It is important to keep in mind that Social Security disability benefits may be available for injuries resulting in disability. It can also be useful to understand the relationship between Social Security disability benefits and retirement income. SSD benefits may be available when an injured individual is unable to work because of an injury and unable to adjust to another type of work because of those injuries. In addition, the disability must be expected to last longer than a year or result in death.
It is important to keep in mind that there is a five-month waiting period from the onset of disability for SSD benefits so for disabled individuals who qualify, applying sooner rather than later may be beneficial. SSD benefits are not impacted by age, however, Social Security retirement amounts may be reduced for individuals born between 1943 to 1954 who are retiring prior to the age of 66 which is considered full retirement age. Filers must also be the minimum retirement age of 62 to receive retirement income.
SSD benefits and retirement income can be applied for or filed for at the same time, though applications for disability benefits can take longer to process. Circumstances can vary depending on if the applicant is approved for one or both, but retirement is not subject to the same waiting period — or lengthy application process necessarily — as SSD benefits. Social Security disability benefits can be important for disabled individuals who have been injured and are unable to work.
Because of the importance of SSD benefits, and the sometimes complicated and time-consuming application process, it is helpful for disabled individuals to fully understand the process. Because different benefits and options may be available based on differing circumstances, it is helpful for individuals suffering disability to be aware of all their options and how the different options may impact one another.
Source: Grand Forks Herald, “SOCIAL SECURITY Q&A: After a severe accident, should I take Social Security disability or retirement?” May 7, 2016