7/24/49. I started receiving SSD and Medicare when I was 45. I was self employed at the time and had a fairly good job before that.

    I do not receive a pension from the company that I worked for as they basically stole our pension fund and left the country. But I did pay a substantial amount into SS.

    I will be 66 this coming July and SS told me that my benifits would change over to reg. SS retirement and that I would take about a 17% cut in benefits over what I receive now.

    Is there an appeal process ?

    Thanks Gary

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gary,

      I believe that you were given misinformation. Your benefit should continue in the same amount as your disability when you reach full retirement age. I suggest that you talk to another person at your local office (a supervisor, perhaps) or try calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Gary Smith says:

        Kay wanted to thank you for your help. I contacted the SS office thru their online service and this is part of the reply I got back

        “If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), nothing will change when you reach full retirement age except for Social Security purposes your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits.”

        Thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!

        Gary

  101. DD says:

    I am currently on SSDI at age 59. My exhusband passed away last year at age 52 and I applied for exspouse widows benefits. When I turn 66 and my SSDI turns into plain SS, does the widows benefit continue?

    Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear DD,

      I assume from the fact that you are receiving SSDI and and a surviving divorced spouse’s benefit that the survivor benefits are higher than your SSDI and supplement your SSDI with the difference between the two benefits. This means that you will continue to be eligible for only the widow’s benefit when you reach full retirement age. The survivor’s benefit will go up to what it would be if you had not had SSDI. You will not receive a retirement benefit because you must choose between either retirement or survivor benefits. In summary, your overall benefit amount will stay the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  102. Sandra Sears says:

    I, recently, January 2015, was approved for SSDI.

    I have been receiving OWCP since my injury on the job as a letter carrier in 1991. After surgery in 1993, I returned to work, 4 hours a day, OWCP paid the other 4 hours a day.
    2003, I was retired with total disability from Post Office, I worked there 23 years, since 1980.

    Upon applying for SSDI, in August 2014, I requested my OWCP file and discovered for the first time, OWCP has been paying me 4 hours a day since they made a permanent decision in 1995.
    I am receiving $311.50 a week from OWCP.
    SSDI is now paying me $212.00 a month.
    My injury has worsened from when it began in 1991, and now I am in contact with the District Director to reverse the decision that was made in 1995.

    My question is: did SSDI use the $311.50 to formulate my disability monthly rate of
    $212.00?
    I gave all the information regarding my OWCP case on the SSDI application.
    The SSDI Claims Examiner phoned me and requested that I send her my last 26 Workers Compensation Benefit Statements that I receive monthly in which I did send her, (she sent an envelope for me to mail them to her).

    If OWCP increases my monthly benefit to the correct 66% or 75% I should be getting, will SSDI increase the amount I receive monthly from them?

    Soon I am going to switch over from OWCP to OPM (my retirement agency). Will my SSDI change then to justify my income from my retirement agency (OPM)?
    **In 2003 when I retired with a disability, I had the choice to have Workers Comp (OWCP) or OPM (office of Personnel Management), upon the (now) bad advice from my local personnel department I chose
    Worker’s Compensation, due to my ongoing medical
    worsening condition, in which she told me they would compensate me higher. Obviously, (now) she did not know about the 1995 decision (Loss of Wage Capacity decision) in which I didn’t understand either.
    I am devastated at this time of just learning about this, ignorance is bliss. However Worker’s Compensation did not give me a percentage or pay rate in 2003 in the letter they issued to me, when I was electing.
    Thank you for your help on this most embarrassing situation.
    Sincerely,
    Sandra

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandra,

      There is a limit that you can receive between Social Security Disability (SSDI) and workers compensation. There is also a limit that you can receive between a public retirement benefit based on earnings that were not taxed for Social Security and your SSDI benefit. The limit is that both benefits together cannot exceed eighty percent of your current average earnings, as determined by the Social Security Administration, at the time of your Social Security disability onset date. This means that if your workers compensation increases retroactively, your Social Security Disability will probably decrease retroactively and you will be overpaid. Accordingly, plan to use some or all of the back pay workers compensation to repay your Social Security overpayment. If your retirement benefit is based on work not taxed for Social Security, your SSDI benefit will go up or down depending on the amount of your retirement benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  103. virginia says:

