How You Can Start Social Security and Medicare Early with The Disability Program
Aug. 5, 2021
Getting older can come with some health challenges and physical problems. When those get bad enough, some people can’t keep working. SSA has special rules for most workers over age 50 that make getting disability easier and easier at 50, 55, and age 60. Workers who are truly illiterate can benefit from a special rule as young as 45, but illiteracy is thankfully fairly rare.
Every situation is unique, so the best thing to do is to call our office for a free no-obligation conversation to determine if starting your Social Security benefit and Medicare early is right for you.
Call us Toll-free at 1-877-966-1212
It is also important to remember that if you start on Social Security with the disability program the benefit is much larger than taking age 62 retirement. At full retirement age, the disability amount automatically changes to retirement and the rules about work and earning money change also.
Medicare age is presently 65, but if you get your Social Security from the disability program your Medicare will begin after you have been eligible for benefits for 24 calendar months! Early Medicare is a really big deal.
Now let’s look at some examples pulled from real-world situations. Obviously, for confidentiality the names are fiction.
Mark is a registered nurse and has worked at the hospital for 28 years. He just turned 56 and has struggled for years with knee pain. He even had to get his left knee replaced a year ago and now his right knee is killing him and it will shortly be time to have that knee done. About 8 months ago the hospital he worked at closed and Mark hasn’t been able to get hired on anywhere yet that would let him sit as much as he was being allowed to at the now-closed hospital.
We got Mark approved for his Social Security with the disability program. This is because he can no longer do the standing and walking required of a full range of light level work. By convincing the government that his full capacity for work is sedentary level (desk work), and pointing out that he was over 55, we got him the help he needed. It’s important to call us for advice because we know that if Mark was in the exact same situation but was 50-54 he would NOT have been allowed benefits. That is because when he was younger than 55 SSA would expect him to use his knowledge and skills as a registered nurse to go work at a desk job. At age 55 the rules about knowledge and skill and adapting to new work change.
In our next example, we meet Kate. Kate is 59 and worked in warehouse unloading trucks. She got her GED in 1988. She injured her neck in a car accident. She has burning pain that shoots down both arms if she tries to do too much with her arms. If she lifts her grandson she gets stabbing shooting pain in her neck. Her doctor has placed a 20 lb. lifting limit on her. Kate’s past work should be classified as unskilled and medium in physical demands. With the 20 lb. restriction she is limited to light level work. Kate got to start her Social Security early with the disability program even though she could still do light-level work activity.
In our last example, Joseph was 61 and he had worked very hard his whole life. He was a farmhand. Joseph also had learning problems and he can’t read or write. He has some high blood pressure and a little breathing problem that keeps him from performing heavy or very heavy work anymore. We got Joseph Social Security disability even though the government agreed he could do medium-level work activity! This is because the farmhand job was very heavy in physical demand and he could no longer perform that work with his medical problems.
So to summarize, if you have medical problems that limit what you can do, and are not working you may be able to start your Social Security and Medicare early with the disability program. For a few workers who are not able to read and write, they can get help as young as 45, but for many more workers the key ages are 50, 55 and 60. Education level, and the skill of what you used to do for a living matter a great deal also. Don’t apply for early Social Security under the disability program without knowing exactly what is it you are likely to have to prove first.
Read more about it at SSA.gov: SSA - POMS: DI 25025.035 - Tables No. 1, 2, 3, and Rule 204.00 - 06/26/2020
We know the rules to help people start Social Security early with the disability program! Call us for a free individualized conversation about your situation. Call toll free: 1-877-966-1212