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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Do I Have To Take Early Retirement If I Am On SSI?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

I got a call this week from a former client. Social Security had contacted him when he turned 62. They told him he needed to

come to their local office and apply for early retirement.  The client called me to ask if Social Security really could force him to apply for retirement.  The short answer is: Yes

When on SSI, You Must Accept Any Other Resources Available To You

When you are on SSI, you are obligated to seek out any other benefits to which you might be entitled. This is because SSI is

a poverty program and thus the "payor of last resort." SSI beneficiaries have to lessen what Social Security owes them by any means possible.  Since Social Security is responsible for both SSI and retirement, they are not going to let this one slip by.

You Cannot Get Retirement Benefits Unless You Are Eligible

Brother, Can You Spare A Quarter?

There are a few things to keep in mind. First, you have to be eligible for retirement before this applies.  A person most commonly becomes eligible for Social Security retirement by earning 40 quarters. This is the equivalent of working for 10 years.  If you never reached this status, then Social Security cannot force you into retirement.  It is pretty rare for anyone not to qualify for Social Security retirement, however. This would mean that by age 62 you failed to work 10 years anywhere at any time.

Your Monthly Check Could Turn Out To Be The Same

Note also that the difference in what Social Security pays you each month after forcing you into retirement could be more

Voila! Same Money, More Paperwork

money. You may be entitled to a higher monthly check as a retiree than you are as an SSI recipient.  But, if your retirement benefit is less than your SSI check, you will likely continue to get the same amount.  You might now get two checks, one from retirement and one from SSI. The total should still be the same.  

Social Security goes through this song and dance because retirement and SSI have different funding sources.  Thus it is important to Social Security that your monthly benefits draw from the right place.

Going On Early Retirement Could Cost You Your Health Insurance

Naturally, there are some serious risks involved. Your retirement amount may be too high for you to qualify for Medicaid any

You Did What With Your Health Insurance?

longer. There is nothing you can do about that. You also lose the right to retire at your full retirement age, which would mean higher benefits for the rest of your life.

Contact Social Security As You Turn 62

If you are on SSI and approaching your 62nd birthday, get in touch with Social Security to see what needs to be done. Because this switch over is mandatory, you could get in trouble for not doing it promptly. 

As always, I welcome your questions or concerns. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have about Social Security disability. I never charge for a consultation. In fact, there is no charge at all until we win your case. Unlike most lawyers, I never charge extra for things like telephone calls or making copies.