    I am fixing to be 62 and I just starting drawing my social securtity disability about 3 months ago.i did not get no Medicaid or medicare but my lawyer said I would receive medicare this year ,if so when because I have not got insurance and it is hard to survive on my income of 12000 a year and I am single ,also I am planning on trying to find some work how will that affect my disability

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Virginia,

      You will be eligible for Medicare after you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits including months of back pay. If you have not recovered from your disability you can work up to a certain limit. Each month that you gross $780 or more is a Trial Work Period (TWP) month. You can have nine TWP months. After that you will be eligible for benefits only in months that you earn below $1,090 gross per month. You must report your work to the Social Security Administration so they can track TWP months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  104. Sandra Sears says:

    Dear Kay,
    Thank you so much for your quick next day response.
    I mean it, I am so appreciative.
    Meanwhile, after I wrote to you yesterday, the mail came.
    When I told you about getting $212.00 a month from SSDI, in the letter from SSDI I received yesterday….
    apparently the $212.00 I saw for deposit in my checking account was the amount of retroactive for a year. SSDI will be paying me $11.00 a month.
    I am speechless and numb.

    To backtrack in 2003, when I retired from the post office..apparently OPM dropped me, according to the letter to OWCP from OPM in my workers comp file. I have called and written a letter to OPM with no response.
    In the letter from SSDI she is claiming 2 different amounts of income for me….one I recognize and the other I do not recognize.
    What action do you recommend I should take at this time? The letter says I have 60 days to appeal.
    I live in Maine at this time, when I worked for the Post Office I lived in California. My OWCP file was transferred to the Boston District when I moved to
    Maine. I am finding that disability lawyers are by state. OWCP lawyers are by state. Where do I look for a lawyer? Does the lawyer need to be close by?
    Can I look for a lawyer who is out of state from any state? I need a lawyer who can handle SSDI, OWCP,
    Schedule Award issue, and OPM issue. Would this be a federal lawyer? Finding a lawyer is such a hit or miss as to playing fair. I have one bad experience so far with a lawyer in California years ago.
    Then I need a lawyer who will do a contingency.
    I have absolutely no money, I am living month to month. I do not have health insurance or life insurance. My health is deteriorating daily. I have a fused cervical 7 disc and a herniated cervical 6 disc which has been ongoing since 8 months after my 1993 surgery. No feeling in my left hand, no strength in left arm, elbow is hurting all the time.
    At night I sleep very little if I turn onto my left side while I am sleeping, the nerve pain starts pulsing so hard it wakes me up….today is a hard day, but knowing you answered and tried to advise me is helping me to push on tomorrow.
    You are a Godsend for all of us.
    God Bless you and keep you safe.
    Thank you
    Sandra

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sandra,

      You can have an attorney from another state handle a Social Security appeal. I do not know about a workers compensation representation rules.

      You can call Social Security and make an appointment to appeal the calculation of your claim if you think they are using incorrect figures. Take all your workers comp documentation with you to submit. The local office may not be able to explain the calculation because it is done in the payment center. Specify which figure you think is wrong. Ask that if they uphold their decision (the calculation) that you be given a complete explanation of the calculation. That way, if you do not win the first appeal you will be able to see whether they are right in the calculation and you just didn’t get a good explanation or whether you should file a hearing appeal because you still think they are wrong.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  105. Jack Burks says:

    I have been receiving Social Security disability since 2000. I did not elect to have Medicare and kept my employer insurance. When I become eligible for regular retirement benefits, can I elect to start Medicare at that time without penalty. DOB is 12/53

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jack,

      Medicare entitlement based on age is currently age sixty-five, not full retirement age. I know that if you don’t accept Part B Medicare at age sixty-five, you will pay a higher premium than the base premium when you do enroll, you will only be able to enroll in the open enrollment period during the last quarter of the year, and your Medicare Part B will not start until the following July. The longer you wait to enroll, the higher the premium. I don’t know whether refusing Medicare after twenty-four months of disability insurance is handled the same. You might find the answer at http://www.medicare.gov. If not, I suggest contacting Social Security.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  106. Joe says:

