Off Of SSD! Yea!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I had always been told that I would not age into SS until age 66. I just learned that when one is on SSD, one is switched to regular retirement SS at age 65. No more worrying about being reviewed nor losing my disability. I am much better than when I first had to quit working but I'm nowhere near being well and probably could never work full time again. Now, I don't have to worry about losing my SS nor about limits on what I can earn. I'll likely not earn more than the SSD allowed anyway, but this is a huge relief.

    I pray for all who are attempting to get SSD. It's not an easy process but it's worth the effort.

    Love, Mikie
  2. gapsych

    gapsych New Member


    I did not know about getting SS at age 65 if you are on SSD. I am sure that is helpful information to many like me who did not know that.

    Take care.

    [This Message was Edited on 08/17/2009]
  3. sleepyinlalaland

    sleepyinlalaland New Member

    Thank you for posting on this subject. I am on SSDI and at 62, it is a transition I have been unclear about. If I were still managing to hold a job, I would have for-sure taken early retirement and not waited until 65 no matter how much extra income it would have meant. So, I guess 65 is the age that a person on SSD income "ages out" and the income from that point is then retirement income. Right?

    Also at 62, I had been assuming I am too near retirement age to have to worry about a review. Maybe I'm wrong. Of course I guess that would only be an issue if i were making extra income and I am not. And if I were, I don't think I'd be able to top or even come close to the upper-income limit allowed. I do hope I'm safe from review as I have very much an "invisible disability" and I'd hate to have to prove that again!

    Anyway, happy "retirement"
  4. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    From what I could tell from the site with my befogged brain, a person on SSD is converted to regular retirement income when they reach full retirement age.

    If one is born between 1943 and 1954, that age is 66.

    If someone (born between 1943 and 1954) loses SSD after age 62, and before reaching age 66, they are eligible for at least 75% of the full retirement benefit as a regular early retiree.

    Let's hope that doesn't happen!

    Best wishes!
  5. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    Last time I came up for review, I wrote SS a LONG detailed letter and explained the billions of symptoms and how debilitated I am. And whatever I said worked cause they sent me a letter saying I didn't need a medical review at that time. I turn forty this year. I do live in terror that they will force me to do more reviews. My condition has deteriorated over the years. It is not getting better. I'm not really functional at all now. I can barely do the minimum of things to survive, I nearly faint trying to cook. They should really leave chronically ill people alone and not cause them more stress. All they should do is send a letter asking if anything has changed. It would save everyone alot of misery and stress.
  6. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Let me thank you all for your interest, kind comments, and responses. SS is soooooo confusing. I had also believed that one had to age in to retirment SS based on one's birthday. I hadn't expected to age in until I turned 66. The person I talked to at SSA told me that everyone, regardless of when they would "normally" age in, converts to retirement SS if they have been on SSD when they reach 65. Now, if SSD is interrupted, I'm not sure if one would have to wait until normal aging in or not--probably would.

    Usually, when one receives the approval letter from SSA, it indicates when a review will likely occur. My letter did not mention anything about a review. I was 60 by the time I was approved, after three years of waiting since filing. At that age, SS usually does not do reviews, but they can at any time if they want to. I used my "Ticket To Work" because as long as one is using that, SS claims they will not perform medical reviews. Still, I worried about it.

    I guess I was just taken by surprise, first at being switched to retirement SS at age 65 and second, I was amazed at the sense of a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. Being on disability is stressful. As I mentioned on the Chit Chat Board, we are expected to be so disabled that we can demonstrate our inability to work. On the other hand, we are trying to get better. Those two things are at odds to each other.

    I keep us all in my prayers because I know first hand just how difficult it is to deal with our illnesses, the financial problems that being disabled causes, and the stress of trying to obtain disability benefits.

    Love, Mikie
  7. momof471

    momof471 New Member

    I know that is a great relief! One less MAJOR thing to worry about!

    God Bless
  8. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Yes, it is one less MAJOR thing to worry about! I just didn't realize how major until I felt the immense relief when SS moved me into retirement SS instead of SSD. How much stress, related to our illnesses or disability/medical insurance, do we carry on our shoulders without realizing it? I remember the immense relief I felt when I was approved, but being approved isn't the end of the stressful relationship with SS that we have to endure.

    Thanks again for the congrats. Hugs and prayers.

