Is Social Security Disability More Than Social Security Retirement?
Technically, Social Security Disability is not "more than" Social Security retirement. However, that depends upon the age at which an individual takes their Social Security retirement benefit. Social Security Disability benefits are equal to benefits for full retirement age retirees, which means an individual who takes their Social Security retirement any earlier than their full retirement age would receive less than what their disability benefit amount would be.
Many individuals who retire from their jobs file for both Social Security Disability and social security retirement. Why? Because they have persisted in working with medical conditions that may be disabling. When they are able to retire from their employment, or they are at an age at which they can stop working and receive Social Security retirement benefits, they stop working and are able to apply for disability with Social Security as well.
Now, what advantage is it to receive Social Security retirement benefits while waiting upon a Social Security Disability decision? Well, its obvious. Individuals who are really struggling to work with conditions that make it almost impossible to work, can stop working and receive retirement benefits to pay their living expenses while they wait for a disability decision.
The other advantage is that if the individual is approved for disability, some of the reduction to their benefits (meaning their benefits were reduced because of early retirement) will be removed when they become entitled to their disability benefit. In some cases, an individual will have all benefit reduction removed, if they stopped working prior to filing for retirement and they are found disabled back to the time they stopped work.
Others who filed for retirement and disability when they stopped work may just receive five months of reduction for the five month waiting period (Social Security Disability has a five month waiting for which benefits are never paid).
Is Social Security Disability More Than Social Security Retirement? No. Basically, Social Security Disability benefits are always set at the highest amount that can be paid on an individual's record, whatever that amount may be.
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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