If You Are 62, Should You File For Social Security or Social Security Disability?
You should file for Social Security retirement if you are sixty-two years old, and your work does not interfere with your ability to receive a benefit. However, if are not working due to a medical and/or mental impairment at the age of sixty-two, you may wish to consider filing for Social Security Disability at the time you file for your Social Security retirement. Yes, you can file for both retirement and file for disability at the same time.
You may wonder how that would be beneficial to you? Well, if you are unable to work due to your impairment or impairments, you probably could use some money coming into your household. Social Security allows an individual to draw their Social Security retirement benefit while they wait for a decision as to their disabled status.
When you file for Social Security retirement at the age of sixty-two, you are going to receive a reduced benefit for early retirement. This benefit reduction is a permanent reduction that will not change to a higher benefit at your full retirement. However, if you file for disability at the same time you file for your early retirement and are deemed to be disabled by Social Security, your reduction for early retirement will be lessened.
What do I mean by lessened? Social Security may set your medical onset to the date you became disabled to work, and if that date plus the five month Social Security Disability waiting period is prior to your month of entitlement to retirement benefits you will receive no reduction to your benefit.
However, if your disability entitlement date is longer than the five month disability retirement, Social Security will only reduce your benefit by the number of months you received retirement benefits prior to your entitlement to disability benefits. While this would not allow you to receive a benefit equal to your full retirement benefit, it will increase your reduced retirement benefit amount.
Of course you always have to option of not filing for a reduced retirement benefit while you wait for your disability decision. It really depends upon your own financial needs at the time you file for a Social Security benefit.
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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