    Love, Mikie
  9. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    I'm glad for you! I know exactly what you mean about a huge weight being taken off your shoulders. I had a similar issue with my ex-husband (long term marriage of 23+ years) - was receiving spousal support but hated taking his money even though I needed it and truly was disabled. But I felt enormous pressure to get better so I could stop taking his money, even though I was doing everything I could to get well. Anyways, that issue has been resolved (I no longer need his money for reasons I won't go into) and I was very surprised at what a relief it was. I hadn't realized how much pressure I was putting on myself, that I HAD to get well, even though I'd been doing everything I could and it still wasn't enough.

    It's hard enough being sick without that added stress!

  10. dollinitup

    dollinitup New Member

    I also was wondering about how all this worked when someone reached 65. Thanks for that information. My question is, Is the amount you recieved on SSD the same as the amount you would have gotten at 65-66 if you had waited?

    I have been on SSD for 6 yrs now and never had a review but I too worry about it all the time.
  11. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I know I'm not the only one who has stressed over the whole SSD issue. The more people who have responded, the more convinced I become that, besides our illnesses themselves, the related issues can be very difficult and probably are big contributors to our illnesses.

    The way it was explained to me, SSA bases SSD on what one earned during the earning years and what one might have continued to make if one were to work to age 65. If I had not gotten sick, I would have earned more than the estimate SSA assumed for my theoretical missing working years. I worked in sales, so some of the years considered were leaner than others. I think they did an average to figure out what I would be entitled to at age 65. I had worked up to my prime earning years and would likely be getting more now if I had not become disabled. So, to make a long story short, there is no difference between what one receives on SSD and what one receives when one ages into retirement SS.

    On the one hand, my illnesses have robbed me of my highest earning years but on the other, when I was unable to work, I was contributing nothing into FICA nor Medicare. So, I am grateful for the SSD and now, my regular SS.

    Love, Mikie
  12. Spinetti

    Spinetti New Member

    for letting us know what you learned. The possibility of losing disability income is a huge concern for many of us.

    I'm happy you no longer have that worry! Best wishes for your retirement!
  13. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I appreciate your kind good wishes.

    Love, Mikie
  14. richvank

    richvank New Member

    Hi, Mikie.

    It's good to hear from you again, and I'm glad you are free of having to worry about SSD.

    I think the SSD situation puts people with CFS in a very conflicted situation. As you mentioned, a person naturally wants to try to get better, but what if one tries, and doesn't get well enough or relapses so that one is unable to support oneself, and the SSD has been pulled? I think it's just awful to be placed in the position of having to choose whether or not to try to get better or to remain ill in order to be able to keep the financial support. I guess I can understand why they run SSD in this way (to prevent freeloaders from taking advantage of those who are paying to support this system), but it really does place the individual in a unfortunate and difficult position.

    For those of us doing research on treatments for CFS, this is an important factor that can affect outcome that is never discussed in published papers. If people in a study are on SSD, they may not have the same degree of courage to try to improve as people who are not on this support. I know that that's an awful thing to say, but I think it's true, and I think it would be very understandable. But I've never heard of any researchers coming out and saying that they exclude people on SSD from participating in their studies. I don't know if they do or if they don't, but I think it could make a difference in the results, and I don't think it would be very "politically correct" to put this in a published paper. It's a sticky situation.

    Anyway, I'm glad that you don't have to worry about this anymore.

    Best regards,

  15. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    I took my SS at 62 but have SSD pending and I am told when it gets approved, could be 2-3 years here that I will get that amount which is more then my SS retirement I took this year at 62. So if what you are saying is correct, will I drop back down to my SS amount at age 66?
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Rich, thank you so much for your kind comments. You really do understand the paradox between trying to heal and trying to obtain SSD. I have always encouraged those here who wonder whether to seek SSD to do so as early as possible. They need to get a lot of evidence from several docs. The problem comes when it takes three years for a hearing, as it did in my case. My healing was slow in the early years, so I was still pretty sick by the time my case came up. My healing has accelerated over the years as I've found more treatments. I still couldn't work full time and there are many things I couldn't do in a job. I'm very lucky to have the part-time job I have where they understand and work with my limitations. You have been so very helpful to us here on this board. Thank you.

    Blue, I think you should ask SSA because I've never known anyone who has applied for SSD after taking SS. It is an interesting question. Please let us know what you find out.

    Again, everyone, thank you for joining in on my happiness. The members here are the best!

    Love, Mikie
  17. msbsgblue

    msbsgblue Member

    I actually filed before then taking my S.S. retirement. They tell me that when I am approved I will still get the larger amount. Two different reps have told me this.

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