If you receive Social Security disability benefits, also known as Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), and are approaching retirement age, you might be wondering if you can collect Social Security along with your SSDI benefits. About 8.5 million people receive SSDI benefits, with 117,000 spouses and 1.5 million children relying on the program.
Social Security disability benefits are significant because a person has a one in three chance of dying or qualifying for them before reaching the retirement age. Therefore, many people will rely on SSDI long before they reach retirement age. So, if you need to retire early, the question remains: can you increase your social security disability benefits?
Can I get Social Security Disability & Social Security?
You cannot collect SSDI benefits with Social Security except under specific circumstances. The only people who can receive SSDI benefits along with their Social Security are those who take early retirement before receiving approval for SSDI benefits. So, if you had health problems that required you to retire early, you might start collecting early retirement benefits before receiving approval for SSDI benefits.
If the Social Security Administration finds that your disability started before you began collecting early retirement, you’ll also receive the difference between your SSDI payment and your early retirement payment for the months you received early retirement without disability. After reaching retirement age, which is 62, a person will receive their full benefits.
However, if it’s determined that you were not disabled before collecting early retirement, you will only receive lower early retirement payments for the rest of your life. This means applying for disability and taking early retirement as a method to obtain increased payments until you reach retirement age can be risky unless you’re severely impaired and unable to work.
Increasing Social Security Disability Benefits
One of the most challenging aspects of determining if you can take early retirement, receive SSDI benefits, and avoid a cut to Social Security payments is determining if you’ll qualify for SSDI. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, most SSDI applicants are rejected from their benefits.
Those who want SSDI must have the following qualifications:
- They must be insured for disability benefits
- They must have a severe, medically determinable physical or mental impairment that is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death.
- They must be unable to perform “substantial gainful activity.”
Substantial gainful activity is defined as a job that generates $1,220 per month, or $2,040 for the blind. Notably, a lack of education and skills can influence SSDI approval for older applicants who are impaired. In this case, it’s unlikely that these individuals can change their careers, so they might qualify for SSDI while younger applicants do not.
Don’t Risk Your Financial Security, Contact HHR Today
If you’re uncertain if you’ll be able to retire early and receive SSDI benefits until you reach retirement age, don’t risk your financial future before calling Handler, Henning & Rosenberg. HHR has been helping clients for nearly 100 years, and we’re ready to speak with you right now. We have a team of attorneys who are prepared to help you with your Social Security concerns. We’ll look at your case, examine your options, and help you determine what’s the best choice for your future.
Call us today to get the process started at (888) 498-3023. Initial consultation to discover your options is completely free!