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Working and Disability

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Appealing to get a better onset date can be risky

My husband was granted monthly disability income beginning 5 months following his 50th birthday. He was denied a lump sum, although his disability began several years before his birthday. The disability letter stated his disability began that day.

The letter did say we could file an appeal, but the attorney did not recommend filing a claim, as he said my husband could lose the monthly benefit awarded.

Any advice would be appreciated. He has not been able to work for almost 5 years and was working long after he should have stopped.

Thank you

My guess would be that your attorney is absolutely correct in advising you not to appeal the date of onset for your husband's disability. Social Security disability vocational guidelines are based upon age, education, vocational background etc.

At the age of 50. the vocational guidelines are more favorable than at age 49. For your attorney to advise against pursing an earlier onset, they must feel that your husband would not be approved for disability benefits if the decision is based upon the ages of 45-49.

While it is not common, a Social Security ALJ can overturn an approval for Social Security disability benefits should they be requested to review the case on the basis of an earlier onset of disability. If they determine that he was not disabled at that time, they may feel he is not disabled at 50. It is a chance, every disability beneficiary takes if they file an appeal for an earlier date of disability.

For Social Security, it does not really matter that he worked long after he should have stopped working or that he has not worked for five years. It is strictly an evaluation of your husband's disabling condition and when the vocational rules and medical evidence support a finding of disabled. And in your husband's case, it was his 50th birthday. Then, of course, there is the five month waiting period all Social Security disability beneficiaries have.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

The Levels Of The Social Security Disability and SSI Application and Appeal Process
How does the Social Security Disability Appeal Process work?
Is it better to appeal or file a new claim if your disability is denied?
How Long Are You Given To Appeal Your Social Security Disability Denial?
How Long Does a Social Security Disability or SSI Appeal Take?
Will I be approved for disability on my appeal?
What Happens If I Miss My Social Security Disability Appeal Date?
How Do I Find Out How My Disability Appeal Is Going?
Can You Work While You Appeal Your Social Security Disability Decision?
How Long Does It Take To Get SSDI If You Have To Appeal?
If Your Disability Benefits Are Stopped Can You Get Them While You Appeal?
Winning a Social Security Disability Appeal or SSI Appeal

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria