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Aging Out of the Social Security Disability System

Posted Scott B. Cooper on Jul 22, 2013 in Social Security Disability

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was created in 1956. The initial idea for the program was that most people collecting benefits would be older Americans. People who weren’t quite at retirement age but who were too disabled to continue in their jobs. In fact, that’s pretty much how things have worked out. Over the past five decades, the average age of SSDI recipients has been slowly moving upward, until now it stands at 53.

People who apply for SSDI in their mid-life years are treated no differently than younger workers. They must be able to prove similar records of work experience and have a sufficiently serious ailment that will make working impossible for at least a year. Older SSDI recipients also have to submit to the continuing disability review (CDR) process to prove that their condition still makes them unable to work. Older people more often receive extended periods between reviews, typically seven-year intervals rather than the standard three-year periods.

At any time between age 62 and age 66, you may elect to switch over from the Social Security disability program to begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits instead. When you reach age 66, you must stop collecting SSDI and take the retirement payments instead.

Figuring out whether you get a larger monthly payment from retirement or disability programs is very difficult. If you begin receiving Social Security retirement checks before age 65, your monthly benefit baseline will be reduced a few percentage points for every month you chose to retire early. If you apply for disability benefits after age 62, your disability payments will be reduced a few percentage points for every month you have received retirement benefits. Timing your benefit planning to convert from disability to retirement benefits at the most favorable time requires great skill and a lot of calculations.

Here’s the solution in one simple step

Schmidt Kramer has Social Security lawyers in Harrisburg who have devoted substantial portions of their professional careers to understanding disability and retirement programs. Our Pennsylvania disability attorneys have worked with citizens of Harrisburg, Carlisle, York, Lancaster, Lebanon, and other surrounding communities. They have a sterling record of securing SSDI benefits even when the client’s first applications have been denied.

If you have questions about your Social Security disability claim, or if you need assistance getting fair benefits, give us a call at 888-476-0807. We offer 100 percent FREE and confidential case reviews for Social Security issues, and we never collect a fee until you get your benefits.