    Hi Kay,
    I am so confused by all these questions and answers. I have been receiving SSDI payments,considered disabled since 2005. I settled on my ltd and do not receive workers comp.mi also paid taxes on that settlement. I receive a nominal pension which stops at the age of 62 and claim it on my taxes yearly. I also have annuities,one containing qualified monies, the other non-qualified monies. I just want to know if my SSDI check will decrease at retirement age or will it remain the same.
    This is driving me nuts. I am going to be 59 soon and will not have worked in 11 years. I am considered permanently disabled. Nine herniations,torn annulus,flattening of the thoracic spine, impingement of the s1 nerve root from more than one side,have been hospitalized from a blood clot due to having the rarest form of clotting disorder in the world,(blood thinners for life),have osteoporosis and the onset of osteopenia in other areas. The list keeps going, I also have spinal stenosis with multilevel bone spurs and arthritis mostly affecting the spinal column and more mild symptoms on my feet and Hans. In 2010 I also had 3 stents installed(sounds like I upgraded my cars stereo system). Is my check going to be reduced,that’s my question. I didn’t list most of my ailmements as I don’t want sympathy. There’s more though.
    Unfortunately I live alone and I live in pain every single day that exists. My current mostly allotment is 2001.00 dollars and fear that if my payments are reduced at the age of 66 and 4 months, as I was born in 1956 that I will not survive. Please help to ease my mind if you can. I know that my retirement age is approximately 7 years ago but a friend mentioned that I will incur a reduction which has my mind going.
    Thanks in advance.

  107. Theresa trimilove says:

    Hi….born 1957; now 57 with good chance of getting SSD. MY QUESTION: if my normal age is the 66.6, may I defer to 70 and still receive my disabilty benefit. Also, if I am required to take it at 66.6, will the amount of check change. I wish I understood spousal support which increases income too. I see so many places where SS has to make improvements to survive. Thanks….

    • Theresa trimilove says:

      I meant, will I still receive my SSD check if allowed to defer taking retirement to 70. Also, if forced to take it at 66.6, will they decrease the amount of my retirement check? Also, at that time, would I qualify for spousal support to increase value of my check? Thanks again…

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Theresa,

        Please see my response to your prior post. If by “spousal support” you mean Social Security dependent benefits on your spouse’s earnings record, you can get spouse’s benefits only if the spouse’s benefit is higher than your own benefit. If that is the case, you will receive a partial benefit from the spouse’s earnings record to supplement the benefit from your own earnings record.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Theresa,

      Your disability benefits will change to retirement benefits when you reach age sixty-six and six months. You cannot defer retirement benefits to age seventy; but, even if you could, there would be no advantage. Your benefit amount will stay the same when it switches to a retirement benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  108. Sande says:

    I have been on SSD since 4/2008 and have been unable to work since. I will turn 66 in April.

    If I understand correctly I will automatically be changed from SSD to SSR.

    If that is the case, I have a question regarding my ex husband. We were married 11 years and I have never remarried. Can I claim SSR benefits on his earning. I have no clue if he ever remarried.

    Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Sande,

      If your ex-husband is receiving benefits or is deceased and the spouse’s benefit on his account is more than your own now disability/soon-to-be-retirement benefit, you can receive benefits on his account to supplement the benefit on your own account. If he has remarried, both you and his second wife can receive benefits. You will need his Social Security number for Social Security to be able to look up his record and your marriage certificate and divorce papers to prove the length of your marriage, which has to be more than ten years.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Sande says:

        Kay
        Thank you so much for the quick reply and for taking time to explain.

        I will Social Security and set up an appointment. I have all the necessary documents and his Social # to prove this. And we were married 14 years so I think I would qualify.

  109. dmili says:

    I am due to be reviewed in 3 years per SSDI. I began my SSDI in June 2014 . I would like to work and am currently enrolled in Ticket to Work program. How does the IME effect my continuing disability and if I work part-time, could that disqualify me from SSDI. I am 57 years old and am concerned about working at my review in 3 years.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dmili,

      With a Ticket to Work, you can attempt work under the Social Security Disability (SSDI) work incentives, which are described in Social Security’s Red Book, which you can find online at http://www.ssa.gov. Your benefits will continue while you are using the work incentives and beyond if you have not medically recovered and if are unable to do substantial work, which is not generally defined as $1,090 gross wages or net self-employment. The shorter answer is that working won’t necessarily have a negative effect on a later continuing disability review.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  110. jana black says:

    I will be 62 in November and have not worked for the last 1 1/2 years due to severe depression and Ulner Nerve damage that is affecting both hands. I wanted to apply for disability but lawyers told me I had to be under a doctor’s care for 6 months before they would help me.

    1-since I couldn’t afford 2 operations on my hands, seeing a Dr is nil–they cannot do anything.
    2-I’ve with suffered depression for at least 15 years, saw different Drs when I had insurance, free ones when not. My suicide attempt last June put me into a mental hosp for 6 days and now doing therapy with a counselor 1 or 2x a month

    My ( free) shrink will now not sign any lawyer papers until I’ve been in care for 1 YEAR! I cannot afford to wait so am going to have to take early retirement at approx. $900/mo.

    If I do get my early retirement but let the lawyers start paperwork for disability. When am I disabled? My shrink knows I cannot work, so am I disabled now, before retirement or when ss says I’m disabled? So what if I’m disabled before taking my early retirement or after, does it make a difference? The extra $300/mo would sure help out.

    I sincerely hope you can answer my questions, it’s all so confusing and I am all alone in this.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jana,

      It takes two to five months to get a decision on most Social Security claims. I suggest that you apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) now. If you have not been approved and still have a claim or appeal pending by October, then apply for early retirement benefits at that time. If you get retirement and then are approved for disability, your benefits will be increased to the disability rate. If you are approved for disability, you will stay on disability benefits until you reach full retirement age.

      For your disability claim, gather up all the names and contact information for every medical provider you have seen since you stopped work, especially the various doctors and clinics you saw for depression. If you were being seen for the same condition while working, also gather the information for a year before you ceased work. If possible, get a copy of the admission and discharge summaries from your hospitalization and the history and physical report if there is one and a copy of any psychological testing if there was any.

      Write a simple chronology of events–when each problem arose, when medications or other treatments were changed, when depression became a problem, the hospitalization etc. Be sure to explain not having surgery due to lack of funds. Make a list of all the providers, their contact information, and approximate start and stop dates for seeing them. Go to your pharmacy or pharmacies and request a printoug of all your prescriptions since a year before you ceased work. Explain not being able to afford surgery and not seeing a doctor for your hands because nothing could be done without surgery. You can find more tips on filing a claim under the “Apply SSD” tab at the top of each page of this Disability Advisor website.

      Tell your therapist that you are initiating a claim now because you have been off work for more than a year due to your mental health and hand problem and that meets Social Security’s one-year duration requirement.

      If you are denied, get a copy of your claim file and get an attorney. You can obtain a knowledgeable, experienced Social Security attorney by calling Disability Advisor at 1-888-393-1010. You do not have to pay any legal fees up front and you will pay attorney fees only if you are approved for benefits. Social Security law sets the amount your attorney can charge and the Social Security Administration pays the attorney directly from the retroactive award at the time it sends your back pay to you. So, it’s all very easy and risk-free.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  111. jana black says:

    Dear Kay,
    It is so refreshing to get a straight answer so quickly (and free). I am sure we are all in your debt. Thank you so very much for helping me.
    Bless you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      You are welcome, Jana.

      • Linda says:

        Kay,

        I retired early as I had some health issues related to Stage 3 liver disease. I began receiving normal SS benefits September 2013. I retired in August 2013 at 62. I was awarded a Total and Permanent Disability award and release of my student loans was approved 10/23/2013. Can I go back and apply for Disability benefits from Social Security or should I just continue to receive my normal benefits. I will be 65 in July 2016 and was born in 1951.

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Linda,

          Yes, you can apply for Social Security Disability after you start receiving Social Security Retirement benefits. The maximum retroactivity is twelve months prior to the date of application, so I recommend that you start the application before the end of the month in order not to lose benefits. If you are approved, you will be paid at the disability rate, which is higher that reduced retirement at age sixty-two. If you don’t apply or are not approved, your benefit reduction for taking benefits early will be permanent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  112. Francis says:

