Individuals who are 62 or are approaching 62 and who have a Social Security Disability Insurance claim pending must decide whether to take the reduced early Social Security retirement benefit or to continue on without income while their claim is pending. There are important considerations to be made.

For those individuals who elect to take early retirement benefits, there are two possible outcomes, dependent on the outcome of your SSDI claim. If you take early retirement and you are found to be disabled prior to the date you began taking early retirement benefits you will receive back benefits of the difference between the early retirement amount and the SSDI amount, and you will be treated as if you never took early retirement. Your retirement benefits will not be reduced when you hit full retirement age.

However, if you take early retirement benefits and 1) you are not found to be disabled or 2) you are found to be disabled after the date your took early retirement benefits your retirement benefits will be reduced. If you are found not to be disabled and took early retirement, your retirement benefits will be reduced for the duration of the benefit. If you are found disabled but after the time you took early retirement, when you hit full retirement age your benefit amount will be reduced according to the amount of time you collected early retirement before becoming eligible for SSDI.

Deciding whether or not to take early retirement benefits is a significant decision and one worth consulting with your attorney before making. If you have questions about this or any other SSI or SSDI issue, please contact a Hawks Quindel, S.C. disability attorney for a free consultation at (608) 257-0040.

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David Zoeller