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Working and Disability

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SSDRC Disability Blog

Turned down 4 times for disability even though I worked for 30 years

(Some employers do not pay into the Social Security Disability system and this can later affect one's ability to draw SSD or SS retirement benefits.)

Good morning,

I recently found your posting on the internet about the ins and outs of disability. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge and experience with the public.

I have been turned down 4 times for disability. I became disabled in 2006 but did not start requesting disability assistance for a few years. I have been working since 1968 till 2005. From 1975 to 2005 I was a law enforcement officer. That is 30 years of my life. What I found out was the City has some type of "out" in regards to deducting social security from our pay checks.

The reasons I have received from Social Security is I don't have enough accumulated quarters (because the last 30 years didn't count).

I am trying to support my family and home on a retirement check from the City. My wife does not work. Nowadays, who can support everything on a retirement check? I did manage to get Social Security to give me Social Security retirement. Again, SS in not helping as much as they could, according to the scale, I should be eligible for between $800.00 to $900.00 per month. They cut that back because I have retirement from the City. Now I only receive $284.00 a month.

I feel I deserve the benefit of SS disability, I have paid my dues. What really gets me, there are people out there that are getting disability who have never worked a day in their lives and are getting full disability benefits, some of them are from different countries and never worked in the US at all. I have personal knowledge of at least one case of this.

I feel I am being strongly ignored and no one associated with Social Security cares one little bit about my situation. This opinion was formed from telephone calls, letters and in person office visits.

What can be done?

It seems you have had a rough time of it since you became disabled in 2006. The problem you have with regard to your benefit amount from Social Security is an offset that occurs for people who worked for employers who have not paid into Social Security over the years because their employers opted out.

There is not much to be done unless Congress gets rid of the WEP offset. Each year, a bill is put forth to eliminate this offset but it goes nowhere. The simple truth is that it is unlikely that Social Security (i.e. Federal Government) will ever put that through because it will cost more money.

Considering the climate we are in today with Congress trying to eliminate Social Security funding at every turn, I doubt anything will ever happen. I wish I had more to offer that could be of assistance to you but that offset affects civil service employees, some state government employees, individuals with foreign pensions, city employees, and any other people who worked for companies that opted out of Social Security tax withholding.

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

Related pages:

How many work quarters do you need to qualify for disability?
What If I Do Not Have Enough Work Credits For Social Security Disability Benefits?
What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI - Social Security disability Insurance?
How does social security define work quarters?
Not enough accumulated quarters for Social Security Disability, what do I do?

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 provide answers to basic questions about pursuing disability benefits

What is qualifying for disability based on?
What do you Need to Prove to Qualify for Disability Benefits?
Social Security Disability Status - when should I call to check
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition?
What are the SSI disability qualifications for Adults and Children?
How Likely are You to Win Your Disability Case?
What Can I Do to Improve My Chances of Winning Disability Benefits?
Working while getting Disability - Is it Possible?
What is Social Security Back Pay?
What is the maximum back pay you can get for Social Security disability?