    Feb 8, 2002 I had a stroke at 50 years old. I was told to apply for SS benefits. SS informed me that I didn’t qualify for SSD because I was 2 quarters short in the time frame they use for disability but I could get SSI. I was sent to a Neurologist for evaluation and determined to be 100% disabled. I was on SSI with full medicaid until 12/31/13. October of 2013 I was informed that on 1/01/14 I would be switched to SSA and to reapply for Medicaid and food assistance. Medicaid ( full ) was approved along with $ 42 in food assistance. With SSA and Full Medicaid I was OK. In late 2014 DCF/medicaid said I was no longer qualified for Full Medicaid and they switched me to Share of Cost. Nothing changed in 2014 except for an annual increase in SSA for 2015 benefits. 1.7%
    I contacted Florida DCF about why I no longer qualified for Full Medicaid. They replied “ SSA said I was no longer disabled”. I contacted SSA and they said “ That’s the way it is”.
    Two weeks ago I met a gentleman who turned 65 in Nov. of 2014. He told me he was on SSI and full Medicaid until 12/31/14. 1/01/2015 he was changed to SSA with Medicare.
    Why was I switched from SSI to SSA at 62 with full medicaid for 1 year and then put on Share of cost? $ 749 Share of cost is basically having no insurance. If I had the option I would stay on SSI with less money and keep Full Medicaid.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Francis,

      Supplemental Security Income (SSI) law requires anyone receiving SSI to apply for and receive all other disability or retirement benefits possible because SSI is intended, as its name says, to supplement other income. Accordingly, you are required to accept reduced Social Security retirement at age sixty-two.

      You may be able to appeal the reduction of your Medicaid coverage based on still being disabled. Try explaining what I just explained to you and that your SSI did not stop because you are no longer disabled but because your Social Security retirement increased to a few dollars above SSI income limits. If the appeal is not successful, you might investigate to see if you can get better coverage for no premium or a low premium through the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). The law allows application outside the annual general enrollment period if you apply within sixty days of the date insurance ends. A similar rule may apply if insurance coverage is reduced. You can learn more about the Affordable Care Act at http://www.healthcare.gov.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Francis says:

        Hi Kay,
        Thanks for the reply. I understand what you’re saying. What I don’t understand is how someone else on SSI with Medipass ( Medicaid ) continued collecting SSI with Medipass ( Medicaid ) until age 65. He told me his benefits remained the same until age 65 without appeals or special approvals.
        Are there any attorneys that would help with an appeal? I know on original applications attorneys get a percentage of the initial settlement.

        Thank you

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Francis,

          Some people’s conditions are not expected to improve so they do not have a medical review to see whether they are still disabled; and if they have no financial changes, benefits continue to be the same amount. The person you refer to may not have been insured for Social Security Retirement so was not switched over to retirement benefits at age sixty-two. Attorneys sometimes represent people when there benefits are terminated and they are paid a percentage of back benefits that accrue while the appeal is pending. In your case, I doubt that you will be able to secure an attorney because the termination of your benefits is based on very defined law and not on interpretation.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  113. Pamela says:

    Hello, my husband is planning to take his retirement at 62. He was born in July 1953. He was planning to continue to work part time. Three weeks ago, he suffered a pinched nerve on the job due to heavy lifting. We are still in the process of filing for worker’s compensation. He will receive approximately $200.00 per week from worker’s compensation. This will probably take a long time to recover. In fact, his doctor advised him he might not be able to work anymore. Can he receive his Social Security and the worker’s compensation at the same time?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Pamela,

      Workers Compensation does not affect Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits, which are paid based on age. If at some point, it appears that your husband’s medical condition will keep him from working for a year or more, he could apply for Social Security Disability (SSD). If approved, his Social Security benefit will increase to the higher disability rate, which would continue into retirement. (In contrast, the reduction for early retirement is permanent.)

      If he is approved for SSDI benefits, the amount he gets each month may be reduced somewhat for workers comp paid for the same months because the limit that he can receive between workers comp and SSDI is eighty percent of his average current earnings. This likely would be less than workers comp plus reduced Social Security; however, it would result in your husband getting full unreduced retirement benefits when he reached full retirement age and he would become eligible for Medicare after two years of disability benefits. In summary, if your husband meets Social Security Disability criteria, he could choose either to have more income up to when the workers comp runs out or more income in the long run beginning with full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  114. Nancy says:

    I have been receiving SSD since 2009. I also work a very small part time job grossing about 900.00 or less. I send in my pay stubs to SSA every quarter to advise them of my earnings. Next year, when I turn 55, I was thinking of requesting my State Retirement account in one lump sum which has been accruing since I had to leave working full time due to my disability, I need to pay off a lot of debt with this. I believe I have to notify the SSA if I do this, If so, will it affect my monthly benefit amount?

