Can Early Retirement Impact Eligibility for Social Security Disability Benefits?

early retirement and social security disabilityIf you work in your 60s and can no longer continue working for health-related reasons, you may be thinking about retiring early and filing for Social Security retirement benefits. Would this be the best route to take or should you consider applying for Social Security disability benefits instead?

Sigman Janssen further explain early retirement and disability benefits and how they impact one another. If you need help getting the benefits you need, call to request a free consultation.

Difference Between Early Retirement and Disability Benefits

If born before 1954, you would be eligible for your full retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). The full retirement age is 66 years old and increases gradually if born between 1955 and 1959. For those born in 1960 or later, full retirement benefits are issued at 67 years old.

The SSA allows you to obtain retirement benefits as early as 62 years old. Should you decide to collect early retirement benefits, your benefits would be less than if you had waited until you reached full retirement age. Should you stop working before turning 62 years old, your benefit amount will likely be reduced because of the years when you were unable to earn an income.

If you can no longer work due to a physical or mental impairment before reaching full retirement age, you may be able to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. These disability benefits would equal your full retirement amount.

Can I Receive Social Security Retirement and Disability Benefits at the Same Time?

In most cases, the SSA will not allow you to receive retirement benefits and disability benefits at the same time. The Social Security Disability program was created to provide disability benefits to those unable to work because of their conditions and those too young to collect their retirement benefits.

If you are receiving SSDI, the SSA will automatically start your retirement benefits once full retirement age is reached and your disability benefits would then stop.

There is only one exception that would allow you to receive both retirement benefits and disability benefits at the same time. This exception, however, is rare and you would not be able to receive more than your full retirement benefit amount.

Should you collect early retirement benefits between 62 years old and your full retirement age, you may be able to receive both. The early retirement plus disability benefits would be equal to the full retirement amount, but nothing greater.

This situation could happen if you decided to obtain early retirement benefits after leaving work because of an injury or illness but are later approved by the SSA for SSDI.

You could also be awarded retroactive SSDI benefits, which would give you full retirement benefits for the months you became disabled while waiting for your disability application to get approved. 

How a Disability Attorney Could Help

If you decide to apply for early retirement but are denied SSDI benefits, you could receive a smaller retirement amount for the rest of your life. A licensed Appleton Social Security Disability attorney may be able to help you appeal this decision should you receive a denial.

An attorney could help fill out the necessary paperwork and submit the correct medical documentation to increase your chances of approval. He or she could also answer any questions you may have about the application process, such as whether your child or spouse could be eligible for benefits.

Call a Representative from Our Firm Today

If you cannot continue to work until you reach full retirement age, reach out to a legal representative from our firm for help. A consultation would allow you the opportunity to learn about your rights and options to seek the benefits you need. It is free of charge without any obligation to retain our services.

We also charge nothing up front unless and until we help recover compensation on your behalf.

Sigman Janssen. Free Case Reviews. Ph: (877) 888-5201.