Breakfast with Social Security

About a month ago I applied for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). They haven’t made a decision on my case as of yet. It could take as long as 90 days.

Here’s basically the story on this. Most people get turned down the first time. You then find a lawyer and file an appeal. They set a date. You go back and forth. It takes awhile. It’s a big process.

Now let’s factor into this process into this equation that I’ll turn 62 in June 2014. It makes me eligible for early Social Security benefits, which I’ll take, if I’m not approved for SSDI by then.

I figured between regular SS and working part time I could exist. But then I heard something that I couldn’t believe. You can work while collecting SSDI….and work a lot!!

Maybe I’m being naive but I thought disability insurance was for people who  are….well…disabled. Makes sense, doesn’t it?

A friend of mine, who is also trying to collect SSDI, told me the parameters of what kind of money you can make. I looked it up. She was wrong. It was more.

I couldn’t believe it and had some questions. So yesterday morning it was off to my local Social Security office. And even there, the answers were better than what I thought. Again it was more.

Here’s how it goes….You’re approved for SSDI and you decide to go back to work. You’re thinking that’s it for collecting benefits. Uh uh. Nope. NO WAY!! Good news for you. You can make as much money as you can for a nine month qualifying period. You find a job where you can make six figures…without the decimal point…no problem. You get to keep it all, including the disability payment. You ask why is this possible? Because the government wants you to go back to work, so they’ll give you a trail period to see if you’re healthy enough to do so. And who will make that decision? YOU!! Sweet!! What a beautiful deal.

What happens after the nine month trial? Income limitations set in. You can make up to $1010 each month and keep your full benefit. If you go over that amount, for every $2 you make, you’l have to pay back $1. Still all in all a very good deal.

You might be wondering how long does this go on. I was, too. You can do this for an unlimited amount of time. The government will recheck you every 3-5 years to determine if you’re still disabled. If you are, the $$$ keeps coming. If not, the benefits end and the gravy train is over. Back to the salt mines.

Since this is my Blog, the key questions are …How does this affect me? Plus what do I think about this?

Obviously I was happy to hear this. Between SSDI and a part time gig, I figure my monthly income is enough that I won’t have to move to Mississippi.

The answer to the latter is I’m a bit torn. As I said earlier, the reason they call it disability insurance is because it’s for the disabled. If you can work, you really aren’t disabled, are you?

Am I going to take the money and try to add to it?  To quote the noted Alaskan scholar, Sarah Palin, “You betcha.”

My circumstances right now require me to do that. Will I have some misgivings? Naaaaa…..no way. It’s all legal.

But the key to this whole scam…errr….program is getting the approval. If that doesn’t happen, all of the above is moot. Then we get the lawyers involved.

The good news is my lawyers have been on 60 Minutes.

I like my chances.

Filed under: Wellness

Tags: Social Security, SSDI

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    Howard Moore

    Every five years or so I decide to update this section. I can't believe I've been doing this for close to ten years. The last time I did this I was close to sixty years old. Now I'm just a few months away from the big 7-ZERO. Scary AF!!! I'm pretty sure I won't be doing an update when I hit 80, but you never know. But until then, lets just be grateful.

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