View Full Version : Can you apply for SSI after you've retired? Maybe a dumb question.

04-15-2009, 11:52 PM
I've asked the question in my title, but since people can still work after they retire, I wondered if they can apply after taking their retirement from Social Security. It's taken me till now to get a diagnosis, but I've had the condition since before I was 62.

04-16-2009, 09:33 AM
You may be confusing SSI with SSDI.

SSI, Supplemental Security Income, is a low income program for the disabled and elderly. If you are under age 65, you have to be found disabled in order to qualify. If you are 65 or older, you can be healthy and strong and able to work and still get SSI IF you have limited income and resources. SSI helps the poor disabled and the poor elderly. If your income from other sources, like Social Security Retirement, pensions, worker's comp, VA, etc. and it is over the SSI limits in your state, you can't get SSI. If you have savings in the bank, IRA, 401k, non-home property, second car worth over $2000, you can't get SSI. This is a simplified explanation.

SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance. The same program that pays your Social Security Retirement benefits. If you apply for early retirement Social Security, you get a permanent reduction. If you wait for full retirement age, currently age 66 and moving up) you have no reduction. You can apply for SSDI after age 62 even if you are on Social Security Retirement, but if you are over full retirement age AND there is no retroactivity in your disability claim, the issue is moot. Nothing will change. But, if you get SSDI at age 63 or 64 or 65, then there is no reduction for age.

SSA will probably see many more and more disability claims after age 62 since full retirement age is heading to age 68 and people will try to avoid reductions in monthly benefits.

04-16-2009, 12:10 PM
So I guess the answer is "Yes, maybe." Right? Thank you for the information. I'm going to go see what the Social Security administration says.

04-16-2009, 03:43 PM
You can apply for SSI at any age. You only qualify if you are found to be disabled or blind or over age 65 and have limited income and resources. You can be denied SSI for reasons other than medical conditions.

You should call 1-800-772-1213, make an appointment and file a claim. Then you get an official answer. The answer could be no, but at least you will have an official answer. If you are under age 65, you should also fill out the disability report online at socialsecurity.gov. If you are over 65, no proof of disability is needed for SSI unless you are a certain type of non-citizen. You will need proof of your income and resources and living arrangements as well.

You can also file for "DIB after RIB" by filing an SSDI claim if your onset of disability is before full retirement age, which is age 66. You will need to complete the disability report, preferably online.

04-16-2009, 09:27 PM
Thank you Janke! I'm definitely going to look into this. I absolutely cannot work but I was told by someone who worked for Social Security that neuropathy falls through the cracks. You can be disabled, but it doesn't follow the criteria for disability. I've found that discouraging. But I should just go ahead and try it. There nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say.

echoes long ago
04-16-2009, 10:32 PM
that is absolutely untrue about neuropathy. there are many people on ssdi because of peripheral neuropathy and the limitations it puts on the ability to hold gainful employment. remember its the way it limits your ability to work and not the disease itself that is important in meeting the medical qualifications for ssdi.

04-17-2009, 12:59 PM
Echoes is right. The name of the illness is not nearly as important as your symptoms. Some people with diabetes go to work every day. Some go to dialysis three times a week in their wheelchairs because of their amputated foot. One is disabled. One is not. Both have diabetes.

Grizabella, I will just ask you outright. How old are you, when will you be age 66, and when (month/year) did you stop being able to work because of your medical condition? All of that matters as well.

04-17-2009, 07:22 PM
I'm 63, will be 64 on 11/26. I stopped work because of this in 1992, but then we didn't know what it was. It didn't have a name till recently and then too, they didn't connect my feet to the inflammatory condition. When I'd complain of my feet, doctors would just give me a blank look, suggest different shoes or something, and move on. I didn't start seeing the doctor for this till 2003----by "this", I mean my feet and the numbness. They started investigating when I mentioned that numbness had spread.

Oh, and I'll be 66 in 2011.

04-18-2009, 09:07 AM
So, onset of disability is 1992 and no work since then, correct?

For you to get SSDI, you have to have 20 work credits in the 40 quarter period before your onset of disability. That roughly translates into 5 years of work in the 10 year period before you couldn't work any more. This is called insured status for disability. To be insured for retirement, you need 40 credits in your lifetime. For disability, you have to have a recent connection to work also. At some point, after you stop working, insured status can run out, like a car insurance policy lapsing for lack of payment of premiums. To get SSDI, you have to be found disabled but you also have to be found disabled before your date last insured.

If you stopped work in 1992 and have not worked since that date, your date last insured would be sometime before 1998. So, for you to get SSDI, you would have to prove, by medical evidence, that your medical condition was severe in 1997 and is still severe in 2009. That may be hard to do. It is not impossible if you had ongoing medical treatment for your condition that shows the extent of the problem. But without medical evidence dating back to 1997 or earlier, it may be impossible to prove that you were disabled back in 1992.

Now, for SSI, the public assistance program, you only have to prove you are disabled the day you file the claim and are expected to be disabled for the next 12 months. So, not working since 1992 won't affect the SSI claim. What will affect whether or not you can get SSI is how much income do you have, how much does your spouse have (if you live together), how much do you own, how much in the bank, what are your living arrangements.

You should complete the online disability report at socialsecurity.gov using 1992 as your onset date and schedule an appointment with your local office to file both an SSDI and an SSI claim before the end of April, so you don't lose any potential benefits. I think the SSDI is a long shot and I don't know enough about your finances to comment on the SSI, but this is the only way you'll know for sure whether or not you can get either one. Nothing to lose by filing a claim.

05-21-2009, 08:06 PM
you would have to prove, by medical evidence, that your medical condition was severe in 1997 and is still severe in 2009. That may be hard to do. It is not impossible if you had ongoing medical treatment for your condition that shows the extent of the problem. But without medical evidence dating back to 1997 or earlier, it may be impossible to prove that you were disabled back in 1992.

janke -

you give excellent and and helpful advice. i would add that this scenario of not knowing one had an illness is quite common with disorders such as multiple sclerosis, and claims can be supported with statements. neighbors, friends, family - anyone who is familiar with the daily activities of the person filing the claim could provide evidence of someone's declining activities, even in lieu of medical reports. one could gather detailed statements from several reliable sources and present them with their application or at some stage of the process. there is a wealth of advice on the web from former ssi agents.

good luck to you who are unable to work and are filing. june