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    • CommentAuthordonnaapril
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009 edited
     
    I worked for 20 years and draw a pension each month, I have ttried working but because of osteoarthritis in both shoulders cannot stay at any jobs. My question is can I still draw my pension and draw disability SSI?
    I have applied 2 months ago. as I will be turning 62 April 26...
    I am not sure if my pension would affect me drawing the disability ssi
  1.  
    It sounds like you are talking about social security disability insurance. There is something else called SSI, which used to be called "welfare" and is for people who haven't worked enough to qualify for social security, with practically no assets and because of a disability, they can't work. Yes, you can receive regular social security disability payments and collect a pension--it has nothing to do with financial status, but whether SSA finds you to qualify as being disabled under their rules. (I worked for the SSA for 32 yrs). My advice to you is the same I give the spouses on this website--call SSA and find out where your claim is, whether your doctor has submitted the required information, etc. Follow up on each step of the process, to ensure that nothing goes wrong, gets lost, etc. SSA should have sent you letters with phone numbers and contact people to call. This can speed up the decision.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    donnaapril, hi! You're new ...

    Marilyn is obviously the expert on this subject, and I know nothing about any of this, but I wanted to say welcome to Spouse.

    If you'd like to tell us more about yourself, we'd love to hear. Maybe there's something else I could help you with.
    •  
      CommentAuthorpamsc
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    My husband gets a pension from his job and social security disability. He gets more from Social Security disability than he would from social security early retirement (though that can be different if you have more than one kid under 18). We went to the Social Security office and I was suprised that they were very kind and knowledgeable and careful to cover every possibility. I recommend going and talking to them sooner rather than later.
    • CommentAuthorKadee*
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    My husband also receives SSD & a pension from the company he worked for. Don't make the mistake I did, I thought since he received a pension he would not be eligible for SSD. He missed out on 2 years that he would have been entitled to. We could have really used that money.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    Donnaapril,

    It occurred to me that there's a website with tools to help you locate financial assistance. Go to:

    http://alzheimers.boomja.com/Finding-Financial-Assistance-27304.html

    The last article is the tool for benefits you can get from Social Security, but you might want to check out all of them, for other sources of support.
    •  
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    I have an awkward question, but I know I can say or ask anything here. So here goes, I know that when DH passes I will still receive his Social Security, but does anyone know about his Veteran's Pension? I'm worried about being able to afford my mortgage. Also, will I still receive his VA pension when he goes into the VA Nursing Home? I feel strange asking our outreach worker as DH is usually sitting with us. Thanks
  2.  
    SusanL, if your personal social security benefit is more than your husband's, you can't draw his.

    That is what I am faced with right now. My social security is much larger than his was because he drew a federal pension. He worked just enough under social security to get a minimum benefit.

    I'm not sure about the VA pension. I will get 60% of Claude's federal pension minus insurance and income tax since he elected to take a smaller monthly pension to provide a pension for me. I don't know if the VA pension is the same. I would call the VA and ask.

    It is so much better to be informed before hand then to be blindsided.
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009 edited
     
    Susan, I don't know about about a Veteran's pension if it is based on disability. My DH served 25 years in the Air Force and if he should die before me I would get nothing. He took out Survivors Benefits when he retired so I would get a pension from that. If they don't change, which the retired military are trying to do, it my Social Security will be less depending on how much SB's I get.

    Jean
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    I am not sure about the pension after he passes, but if he goes into the VA home they will take a portion or all of it. My FIL is in a VA facility and they take all of his SS except a portion they deemed necessary to cover the expenses for the house. NO one is living there, but there are some bills. From the way my BIL explains it, they review his account yearly to see how much was used for the house and then takes what's left over. That probably is not exactly how it is, but probably is in the ball park.

    We are not close to it now, but if/when the time comes in for my hb to go into the VA AD facility, I am sure they will take a good portion of his SS. Fortunately we are low income, so is 'par for the road'.

