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Am I eligible to collect Disability and Retirement benefits (Multiple Sclerosis)?

Montclair, NJ |

I have Multiple Sclerosis. I'm 55 years old in which I am eligible to retire from my current job. I am currently out on STD due a flareup that caused me to be hospitalized and time in rehab. With MS I have alot of fatigue and stress on the job doesnot make it easy. I use a walker to get around at work, but, recovering from this flareup is very sIow returning. I can retire within the next year based on company's benefits, but, I am not certain if I should apply for SSDI before retiring. Can I collect both? I need my medical benefits because of MS and other medical issues. I am confused to say the least. I don't want to make the wrong move and want to better understand what I am eligible for.

I just want to make the right decision.

Attorney Answers 4


In most cases you can collect the retirement from your job and SSD benefits. There are some offset exceptions for pensions from certain government or foreign jobs, but generally they are not an issue if you the retirement is from a private domestic company. You get no extra benefits from Social Security at retirement age if you do not take SSD benefits now, so there is no reason not to apply. You should go to and apply today.

Social Security reviews cases using the five-step sequential evaluation process to decide is a person is disabled. Here are the 5 questions that make up the sequential evaluation process:

(1) Does your impairment keep you from being able to perform a substantial gainful activity (SGA), generally full-time, competitive, work?

(2) Is your impairment severe? AND, is your impairment expected to remain severe for at least 12 months?

(3) Does your impairment “meet or equal” one of Social Security’s “Listing of Impairments?” A listing of medical conditions, acceptable medical evidence, and the severity necessary for an impairment to be considered disabling. There are separate listings for adults and for children.

(4) Does your impairment prevent you from being able to perform any job you performed over the last 15 years which was also a substantial gainful activity?

(5) Does your impairment prevent you from being able to perform any other type of work which exists in substantial numbers of the national economy?

In my opinion you should get an attorney as early in the process as possible as there is no fee unless you are awarded benefits (contingency) and the fees are set by Social Security law and would be the same regardless if you hire the attorney the week before your hearing or the day you applied originally.

Search here on Avvo, contact your local or state bar association or check NOSSCR to find a Social Security attorney in your area, look for one offering a free no-obligation initial consultation (most do) then meet with one or more and sign up with one you are comfortable with. NOSSCR Lawyer Referral Service - For help in finding attorney representation, contact its lawyer referral service during Eastern business hours: 800-431-2804

Disclaimer Information on this site is provided by Brian Scott Wayson as general information, not legal advice, and use of this information does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about your specific situation, please call an attorney.

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If you have worked enough "quarters" and are therefore "insured" you can collect both. You are insured if you have worked approximately 6 out of the last 10 years. An attorney can represent you on contingency. This means if you aren't approved you do not pay for fees. If you are approved, SS withholds 25% up to max of $6,000.00 from back pay. You only pay for medical reports if your doctors charge you.
I have a 98% success rate. Email me privately if you have any questions or come in if you are interested in my help.

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At your age and with the limitations you describe, you have a strong case for SSDI. Yes, you should be able to collect both. It would be in your interests to contact an attorney. The National Organization of Social Security Claimant's Representatives (NOSSCR), which is based in Montclair, NJ, can refer you to an attorney.

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If you are still working you cannot collect social security disability. If you are on short term disability but cannot go back to work for at least 12 months then you can apply for social security disability while you are collecting short term disability. If you have any further questions please give me a call for a free consultation. Thank you.

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