    Thanks for you response!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Nancy,

      If your “retirement account” is a pension plan, the payout will affect your Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits only if the wages on which the pension (paid out monthly or received as a lump sum) were not taxed by Social Security, that is, if you and your employer did not pay FICA taxes on your work earnings. If the “retirement account” is a 401K or something similar savings plan, check with Social Security; however, I don’t think it will affect your benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  115. tom f. says:

    If both spouses work there whole do they both receive full ssr at full retierment age
    and is there anything special the lower earning spouse needs to do when filling or before filling

    thank you very muvz

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tom,

      Both spouses would receive retirement benefits based on their own work earnings. If the benefit of the spouse with the lower earnings is less than half of the amount of the higher-earning spouse’s benefit, the lower-earning spouse can apply for spouse’s benefits on the higher earnings record and receive an additional amount to supplement his or her own benefit. The combined benefit would equal fifty percent of the higher-earning spouse’s benefit. (This assumes that the higher earner has earned a maximum family benefit higher than his or her own benefit.)

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  116. tom f. says:

    tom is higher earning spouse birthday is 5/1954 he became diabled 7/2012 and is receiving full ssd , spouses birthday is 11/1951 she still works full time

  117. Gary Corbett says:

    Some clarification please… Your replies indicate that, after taking disability during early retirement, upon full retirement the payment will revert to the calculated “normal” benefit amount. Is this normal benefit the same as it would have been without a disability, or is there a slight permanent increase because of the ongoing disability during full retirement?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Gary,

      Disability benefits convert to retirement benefits when the disabled person reaches normal (full) retirement age. In the situation of having some months of reduced retirement benefits followed by disability benefits followed by retirement benefits, the retirement benefits at full retirement age will be higher than they would be if there had been no disability benefits (only reduced retirement) but less than the disability benefits because of the months of reduced retirement benefits before disability benefits began cause a permanent reduction in retirement benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  118. Laura says:

    Hi, I am about to turn 58, and have been on disability for a year. I only get 1031. A month. If I had been able to work till early retirement I would have had around 1500. A month. When I reach the age of retirement, why am I being penalized by staying at -1031. A month? I can barely survive now.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Laura,

      Your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefit should not be lower than reduced retirement. I suggest that you go to Social Security to get a clarification.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  119. Joseph A. Giordano says:

    I started collecting SSI at age 62 and was still working so I don’t get a check every month. Now I am 63 still working and got hurt on the job. Can I apply for SSI disability under these conditions ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joseph,

      First, you are not receiving SSI (Supplemental Security Income); you are receiving Social Security early (reduced) retirement benefits. If you expect to be disabled for more than twelve months, you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits. If you are approved, your benefit will increase to the unreduced disability rate.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  120. Robert DAngelo says:

    I would like to know is there a way I can learn what my estimated SSR benefit amount is when I become elgible to retire? I am currently on SSDI and would like to learn what will change from my currrent SSDI benefit amount to my estimated SSR benefit amount? Will my one the switch happens, will my benefit amount increase or decrease? Born 1964

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      Your benefit will stay the same when you reach full retirement age unless you work enough between now and then to raise the benefit.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  121. I. Rayner says:

    I am in the process of filing for disability due to degenerative joint and disc disease and major arthritis. I am needing all the help I can get on information to make sure I get on my disability. My spouse is concerned since his earnings are much higher than mine with social security that he will never see the year for him to draw social security. My question is if I were to get my disability and in years to come my husband passes away will I be able to change over to his social security earnings since his is higher. We have been married 25 years now. So am I understanding this correctly, the 1st 5 months you have applied for SSD you can’t work and that is a no pay period. Do they back pay you. And what does dates have to do with it. Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Irene,

      Yes, you can switch from Social Security Disability to widow’s benefits. The amount of the widow’s benefits will depend on the age at which you take them. The earliest possible age is fifty for a disabled widow with a large reduction in the amount payable. The older you are when you start to take widow’s benefits the higher percentage of the maximum you receive. The maximum is payable at full retirement age, which currently is between ages sixty-six and sixty-seven depending on the year you were born.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  122. Ronald Graubner says:

    My birthdate is 04/13/1965 I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure in either late May or early June and started receiving social security disability benefits a few months later. Now that I’m over 50 is there any changes to my benefits or will they remain the same? Just curious

