Can I Collect Both Social Security Retirement and Social Security Disability Benefits?

by Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys

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Our Oklahoma Disability Attorneys Break Down the Rules to These Benefits

According to the Social Security Administration, in December of 2016, there were over 10 million people collecting disability benefits. While many Americans rely on these important benefits, navigating the application process – or any legal process for that matter – can be incredibly difficult and raise many questions. 

One common question people ask our Oklahoma disability attorneys at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys is whether or not they can receive both their Social Security disability benefits and retirement benefits at the same time. 

Typically, it is not possible to receive both. When answering this question, it’s important to first understand the purpose of both disability benefits and retirement benefits. We have broken down each of these benefit types below for you. If you need help obtaining Social Security disability benefits, or have questions about your current benefits, please don’t hesitate to call our law office!

Understanding Disability and Retirement

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Social Security Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are intended to provide financial assistance to workers who are unable to continue working as a result of a physical or mental condition but are too young to draw retirement benefits.

Eligibility for disability benefits depends on a number of factors. In order to qualify for SSDI, you must meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) strict criteria: 

  • Your condition prevents you from continuing the type of work you were previously doing.
  • Your condition prevents you from continuing any other type of work, for which you are qualified.
  • Your condition is expected to last at least 12 months or result in death. 

The process of receiving disability benefits is known for being lengthy and complicated. Seeking the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you better understand the process and give you the best chance of being approved for benefits.

Retirement

Social Security retirement, on the other hand, refers to the benefits a worker becomes eligible for once he/she reaches a certain age and is no longer expected to work. Your full retirement age, or the age when you become eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits, depends on the year you were born. 

For example, 66 or 67 (for everyone born after 1954) is the full retirement age for many workers. If you apply for retirement before you reach your full retirement age, your benefits will be reduced. You can take early retirement as soon as age 62. A 62-year-old will take approximately a 25-30 percent cut to their retirement.

Switching from Early Retirement to Disability Benefits

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If you are collecting disability benefits, they will be converted to retirement benefits once you reach your full retirement age. For this reason, disability and retirement benefits do not overlap.

Individuals who take early retirement can still apply for SSDI/SSI up until they reach their full retirement age. If you are approved, the SSA will convert your early retirement benefits to disability benefits. 

If you want to apply for disability benefits, our lawyers at Colbert Cooper Hill Attorneys may be able to help. Applying for disability benefits can be stressful, as there are many complex rules and regulations. Our office can help you determine if you qualify for disability benefits and gather all the necessary information for a successful claim.

Have More Questions? Call Us! 

If you have questions about applying or appealing for Social Security disability benefits or how factors, such as retirement, may affect your current benefits, please give our office a call.

We offer free consultations where we will do our best to answer all of your questions. Our Oklahoma disability attorneys are experienced in helping disabled individuals and their families through the process of obtaining disability benefits. You can contact us at (877) 579-6800 or fill out our free consultation form for help today.