The short answer regarding when you can get benefits is that, in your case, age would not necessarily prevent obtaining retroactive benefits, but don't expect a windfall. Assuming you can prove disability starting six years ago, your benefits for Disability would only extend up to one year prior to the date of application, and with SSI, benefits would begin concurrent with the application.
Medicare for Disability Claimants will start ~2.5 years after benefits begin, so if health benefits are an issue, it would be wise to explore SSI, which has strict income requirements, but comes bundled with Medicaid in most states.
One final item to ask your local DFCS about is QMB (State medicare supplement). For Medicare recipients, this is generally an income-based program that can make up the out-of-pocket amounts for financially qualified individuals. Good luck to you!
This answer does not create an attorney client relationship. Claimants should contact local counsel for assistance with their specific cases.
I belive the year of your birth for each of you is between 1943 and 1954, so your full retirment age is 66. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/ageincrease.htm That means if you take early retirement before age 66, yo will face a slight reduction in benefits if you are 65; for the person who is 61 they cananot draw retirment yet - no retirement is payable until age 62, and that would about a 25% reduction in benefits by taking retirment 4 years early.
If either one of you are disabled, then you could get disability benefits based on your earnings when you were working, so consider that option as well.
Hope that helps. Good luck to you.
The exact answers to questions like this require more information than presented. The answer(s) provided should be considered general information. The information provided by this is general advice, and is not legal advice. Viewing this information is not intended to create, and does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. It is intended to educate the reader and a more definite answer should be based on a consultation with a lawyer. You should not take any action that might affect your claim without first seeking the professional opinion of an attorney. You should consult an attorney who can can ask all the appropriate questions and give legal advice based on the exact facts of your situation. The general information provided here does not create an attorney-client relationship.
I concur with the sage advice of my colleagues.
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