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Please need help re being required to apply for early soc sec
Old 09-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2013
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Please need help re being required to apply for early soc sec

Hi. I'm Jeannie from New York. I am brand new to this forum and very glad to have found you. Please could someone help me with the following rule that would require me to take soc. sec. at 62 at the lowest available rate:

I am currently on SSI (disability) and am 61. I just found out this past week (Sept. 13, 2013) that when I turn 62 SSI will automatically require me to take social security. (SSI will pay a part, and soc sec will pay the other part of my monthly payment). This means I will have to take it at the lowest level available rate which is $553. I worked for over 10 years before becoming injured and have enough quarters to receive soc sec. At 66 I think my benefit would be at least $774 or a little more. (At 70 it would be 969). I would like to wait at least until 66 to receive my higher benefit of soc. sec. What can I do?

I am very grateful to receive ssi but the above rule means I will be locked in forever at the lowest rate of soc sec. If I ever lost ssi I would have such a low soc sec rate that I could not afford my basic expenses - rent and utilities. I prefer soc sec because this way I could work a little and earn something. SSI does allow one to work but then will deduct $65 plus half of the earnings. On soc sec I could keep my earnings and more resources. If I ever inherited anything I could keep it with no penalties or deductions. I am always short on my budget every month and therefore would like to make some extra amount of money. (I currently receive $816).

To avoid this I think I would have to work for the next four years and as I have been injured I am very limited. I was already quite relieved to think I would not have to work anymore. I would need to make $800, max 900 a month to not lose medicaid.

I have found it very difficult to obtain a job and am afraid to let go of the benefit but don't want to be locked in. Can you help me with any information?

It would be great if I could have some kind of annuity that would pay me the right amount each month. If by a miracle I could find something to sell is there a way to set up the purchase payments as the annutiy? Or is there something else I could do to obtain an annuity? Id like to insure my basic income.
Thank you for your attention.

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Old 09-23-2013, 04:11 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2013
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Yes, you have just been made aware of paragraph 2117.1 of the Social Security Handbook, which reads

2117.1 What Other Benefits Do You Need To Apply For Before You Can Be Eligible For SSI?

SSI is a program of last resort. Therefore, you must file for any other benefits for which you may be eligible. This means benefits such as Social Security benefits, private pensions, etc., which share all of the following characteristics:

A. Require an application or similar action;
B. Have conditions for eligibility;
C. Provide either periodic or one-time payments; and
D. Are sources of income that reduce SSI benefits.
SSA Handbook 2117

I'm afraid I'm not seeing a lot of wiggle room in this requirement. You're not exactly being required to apply for Social Security at age 62, but if you don't you will lose your SSI eligibility, as per 2117.1. Since you don't have enough income or savings to do without SSI until you reach full retirement age, you have very little choice other than trying to find a job that will make you independent of SSI.

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Old 09-23-2013, 06:31 AM   #3
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+1 The only way you could do it is if you could sell something that would generate enough proceeds to provide you with ~$800/month from 62 to 66 (which would be ~$38,000), decline SSI disability benefits and then claim SS at age 66.

The unfortunate reality is those without resources have less choices.

While I know it isn't much help, for a single person that SS at 62 or SS at 66 are designed to be actuarially neutral - that is the "value" of taking it at 62 or at 66 for a single person is designed to be the same based on expected mortality. Of course, YMMV.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:37 AM   #4
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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If you can't find a job then I would look for some kind of self employment. I am not sure from your post what your disabilities are but if you have a computer and an Internet connection there are many jobs you could do from home, like selling crafts on Etsy, reselling free after rebates items on Craigslist, or writing free lance articles.

Check out some of the wham and frugal forums and online job boards for ideas. There are also many free online classes these days so if you have more time than money you could watch those and teach yourself to become an expert in some specific skill set, then do consulting from home for that. You can build up a resume with a portfolio your own projects or volunteer work.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:06 AM   #5
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See if this helps:
How to Maximize Social Security if Disabled and Other SS Questions | PBS NewsHour
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