    I would definitely do as other as suggested and meet with someone from the VA. Even if you husband is there, it is better to find out now so you can adjust than have a big surprise later down the road.
    • CommentAuthorSunshyne
    • CommentTimeMar 13th 2009
     
    Susan, there are a bunch of different veteran's benefits ... but as far as I can tell, you are probably eligible although you would not get as much as he does. Look at these and see if you think they apply to your situation:

    http://www.proseniors.org/PDFDocs/Consumer/VA.pdf

    http://help4srs.org/seniortruth/?p=188

    http://www.military.com/benefits/survivor-benefits/veterans-death-pension
    (look at the links in the upper right-hand corner, too).
    •  
      CommentAuthorSusan L*
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    Thanks, I will check it out.
    • CommentAuthorPatB
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    My DH retired from the Navy Reserve after finishing his 20 years (enough for retirement benefits). At that time he had to chose whether to receive the maximum pension or elect a smaller amount so I could continue to receive a pension after he died. He doesn't receive any benefits till he turns age 60 (about a year and a half away).

    PatB
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    Marilyninmd,
    Just a note on the SSI, it is not correct that SSI is only for people who have not worked and earned enough to qualify for Social Security. Many people draw SSI even while waiting for their Social Security to begin. SSI is means tested and has nothing to do with people just not earning enough to draw Social Security. Some people still qualify for SSI and Social Security both.
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    Something I would like to know. Does anyone on the board know how the Federal Pension for a worker under the Civil plan works for the spouse. If a Civil Federal worker draws a pension, they are not allowed to draw Social Security unless they also have worked under the other Federal Plan. (I am not versed at all on this, know nothing about it,) I am wondering if the Federal worker dies, and the spouse is drawing her own Social Security, does she still also get the full federal pension her deceased spouse was drawing.

    Please someone surely knows the answer to this. My neighbor's husband draws the Civil Federal, she draws her Social Security and she keeps asking me what she would draw if he dies, I tell her I know nothing whatsoever, but I bet this group would know.

    HELP
  3.  
    Jane--Thanks for correcting me on the SSI--I'm not as familiar with that program as SSA benefits. On your question above, the first issue would be--did your neighbor's husband elect the survivor annuity option when he retired? If so, it would lower his retirement checks each month, but she would qualify for payments if he dies. If they have the Federal Employees Health Insurance Plan, she would also be entitled to keep the coverage upon his dealth.

    If he did not elect this option when he retired, I don't think she can qualify for any survivor payments, nor can she keep the Federal Employees Health coverage. I don't think her own Social Security benefits would have any effect on any potential survivor benefits from her husband's Federal employment. They should call the U. S. Office of Personnel Management, at 1-888-767-6738, to find out for sure what their situation is. They will need to know his claim number, which is on all the correspondence OPM sends out.
    • CommentAuthorJean21*
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    Jane, My DH gets a Civil Service pension and if he should die before me I would get nothing. It is the same as military unless the retiree signed up for Survivors Benefits when they retire then so much is taken out of the military retirement depending on the amount chosen. My DH got 50% and paid it for over 30 years. They recently decided that you didn't have to pay anymore if you had paid 30 years. I don't know if Civil Service had a similair plan. Maybe the DOD site would have more information. HTH.

    Jean
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 14th 2009
     
    When my sister's husband died, the only thing she kept from the civil service was to stay on their medical plan. Her premiums are much lower than if she did it on her own.
  4.  
    Claude retired from Civil Service after 34 years. He elected to take a smaller monthly pension so I could get a pension after his death. I will get 60% of his pension, and will stay on BC/BS at a much lower premium than I could get on my own.

    I get to keep my own social security. I don't get any of his because my SS payment is larger than his was. The only thing I get from his social security is a one time payment of $255 of which I have to apply for. I have a phone appt. next Tuesday at 2:30PM. Who knows when I'll get it :-)

    When I called Civil Service to notify them of his death, they told me it would take them a month to send the paperwork and not to except any money until at least the middle of May!!!! February to May????
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2009
     
    Ok redbud73086,
    That will help her, when I told her to call and try to find out, she keeps saying they have no local office here and it is a hard to get the information. He did elect to have the pension reduced so she would get some when he dies she just not know know if it would be his whole amount or a percentage and if so what percent it would be.

    I think it would be hard to plan ahead if you did not know how much you could plan on from the pension of a spouse.

