Many clients believe that it should be easy to get Social Security disability. Often times…
Social Security Disability or SSI and Retirement
You cannot get Social Security Disability (on your tax record) if you allege to have become disabled after your full retirement age. Full retirement age will be 67 for those born in 1960 and later. Full retirement age is between age 66 and 67 for those born between 1943 and 1959. Please note that there could be a difference as to when you are applying for disability versus when you are alleging disability. Additionally, please be advised that disability (SSD-on your tax record) can be paid up to one year before your application date in many instances.
You can receive early retirement at a reduced rate at age 62 or age 60 if you are a widow/widower. It is possible to apply for disability (on your work record- SSD/DIB) after collecting early retirement and it is also possible to apply for early retirement after you have filed for disability. If you receive early retirement and are later found disabled, you will get the difference between the early retirement amount received and your disability amount for any overlapping months. For future months you will be transferred into disability payments up until your full retirement age. Usually, your disability amount will be about 25% to 30% higher than the early retirement amount if you took early retirement at age 62. If you feel that you are unable to work and are over age 62 (60 for surviving spouses), it would usually be advisable to apply for disability before applying for any early retirement. If you win disability after already starting to receive early retirement, any overlapping months of disability payments will negate part of the full retirement reduction that otherwise would be applied if you had never won a disability claim.
SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is based upon financial need. You cannot apply for SSI due to disability after age 65. At that point, you can get SSI based on your age alone if you financially qualify. If you are between 62 and 65, your available early retirement will be considered a source of income that could disqualify you from receiving SSI. This (early retirement) is largely dependent on the amount of taxes that you paid throughout your lifetime. In 2023, the SSI maximum payment is $914 per month. If your available early retirement is over $914 per month you will be required to use that instead of receiving SSI. If your available early retirement is under $914 per month, you may be able to get a partial SSI payment that is offset by the amount of early retirement available to you.
It is highly advisable to discuss the above issues with an experienced attorney. There are pros and cons to taking early retirement as opposed to or along with disability. Everybody’s situation is different. Some factors you should consider are:
- Other household income available to you before reaching full retirement age,
- Whether you want to continue working,
- How close you are to full retirement age,
- What do you believe your life expectancy will be,
- What your risk tolerance is for potentially being locked in at the lower early retirement rate, etc….
Please contact us if you are over age 60 and considering filing for SSD/ DIB (disability on your work record) or SSI (disability based on financial need- Supplemental Security Income). Our disability attorneys would be happy to offer you a free phone consultation regarding your concerns.