Applying for Social Security Disability At Or After Age 65
Our experienced Social Security Disability attorneys are often faced with questions from workers who were injured at or around the time when they would also be eligible for Social Security Retirement.
In these cases, questions such as these often arise:
- “How will applying for Social Security Disability at age 65 or older affect applying for his Social Security benefits?”
- “Should a worker exhaust Social Security Disability before applying for his/her Social Security retirement benefits?”
Social Security Disability Threshold
As a refresher, it’s important to remember that in order to qualify for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, the applicant’s disability must:
- be considered total; and,
- must be expected to last for at least one year.
Keep in mind that both the degree and anticipated length of the disability must be substantiated by medical evidence from his doctor. So, seeing your physician is always the right first step to applying for Social Security Disability.
Full Retirement Age & Social Security Disability
Next, in addressing this issue, one needs to understand Full Retirement Age – or “FRA”. The later you collect Social Security Retirement, the larger your monthly benefit will be.
Full retirement age (FRA) refers to the age you must be to be eligible to receive full benefits from Social Security. The FRA varies depending on the year you were born. Currently the FRA is:
- age is 66 if you were born from 1943 to 1954
- 66 years and two months for those born in 1955
- 66 years plus gradually increasing months if born between 1956 and 1959
- age 67 for those born in 1960 and after.
SSDI benefits are based upon the applicant’s full retirement age (FRA) benefit amount. So, if a person is awarded Social Security Disability before FRA, it will have no effect on their FRA benefit amount.
Then, if an applicant is awarded Social Security Disability benefits, they will automatically convert to their regular Social Security retirement benefit (at the same amount) when they reach Full Retirement Age. In other words, SSDI benefits are replaced by Social Security retirement benefits once FRA is attained.
Applying for Social Security Disability Before Full Retirement Age
So – provided that your doctor will support that you are totally disabled and expected to remain so for at least a year – you should go ahead and apply for Social Security Disability as soon as possible after becoming disabled.
This establishes a base date which will be used to establish your disability onset date, which is what your SSDI benefit will be based upon if later approved. Remember it typically takes several months to receive an initial SSDI determination, and unfortunately about two-thirds of all SSDI applications are denied.
Social Security Administration statistics show that claimants who are represented by attorneys have a much greater likelihood of winning than those who do not have legal counsel.
Having an experienced Social Security Disability attorney can make the difference between an approval and a denial in a Social Security Disability case. An experienced attorney who has handled thousands of Social Security cases knows what the Social Security Administration is “looking for,” what documentation is needed, what the deadlines are and “what works and what doesn’t.”
Long Beach Social Security Lawyers
If you or a loved one is unable to work due to a disabling injury, medical condition or disease our skilled and experienced Social Security attorneys are here to help you get the maximum Social Security Disability benefits for which you qualify.
The Law Office of Cantrell Green is a group of highly qualified and experienced disability attorneys who have obtained millions of dollars in Social Security Disability benefits for thousands of clients in Long Beach, Orange County and the greater Los Angeles. Our lawyers care about every client, and fight tirelessly to obtain the benefits you deserve.