    • Ronald Graubner says:

      I forgot to mention the year I was diagnosed with end stage renal failure was 2006

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ronald,

      Your benefits will remain the same except for cost-of-living adjustments in years that there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  123. beth says:

    My husband started drawing his ssr at age 62 his birth year is 1950 he became disabled in 2013 would he be eligible to draw social security disability instead of his social security retirement? Thank you

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Beth,

      Yes, your husband can switch from reduced retirement to higher disability benefits if he meets the disability criteria and has enough work credits in the ten years before he became disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  124. frank says:

    My wife has been receiving SS before the age of 62 due to disability. She is now 64. I also received SS due to disability before the age of 62 during 7 years to which I resigned and entered the workforce. I am 60 now and still working. What strategy you recommend for maximizing SS benefits for my wife and myself with my past . My wife is 4 years older than me. Please advise.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Frank,

      Your wife’s benefits will automatically be changed to retirement benefits when she reaches full retirement age and the amount will remain the same. The amount of your benefits will depend on your earnings record and the age at which you elect to take the benefit. There is a reduction for each month prior to your full retirement age (sixty-six) that you chose to accept benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  125. Becky says:

    Dear Kay,
    I have spent an hour reading all the questions and your answers but unfortunately, I did not find any that helped with my issue.
    I have been married 2 times. My first husband and I were married 20 years and he is 12 years older than I am, he is soon to be 70 and he started collecting SS at the age of 64.
    My second husband in 12 years younger than me (age of 46). (we were married 16 years) I am now 58 and have been on disability since October of 2012. I am now divorced from 2nd husband He is “supposed” to be paying me alimony (rarely does). In my divorce papers the attorneys’ agreed that I would be able to collect alimony until I turn 62 (2/2019) and then at that time I should be able to collect from my 1st husband SS. He only gets $1560.00 a month. I presently receive only $993.00 a month. So, my questions is, when I turn 62 will I be receiving a percentage of my 1st husbands SS on top of my disability income?
    I am beginning to think my attorney screwed up. My 2nd husband that is supposed to pay me alimony gets months behind which hinders me immensely therefore I have to get state aid.
    I am on Medicare and Medicaid, I also collect food stamps.
    So, did my attorney mess things up. She said to me VERY PLAINLY that what ever my 1st husband got a month $1560. is what I will start receiving. But after reading all that I did, I am now questioning what she said. I think I might get a percentage of the $1560. but not all! Then if I do get a percentage will that be added to what I am now receiving?

    I will wait for you replay, but desperately.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Becky,

      A divorced spouse can receive up to half of the amount that the retired worker receives (reduced by the amount of her own disability benefit) at full retirement age, which for you is age sixty-six and four months or sixty-six and six months depending on your year of birth. If you take the benefit at age sixty-six, the spouse’s full benefit will be reduced by about 26%. You would get an amount equal to 100% of your first husband’s benefit if he were to die before you and you were full retirement age when you started to get benefits from his record. Because you are currently unmarried, your second marriage should not impede your being eligible on your first husband’s record, but you should check this with the Social Security Administration to be sure.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  126. Walter says:

    Hello Kay,
    I was laid off at age 62 in 2013 and had to take early social security to replace my income. November 2014 I had knee replacement surgery, a week later was found to have cancer. I also had a small stroke in April of this year. I read that I may be able to get social security disability. I tried to file online but said I had to go to the office. My form of cancer cannot be cured but only managed and I am currently on chemo. How does all of I was born in 1951. Your input would be appreciated.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Walter,

      If you are approved for Social Security Disability, your retirement benefit will be changed to a higher disability benefit beginning with the sixth full calendar month after you became disabled, which could be May 2015. I encourage you to visit the office to file an application; if you cannot travel to the office, call 1-800-772-1213 and request a telephone interview for the purpose of filing.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  127. Walter says:

    Thank you Kay for your response. I have read several of the other posts that ask similar questions. So that I am clear, if I do receive disability I will receive the additional amount until I reach full retirement age then it will be reduced? Example, if I am receiving 1500 per month and then it is increased to 1800 per month will it be reduced back to the 1500 at age 66?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Walter,

      When you receive reduced retirement followed by disability benefits, at full retirement age, your benefit is again reduced but it will be higher than the original reduced amount because you will not have a reduction for any of the months you were eligible for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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