View Full Version : PLEASE HELP: not enough quarters to qualify for disability

pearl girl
05-09-2009, 03:01 PM
I stopped working about five years ago. I was having a terrible time keeping jobs. So my husband took over our financial needs and still is however he is 72 and obviously this can't continue.

I am 58 and thought I was just exhausted. stressed out (who isn't). So I let hubby bring home the bacon and would occasionally look for work but I always knew I either couldn't do it -- or I was too old (don't believe what they tell you about age discrimination).

So I've muddled along and we've doing ok but my health took a drastic dip last summer/fall. LOOOOOONG story: short version. I was finally diagnosed with pernicious anemia about one month ago. Since we know that it takes at least five years to deplete your stored b12 (my level was initially tested at 68), it now becomes clear that my problem was physical. I NEVER NEVER dreamed I had any kind of serious health problem that could causing all my problems with jobs. I went to several mds over the years with various 'hints' of trouble but was always brushed off as depressed or whatever.

SO, my question is:
If I am several quarters short of the required number due to my lack of work the last 5 years, and SS is saying I am therefore not entitled to disability 'period', is there any any any chance that I go any further? If so, where? Does it make any difference that it took me five years to find out what was wrong???

God bless you if any of this made sense to you because I have extensive nerve damage legs, feet, hands and my mind is a mess. I even have severe brain atrophy. From what I've read it is unlikely the nerve damage will get better; the brain certainly won't. I worked for over twenty-five years ... just doesn't seem fair.... Forgive my melodramatics.. but I just found this out today and am very upset. Frightened is the better word. Can't type any more ; finngers numb...:eek:

05-09-2009, 03:38 PM

Well I think that you should at least be able to continue to try for the SSI even if you cant qualify for the SSDI. You will probably have to go through all the waiting and denials.

You will still qualify for your SSDI, but it will have to wait until you turn the retirement age. So keep trying for the SSI :winky:

05-12-2009, 09:57 AM
There are two dates that matter for SSDI and both are set by the Social Security Administration. One is date of onset of disability and the other is date last insured.

Date of onset is the date that medical evidence establishes that you had a severe medical condition that prevents you from being able to work. You stopped working five years ago (2004) because you couldn't work even though you did not get a diagnosis until a month ago. Now, is it possible to prove that you were disabled in 2004 using the inference that the undiagnosed condition was causing your mental problems? It would be hard, and since you have this mental problem, maybe impossible for you to do. Perhaps it would be easier to establish onset as of the date your condition took this drastic dip in 2008. You would need to still pick a date. For the sake of this discussion, let's pick Sept 10, 2008. Perhaps the medical evidence can substantiate that date.

Date last insured is the date your SSDI credits run out, like car insurance that lapses. It always ends with the end date of a calendar quarter, 3/31; 6/30; 9/30 or 21/31. If you have been working sporadically, it is hard to figure out without the dollar amounts. You need to have earned 20 credits in the 40 credit period before onset. You can earn 4 credits a year, depending upon how much you earned. Around $1000 of earnings has been needed for one credit. Generally, you need five years of work in the ten year period before date of onset of disability. But that work does not have to be continuous or full time. If you worked five full years and then stopped working 12/03, your date last insured could be 12/31/08. Without your earnings record, I can't tell for sure.

So, once these two dates are established, then it is determined whether or not you meet the criteria for SSDI. You date of onset of disability has to be on or before your date last insured. With an onset date of 9/10/08 and a date last insured of 12/31/08, you would be eligible for SSDI. However, with an onset date of 9/10/08 and a date last insured of 6/30/08, you would not be eligible for SSDI.

YOU NEED A LAWYER. I don't say that to everyone. But, you are not in a mental position to be able to figure out these nuances and technicalities. It would be hard for any untrained mind, but yours is damaged. But you also need a lawyer who is willing to make the argument that not only are you disabled, but that you were disabled as of your date last insured in the past. Not all lawyers would want to attempt that since the medical evidence may be minimal for the past. You absolutely need a Social Security specialist lawyer, but I think you should not choose a large national firm but one that is smaller and that you can talk to the lawyer himself/herself from the beginning of the representation. An experienced, local, small operation, in my opinion.

You also need to know your date last insured as determined by the Social Security Administration and find all the medical evidence from before that date. Your denial notice may include a paragraph about date last insured, or it may not. You can get the date by calling the Social Security Adminstration since you have already filed a claim.

SSDI, for you, may be a difficult case, but worth the time and effort to pursue if there is any hope that your onset can be proven to be before date last insured.

SSI, Supplemental Security Income, is low income program for both the disabled and the elderly. You just have to be found disabled as of the date of application. There are no work credits. There are limits on assets. A home is excluded but savings and non-home property factors in. You husband is over 65, and often, if you are found disabled, the two of you MIGHT be able to be eligible as a couple. Yes, I understand that he doesn't need it, but SSI pays more money to a needy couple than they do to a needy single. And his money will determine how much SSI is payable whether or not he files, since he is your husband. You could be found disabled for SSI based on your condition today, but if you and your husband have too much income or resources, you won't get SSI.

You need to file the SSI claim also, if you haven't already. I do not think it is as critical to get a lawyer from the beginning for this claim, but if you are getting one for the SSDI, he/she will represent you for both. But the date issues are quite different for SSI than SSDI.

At age 62, you can get reduced retirement Social Security if you have enough lifetime credits or possibly spouse's benefits from your husband's work record. Medicare would start at age 65. That doesn't help you now. But if you were to get any amount of SSDI now, you could get Medicare after two years of entitlement, as early as age 60 for you. If you get SSI, you may get Medicaid (depends on your state).

Call lawyers. Find a local one. Make an appointment. Bring a notebook. Take notes. Bring a friend to also help you listen and remember. Bring your husband. Print this message to show the lawyer. Bring all your SS notices. Know your date last insured. Bring a timeline of your medical problems (dates of exams, dates of diagnosis, dates of tests). Talk to him/her in person at least once before signing any contract. Make sure he/she is willing to argue that you were disabled before your date last insured.

pearl girl
05-13-2009, 05:32 AM
[QUOTE=Janke;509111]There are two dates that matter for SSDI and both are set by the Social Security Administration. One is date of onset of disability and the other is date last insured.

Dear Friend,
How can I thank you for all the time you took to write this out for me. You have opened new doors of thought and possibility. Your generous answer has given new HOPE... blessings & love, Nancy=pearl girl

05-20-2009, 07:18 PM

being newly diagnosed with a disorder that you have had for sometime is not as odd as it might sound. this is often the case with multiple sclerosis and other disorders. social security is familiar with back dating disability. they may date your disability at the date you last worked. your disability date may be 5 years ago when you left the work force.

i wish you luck. take your time and fill out all forms when you are as relaxed as possible. the process is grueling: find a friend who can support you thru it. and i would think about a lawyer but don't fret over the fact that your disorder was years in the making - your disability began before you knew it. this happens.

take care, june

pearl girl
05-23-2009, 09:25 AM
Did you get my message???

05-30-2009, 12:18 PM
yet another twist: If you enter your state's Vocational Rehabililtation program (it's free), VR may find that you are too disabled for them to find you employment, thus, SSDI knows you cannot work because of your disability.