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The complexities of disability and retirement

When an injury leaves a person in need of recovery, there is the possibility that she or he will not be able to return to work. Millions of people throughout the U.S. deal with this situation; some have been injured at home and others while on the job. There is also the possibility of being diagnosed with certain medical conditions that can leave a person incapable of working as well. For these individuals - some of whom live in Ohio - the only answer may be to seek out Social Security Disability benefits.

According to reports, approximately 14 million Americans are receiving disability payments from the Social Security Administration. This means that at least 14 million people have applied to the SSA to receive such benefits. The system put in place by the federal government to disperse disability payments is rather complex, especially as recipients near the age of retirement. This is because many people rely on Social Security during retirement as well, and the agency does not allow people to receive disability and retirement benefits together.

One expert weighed in on the best courses of action for people on disability that are nearing retirement. According to him, retirement benefits can begin at the age of 62. For disabled individuals receiving benefits, it is likely a poor decision to begin receiving those benefits at the earliest time possible. This is because the SSA cuts a permanent portion out of retirement benefits that are applied for before the full retirement age of 66.

Instead, disabled individuals should continue receiving their disability benefits until the full retirement age; then they can receive the full retirement benefits that had been set aside for them instead of a fractioned amount. Nondisabled individuals will have to deal with the repercussions of applying for benefits early, if they choose to do so.

Source: PBS News Hour, "How to Maximize Social Security if Disabled and Other SS Questions," Paul Solman, Feb. 18, 2013

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Philip J. Fulton Law OfficeRepresenting Victims Of Workplace Injuries And Disability

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