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Disability question
Old 07-29-2010, 07:39 AM   #1
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Disability question

Hi all,
Before I start to wade through the Social Security website, I thought someone here might have the answer. My wife, who turns 60 next week, was recently diagnosed with cancer and is on heavy chemotherapy, which will continue for some time. She had to leave her job and hasn't been able to work. My question is, can she collect disability from Social Security and if so, how will that affect her long-term (we hope) benefits? We originally were going to wait until she turned 66...now we're looking at 62. But would the disability change our calcualtions? Thanks for your help....C
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:06 AM   #2
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My BIL is a high level SSA employee. DW and I asked him about a friend who is 58 and on disability for PSTD (not service related). He gave us some quip they use at SSA. I can't remember the precise quote but it was something along the lines of under 55 investigate, over 55 approve. It would seem logical to apply now.
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Old 07-29-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
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Hi Donhoff,
Thanks for the info. Would you know by taking his SS disability now, if his normal SS benefit would be reduced, or would he still be able to claim the regular benefit at 62? I guess what I'm trying to find out, is if my wife will be penalized long-term for taking disability now, versus just waiting to file at 62. Thanks...C
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon View Post
Hi Donhoff,
Thanks for the info. Would you know by taking his SS disability now, if his normal SS benefit would be reduced, or would he still be able to claim the regular benefit at 62? I guess what I'm trying to find out, is if my wife will be penalized long-term for taking disability now, versus just waiting to file at 62. Thanks...C
I have no specifics on that but my wife's statement (she is 57) show that her disability benefit is almost exactly the same amount she would receive if she was 66. I would guess that, if she becomes able to work, she would have to reapply under the normal plan and would receive less at 62 than the disability amount. The initial disability must be expected to last at least 1 year to qualify.
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:19 AM   #5
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Hi, the best way to get a good answer is to go to the closest SS office. I think I would apply as soon as possible if for no other reason than to get the medicare coverage.

While it is true that (The initial disability must be expected to last at least 1 year to qualify), do not be surprised if it takes you longer than a year to qualify.
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Old 07-31-2010, 07:52 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canyon View Post
Hi Donhoff,
Thanks for the info. Would you know by taking his SS disability now, if his normal SS benefit would be reduced, or would he still be able to claim the regular benefit at 62? I guess what I'm trying to find out, is if my wife will be penalized long-term for taking disability now, versus just waiting to file at 62. Thanks...C
Assuming the disability lasts till age 62, the SSD actually just becomes and is considered a normal age 62 benefit, with the same income adjustments that a regular age 62 claimant has. There is no additional reduction in income limits as pre-62 SSD claim would have.

However, depending on disability from age 62-65, Medicare "may" be impacted, as I understand it since you are under age 65, receiving Medicare (after the SSD approval/waiting period) but your status has been changed due to the removal of the disability (if you are lucky enough to be in better health).

My (disabled) son, age 40 has been on the program for the last 5+ years and that's the way it was explained to me "way back when". Additionally, since he is on SSD, but still works (in a sheltered workshop) and pays SS, he no longer gets an annual SS statement for future income. He does receive the normal SS annual statement (assuming there is a COLA - he received none last year) which states his new monthly statement with the COLA applied. Also, his Medicare Part B monthly contribution comes out of his SSD benefit - just like a normal "retired" person.

As far as the effect of going off of SSD after age 62 but before age 65 - as related to Medicare questions, I can't give you a definite answer. My son's disability is of such that he will never be taken off the program.
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:04 PM   #7
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Canyon,

Assuming your wife qualifies for SS Disability then her benefit will be almost the same as the benefit she would receive at age 66.

It's very important to have her doctors write letters stating that she is unable to work because of her cancer treatments. Also if she is denied the first time for SSD then she should appeal. I've been told that many cases are denied on the first go around but are approved on the second.

I was fortunate in that I was approved the first time I applied at age 57.

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Old 08-02-2010, 07:20 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone for your advice. We'll start the process and hope for the best...on all fronts.. Thanks again, C
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