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Can I get SSDI if I quit my job ?

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    Can I get SSDI if I quit my job ?

    Hello All,

    I am 51 years old and have been a C-6 complete quad for 31 years
    due to a diving accident. After 25 years of working for a large
    software company I feel as though I cannot go on much longer. After
    30 years of pushing a chair my shoulders, elbows and writs are
    giving out. I am getting fatigued easier and need to lay down
    some during the day to refresh. The daily grind, travel, long
    work hours has taken it's toll on all parts of this paralyzed body.

    My question is if I just simply quit my job.........can i get SSDI
    payments ? It looks like I would qualify for the max amount of 2053
    dollars a month. Also, I have accumulated some financial assets
    during my working life (paid off house, 401K, portfolio, etc). Do
    all these count against you when they determine how much I would
    get.......or would it be $2053 no matter what. I am not rich and
    would need this $2053 to survive.


    Hi Ronnie

    When I first read your post I thought someone was playing a joke on me.(just kidding). I am about your age c 5/6 inc and have been sci for over 30 years also. Diving accident also. Just like you I couldn't work anymore due to many secondary sci issues. Fortunately I was able to take a retirement from my employer. I receive ssdi now from all my years of employment 20+ years. I don't see why you wouldn't qualify for ssi but you would need a doctors statement to submit to ss. I am practically certain that you could receive benefits however you would have to wait two years for medicare to kick in. Call the ss office as soon as possible and talk with your doctor. I just retired about 2 years ago. If you like you could pm me and I can tell you more about the process. Good Luck.

    I had to come in and add/edit to my post. SS does not look at assets, everyone who paid in qualifies at 65 and if you become disabled before then, as long as your doctor documents your disability you can collect, regardless of assets. Once again good luck and let me know.
    Last edited by cara_m; 22 Mar 2007, 8:55 PM.


      I believe that you would get SSDI, but first you would want to go out on your companies short term disability and then long term disability. Depending on how your company benefits work, often when you are on long term disability they will make you apply for SSDI because it will cost them less to pay you. If approved, you could collect SSDI plus any amount over the SSDI that your company may have been paying you for LTD. Going out on disability with your company benefits is good for you also because you have to be disabled for 6 months before you can receive SSDI. If approved after that time they will back pay you to the six month mark. For SSDI it is actually 5 full months of disability with the expectation of being disabled for more than a year. So if you leave your job on April 2, you cannot count April as one of those full months. Knowing this you can plan accordingly. I would stay with the company as long as possible on LTD and SSDI that way you may be able to keep your health care benefits until Medicare kicks in which is not until you have been on SSDI for 24 months.


        reaton, i think your ssdi application would be a slam dunk. having up to date medical with the reasons why you can no longer work is important. defiantly make full use of your std and ltd benefits if you have them. your net assets have nothing to do with ssdi. Apply early , you don't have to wait until your out 5 or 6 ,months to apply, you can apply as soon as you stop work,some states are very backed up and it may take 5 months or more to get the approval.
        cauda equina


          yes. ssdi, medicare and cobra to tide you over.

          ssdi is federal, not state. there should be no diff what state you're in.



            You will definitely be found eligible for SSDI. The Social Security Administration uses a manual to determine disability eligibility. For many disabilities like lets say heart problems there will be a list of criteria that the person must match, however, if you are coded as paralyzed the only criteria is that you are not working - not unable to work, just not working. There are no other criteria. Have fun in leisureland!


              But if you have out!

              Edited because you do have assets...

              As I remember, to get SSDI the government expects you to be and stay broke. Seems like it was anything over 3K.


                You can have as much assets as you like with SSDI. It is SSI that is income driven.


                  Huge kudos to all of you that have decades of employment under your belt post-SCI. I'm much younger, have worked much less, and am feeling that my body is totally buggered. Only way I'll be able to pull off decades of employment is if I telework.

                  Again, amazing job. You're an inspiration.


                    Originally posted by ancientgimp
                    You will definitely be found eligible for SSDI. The Social Security Administration uses a manual to determine disability eligibility. For many disabilities like lets say heart problems there will be a list of criteria that the person must match, however, if you are coded as paralyzed the only criteria is that you are not working - not unable to work, just not working. There are no other criteria. Have fun in leisureland!
                    That is very good news. I find myself in much the same situation as the original poster. I'm 28 years post injury and have been working 50+ hour work weeks for 24 years. Between the 80 mile a day commute and my worn out sholders, I just don't know how much longer I can do it.

                    Good to know I may have options...



                      your usually always better off working till you cant, cause the longer you pay into the system and the more money you make , the more you get back when disabled. so if young your better off getting retrained or schooling for into something you can do for 20 plus years,
                      your also better off working for someone as opposed to being self employed, your benefits are the same , but when self employed you pay twice as much , when an employee you employer contributes too.
                      you also need medical documentation as to why you stopped working. i believe stopped due to sci complications and injurie is enough if your injury is thoroughly documented.
                      cauda equina


                        The federal government, as an employer, has actually insisted on someone with worsening MS to have a bad rating in their job. In other words, the guy was trying to be medically retired because he was having a terrible time doing what he felt was a good job. It took his senior rater a lot of work to get him out without making him look like a poor employee. He did get early retirement and after a couple years he went back to work for a contractor that allowed telecomuting. He can reapply, with the always possible appeals, for SSDI and get Medicare again if his conditions deteriates.
                        Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

                        Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.


                          You will have to to get letters from your doctor saying you can't work anymore....since you did work after your injury..I would expect problems and you probably end up getting a attorney before its over...most people I know if they apply for ssd today...its like a 3 year waiting period...and they only pay back 6 months after they accept your wants to make it hard...hoping you give up and go back to any event very good luck.



                            I don't think you would have much difficulty getting SSDI under the circumstances you describe...You will want to have solid medical documentation of changing condition. In regard to work though I don't think you will be 'determined disabled' if / while you are working no matter how bad physical condition. you want to apply while not working due to disabling condition. Criteria for disability determination is that you cannot work for at least 12 months or a fatal condition. That can make it tough income wise during the interim.( Private short and long term disability through employment benefits can be a good bridge and can be determined disabled by private disability while waiting SSA / SSDI determination.) When a SSA determination is made a date of, "onset of disability" will be determined. Usually around the time you had to stop working due to disability. From that date it is five months before you are eligible for a SSDI check. The determination process can take different amounts of time depending on how fast the SSA region is. When you get an award it will include back payment to the "onset of disability' date.

                            Another rub in the process is insurance... Assuming you are awarded SSDI it is almost 2 years from 'onset of disability' date before becoming eligible for Medicare. Carrying insurance through COBRA is good if it can be afforded.

                            After being determined disabled by SSA you can access most retirement accounts w/out early withdrawal penalty by declaring yourself disabled on income taxes.

                            Finally, in terms of determining disability SSA has several specific categories that are termed "presumptive disability", spinal cord injury falls in to that category so it can make the claim process quite a bit easier than individuals who have several medical conditions to be considered in the disability determination process.

                            This is SSA "policy operational manual" POMS and discusses SCI as presumptive disability. there is more info if you have time to search around in it.
                            `````````````````````````````````````````````````` ```````````````````````
                            Presumptive disability by Disability Determination Services PD/PB Categories

                            2. Impairment Categories for PD/PB Determinations see 2. no15:

                            overview on SSA, "Program Operations Manual System" (POMS) :
                            Last edited by ChesBay; 6 Feb 2008, 5:17 AM.


                              Actually it is two years from when you qualify for your first SSDI check that you will qualify for medicare, not the onset of disability date. That is 5 full months before you qualify for your first check.