Many people in New Jersey have sustained work injuries that essentially forced them to retire early and collect Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits. As they reach retirement age, these individuals may start to wonder if they still qualify for SSD when they’re old enough to collect retirement benefits. What are the laws regarding Social Security payouts?
Choosing between SSD payouts and retirement benefits
You can continue to collect SSD payouts after you retire. However, you can’t collect SSD and retirement benefits at the same time. Once you retire, you’ll have to choose between one or the other.
Many experts recommend sticking with SSD, especially if you plan on retiring early. SSD typically offers a higher payout than regular retirement benefits. If you retire once you are 62 years old, you’re only eligible for 70% of your retirement benefits. But as long as you remain on disability, you can continue collecting the full amount of your benefits.
If you reach full retirement age (66 and 2 months), Social Security will pay you either disability or retirement benefits depending on which one offers the highest payout. Keep in mind that your SSD may be reduced if you’re also collecting workers’ compensation at the same time.
Who can help you navigate the SSD process?
Applying for Social Security Disability can be a stressful, time-consuming process. Many people are denied multiple times before they finally qualify for benefits even if their situation doesn’t change. In the meantime, you’re trying to pay the bills and support yourself and your family members.
An attorney could help you get everything right the first time, so you don’t have to deal with multiple SSD claims and denials. If you do get denied, a lawyer could help you figure out what happened and fix the issue, so your next claim is successful.