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Can I file for SSD if i'm not working?

sotiredssotired Posts: 29
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:37 AM in Health Insurance Issues
Hi All,
I haven't worked in my career field for 18 years due to back pain. 3 years ago I substituted now and then, depending on pain level.
I do have enough credits for SS according to my statement.
Can I apply for SSD?
I'm a counselor by profession. I can't sit or stand long. I've also lost all my hearing in one ear due to percocet use and a preexisting mild hearing loss.
I don't know what kind of job I could do. I'd love to do something instead of sitting at home all day.
Any thoughts are welcome.


  • And if you have credits per you statement- then I say go for it.

    Good luck!
  • I would apply if I was you. One of the requirements is you need to be off work for 6 months, and be disabled for up to a year. So that a plus on your side.
    Have you looked into a state run program for vocational rehabilitation? They maybe able to help.
    I hope this helps,
    Bobbi Jo
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  • In order to qualify to file a claim for Social Security Disability, you have to have enough credits - a rule of thumb is that you'd have to work at least 5 out of the last 10 years. That's the rule in Louisiana - it may be different in other states. State employees who have not paid into Social Security are eligible for Medicare only, as opposed to Medicare and monthly payments.

    When you say you have enough credits for SS, do you mean SS RETIREMENT, or SS disability? Those things are listed separately on your earnings statement (the one that comes around each year).

    Is your income/assets level enough that you would qualify for SSI (Supplemental Security Income)? The funds that pay that come from the state's general tax fund and is geared for lower income households. With that, there is a limit on the household income and that varies depending on the dynamics of your home (how many live there, any children, etc).

    Bobbi Jo had an excellent suggestion about the vocational rehab.

    At any rate, if you aren't sure whether you can file a claim or not, contact your local SSA; if you don't know the number, the toll free nationwide number is 800-772-1213. Listen for the prompt for SSD claims; you can leave your information and someone from your local office will contact you. You can file a claim either on the phone, in person, or online ( I like the personal approach. It never hurts to let them see you. I say this because at the end of the application, there is a place marked "For Office Use Only". This is where the SSA representative makes a note of anything they've noticed visually. While the disability decision is not based solely on this information, it is taken into consideration. Some of the questions are things like "did you notice any difficulty sitting? standing? speaking? hearing? seeing? etc. So any and every little bit helps.

    Whatever your decision, good luck to you.

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