Q. I was denied disability and took Social Security at first because I needed income. I had medical issues and read my disability denial in intensive care after a ruptured brain aneurysm and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Can you collect disability when you have already started to collect social security?
– In trouble
A. We hope you are feeling better.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides payments to individuals who meet medical conditions, have accumulated the necessary work history over a recent period, and have paid Social Security taxes on their earnings.
There’s an appeals process you might want to consider given your disability claim was denied, said Claudia Mott, certified financial planner at Epona Financial Solutions in Basking Ridge.
She said there is a period of 60 days after receiving the notification during which you can file the appeal.
According to the ssa.gov website, four levels of appeal can be requested: reconsideration, hearing, review by the Appeals Board, or review by the Federal Court. You can find forms for filing an appeal at ssa.gov/forms.
Each claimant also has the right to file a new disability claim instead of appealing, but this is a longer process because it essentially starts from the beginning, she said.
“In response to your question, when an individual receives SSDI, their benefits ‘end’ when they reach full retirement age (FRA), but their payment converts to a retirement benefit under regular Social Security,” Mott said. “The amount of SSDI that was received prior to the change would have been based on the individual’s expected social security payment to the FRA.”
Mott said when a person files early for Social Security and is later approved for SSDI disability, the amount of payment they receive will be adjusted based on the date the disability was determined to have started. .
The individual’s benefit will change from Social Security to SSDI and no retroactive payments will be made, she said.
“The SSDI payment will be the equivalent of a full retirement benefit,” she said. “However, once the individual reaches full retirement age, SSDI will stop and Social Security payments will resume.”
The Social Security Administration will apply a reduction factor based on the actual length of the early retirement period and the benefit will be adjusted accordingly, Mott said.
She gave this example: If a person who would have reached full retirement age at 66 applies for early retirement at 62, their benefit is reduced by 48 months or 25%. But if the person is deemed disabled at age 64, the reduction factor would count the number of months between age 64 and 66 to determine the deduction percentage rather than using age 62 as the starting point. The percentage reduction would only be 13.3%
“If you are able to prove that the disability began before you file your Social Security claim, you may be eligible to receive your full benefits as both an SSDI and a retirement payment” , she said. “In addition, the difference between the reduced benefit you received as Social Security and SSDI payments can be paid for up to 12 months.”
Send your questions to [email protected].
Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboos column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. To find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Sign up for NJMoneyHelp.comit’s weekly e-newsletter.