I am on SS. Can I get SSDI for COPD instead?

1 answer | Last updated: Sep 14, 2016
Jerilynne asked...

I was turned down for SSDI. I never appealed. My condition has worsened. I retired at 62 because I could not work (doctor's orders).

Expert Answers

Being turned down for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits does not mean you cannot apply again. The fact that you did not appeal the denial of your original application for benefits would not affect your new application. You can apply again if your condition has worsened since your first application, or if you have developed other conditions that in combination make you unable to engage in gainful employment. The key to getting a different result for your new application is reports from the physician who treats you for your disabling condition, as well as any laboratory or other diagnostic testing, that shows a deterioration in your condition since the last time you applied for SSDI benefits.

If you are successful in your new application for SSDI benefits, those benefits most likely would be higher than your current Social Security retirement benefits since those retirement benefits were significantly reduced because you claimed them at age 62, three or four years before you reached full retirement age. You can check ahead of time to see what your SSDI benefit payments would be either by going online to the Social Security Administration web site www.ssa.gov or by calling Social Security toll-free at 1-800-772-1213.