Can you collect your retirement and Social Security Disability?
This question comes up frequently. You cannot collect both retirement and Social Security Disability simultaneously. If you are awarded disability benefits, it is as if you are receiving your full retirement benefits early without reduction for age (every month you take your retirement prior to full retirement age cause some reduction). The reason you cannot collect both is that they are both Social Security benefits, and as such, Social Security only pays the higher benefit amount.
There are times when a disability applicant has the ability to file for both retirement and disability benefits at the same time. In these situations, the beneficiary can be paid their retirement benefits while they wait for the disability decision. If they are approved for disability, their retirement benefits will be paid until they become entitled to their higher disability benefit. If they are never approved for disability, they will still be entitled to receive their reduced retirement benefits.
About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.
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