Disabled But Near Retirement: What To Know

24 September 2019
 Categories: Law, Blog

As a worker passes retirement age, they may begin making financial plans. Most workers will be able to take advantage of Social Security retirement benefits when they reach a certain age. Unfortunately, some workers may have medical conditions that prevent them from working as long as they like. These workers may be able to benefit from Social Security Disability Insurance services or SSDI benefits in some cases. To find out how these two benefit situations are affected by each other, read on.

You Can Continue Working If You Are Able

If you have already reached retirement age and are now unable to work at your job, you may need to stop and think before you take advantage of either program. No one makes you stop working, regardless of your age — it's your choice when to quit working. That means that you can keep going after you reach 62, 64, or even 70 years of age. What's more, you can earn Social Security retirement benefits while you continue paying into the system.

You Can Benefit From Disability Insurance

No matter your age, you can qualify for SSDI if you have worked enough and have a medical condition. If you are old enough to retire, a careful comparison of your benefit picture is needed. If you qualify for both retirement pay due to your age and for disability benefits due to meeting the standards, you should only seek the benefit that pays you the most. In some cases, your SSDI payment is higher than your retirement payment. If you opt for the retirement payment instead, you cannot change your mind and switch to a disability payment. Opting for SSDI is nearly always preferable to taking retirement benefits because you may be accepting a permanently-reduced monthly payment if you don't wait long enough. At a certain time, however, you must stop receiving SSDI and switch to your retirement benefits.

Here are a few things to know about disability payments and retirement payments:

  1. You cannot be paid both SSDI and retirement pay — you must choose one.
  2. When you become disabled and can no longer work at your job, disability payments come from the same account as your retirement pay, so you might consider SSDI a form of early retirement.

Getting the most out of your benefits is vital and getting approved for SSDI is a worthy goal. Unfortunately, many are turned down for disability payments. If you are turned down, don't let it get you down. Speak to a disability attorney to find out about representation and support at the appeal hearing. It's your money — take action so that you can access it.