    Thank you all for replying. I guess she will receive 60%
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2009
     
    addition to my above comment, my neighbors husband cannot draw social security due to the federal pension. I guess because he worked under the federal plan that does not allow any social security to be drawn.?????? As you all can see, I know nothing at all about this Federal Plan. Wish I knew more.
  5.  
    Jane,
    Did you see that I posted above the phone number your neighbor should call--it is in D.C.--it's true there's no local office--but it is toll-free.

    There are 2 Federal retirement plans:

    CSRS (Civil Service Retirement System)
    FERS (Fed. EE Retirement System)

    CSRS annuitants are subject to a windfall elimination provision of the law that usually cancels out the Social Security Benefits. Under FERS, an individual can receive both the gov't pension and social security. Originally, I was under the CSRS system. However, during the 1980's we were given the option to switch to FERS. My husband and I decided that since EOAD ran in his family, he would probably predecease me, and it would be good for me to be able to receive his SS in addition to my pension if, in fact, that did occur. So, as things worked out, it looks like we made the right choice. I receive my gov't annuity, when I'm 62 I'll get my own social security, and when he passes away, I'll also receive the increase so that it equals the amount of his social security. Does that all make sense?
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2009
     
    Yes, it does makes sense. In my neighbors case it is the Husband who us under the CSRS and he only draws the government pension, no Social Security. what her question is example: She draws her own social security, if he dies before her does she get the spousal benefit of the CSRS without it affecting any of her own social security??????
  6.  
    Yes, as long as he signed up for the survivor annuity (which you said he did) she's entitled to it.
  7.  
    I understand her question, since she would not be able to receive both his and her Social Security checks. I don't know the answer, but if I had to guess, I'd 'guess' she WOULD be able to receive his CSRS PLUS her SS. Although I'm not affected by this, I am interested in reading the answer when it comes in.
    • CommentAuthorJanet
    • CommentTimeMar 15th 2009
     
    Marilyn,

    Is the pension offset you referred to related to the "windfall elimination provision" of the Social Security Act? That provision, in my opinion, is totally unfair. I worked in jobs in which I paid into Social Security for 22 years. Then I took a state job in Illinois. The state elected not to pay into SS. I worked at that job for 6 years. Because I get a very small pension from that job, the social security I get is only 3/4 of what I would have received if I had retired without ever holding the job in Illinois. Supposedly, it's a pension offset. What it means is that if I live to the average expected age, my pension will be offset (wiped out) by what they are withholding from my SS. It makes no sense to me that the government can reduce the SS that I and my previous employers paid for.
  8.  
    Janet--Yes, it is. Frankly, I don't think the WEP makes sense either, and there is an organization--the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)--that is fighting to have the WEP repealed. I don't know the current status of this--but you might want to check their website--www.narfe.org., or just Google "repeal of the Windfall Elimination Provision".
    • CommentAuthorJane
    • CommentTimeMar 16th 2009
     
    Thanks marilyninMD
    That is great. She said when she calls the phone numbers they gave her they just give her a run around same thing happened when he started drawing, it was awful until he got his first couple checks. They were worried to death. I will tell her what you said.
  9.  
    Well.......................dealing with the gov't can certainly be frustrating. This seems to be a rather straightforward situation, though, and if they have his claim number, they should certainly be able to tell her how much of his annuity she will be entitled to. They'll probably want to speak to him first, due to the Privacy Act stuff, and then he can put her on the phone.
  10.  
    Claude was "forced" to retire from civil service in 1980 when Reagan closed all the public health service hospitals. The city and county chose to keep it open. He stayed on his job and I went to work there. The hospital employees had an opportunity to vote on whether to pay into social security. The majority chose not to - so majority ruled. It was unfortunate for me since the six years I worked there were the years I earned the most money per year. They continued to pay government wages that were much higher then local businesses paid.

    We moved back to our hometown in Oklahoma and he went to work for the local hospital. By 1993, he had earned enough quarters to get a minimum SS payment. He was able to draw both his federal pension and social security.

    I seem to recall the govt passed some law back in the early 80s that federal employees had to start paying into social security as well as their pension. If I'm remembered correctly, that may be why his social security check may be reduced or eliminated.

    If a retiree elects at retirement to take a reduced pension to provide a pension for a spouse, they automatically get 60% of the retiree's pension plus health insurance at a lower premium that you can get on your own.