Between the ages of 62 to 66, injured workers have the option to either file for early retirement or claim disability benefits.
For some, this can be confusing. While both benefits are provided by the Social Security Agency (SSA), each has its own merits and disadvantages.
Disability or Retirement?
Not a lot of people know that winning a disability claim is much easier if you’re past the age of 60. That’s because the SSA uses a series of tables called “grids” to asses if a person is disabled.
Among the factors taken into account are the claimant’s:
- residual functional capacity or the maximum physical work they can do on a regular and sustained basis.
- work history
Older employees usually find it hard to use their acquired skillsets for other types of jobs. Most of them also have difficulty learning new skills. Thus, they are usually left with no other ways of making a living – making disability easier to prove.
In spite of this, applying for retirement is still easier than claiming disability benefits. You only need to prove that you have enough social security credits and you’re of retirement age. There’s no need to show that you’re disabled.
But you may need to think twice before filing an early retirement. Since retirement benefits are based on social security credits, retiring before the age of 66 can reduce your benefits.
Disability benefits, on the other hand, do not change no matter what age you filed for it. Just like retirement, the amount of your disability benefits depends on your social security credits. But once you are deemed disabled, the SSA sets your benefit amount as though you have reached full retirement age. This means you get 100% of your retirement benefits.
So, should you file for disability or retirement benefits?
It depends on your case. To know more about the pros and cons of each, consult an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca. For over 23 years now, he has helped injured workers in Florida fight for the benefits they rightfully deserve. He provides free consultation too.
Applying for Adult Disability Benefits
If you’ve decided to claim disability benefits, the SSA can be reached through its national toll-free hotline 1-800-772-1213. You can also apply by walk-in or online.
For walk-in applications, you can visit an SSA office near you. In Plantation, Florida, the SSA office is at:
8501 W Sunrise Boulevard
Plantation, FL 33322
Don’t forget to bring all the documentary requirements to facilitate faster processing of benefits.
To apply for benefits online, you must first review the disability checklist, complete the application form and the medical release form.
To start your online application, you need to create an SSA account first. If you’ve already started an application, you can continue it here. Or check the status of your application here.
Outside the US
If you’re outside the US, you can contact the US Embassy or Consulate nearest you.
(Related: HOW MUCH IS THE AVERAGE VETERANS DISABILITY PAY IN THE US)
Need Help? Call An Attorney!
Applying for social security disability benefits might be easy for you. But getting it approved is an altogether different story. A large percentage of first time SSDI applications are denied.
This is why you need an experienced workers compensation lawyer like Victor Malca. He has been helping injured workers in Florida for over 23 years. He can help you get the benefits you rightfully deserve. Contact us now for a free consultation.
VICTOR MALCA – Florida Workers Compensation & Social Security Disability Attorney
Victor Malca P.A. has over 27 years of litigation experience in Workers Compensation and Social Security Disability lawsuits. His experience and continued success when fighting for his clients puts him among the most trusted workers’ compensation attorney’s in Florida. He specializes in representing injured workers on compensation benefit cases and disabled individuals claiming lost social security disability benefits.
Book a free consultation today. Our unwavering advocacy for employee rights and privileges are recognized by our past clients across South Florida.
About The Author
Judy Ponio is a writer and editor for the Victor Malca Law P.A. website and blog. She enjoys helping people in need with questions about social security disability and workers compensation law. She has a passion for helping those in need and the elderly with accurate legal information that can make a positive difference in their lives.