senior citizen sitting in a consultation talking to a doctor

If you have a disability that prevents you from working, but you have already begun receiving early retirement benefits from Social Security, can you also apply for Social Security disability benefits? 

In most cases, a person cannot collect both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Social Security retirement benefits. People who receive Social Security disability benefits have their benefits converted to retirement benefits upon reaching full retirement age. However, people over 62 who are eligible for early retirement may also claim SSDI benefits under certain circumstances.

How Do Age and Retirement Affect Social Security Disability Benefits Eligibility?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) intends Social Security disability benefits to be for people who have not yet met retirement age, which begins at 65. People age 62 can apply for early retirement benefits. However, even if a disabled person receives early retirement, they can supplement their benefits with SSDI. An eligible retiree can qualify for SSDI benefits if they can prove their disability began before they applied for early retirement.

If a retiree has their SSDI application approved, they will receive disability benefits equal to the difference between their early retirement benefit and the full retirement benefit amount. However, a retiree will have their application denied if the SSA determines that their disability began after they started receiving early retirement benefits.

Conversely, retirement age does not affect a person’s eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a program that provides cash payments to low-income disabled or older adults. A person can receive both Social Security retirement benefits and SSI.

What Choices Do Claimants Over Age 62 Have for Disability Benefits?

A person who reaches age 62 while suffering from a disability that prevents them from working has several options for obtaining Social Security benefits. First, they may apply for early retirement benefits. Alternatively, they may apply for disability benefits before applying for early retirement benefits. An applicant with sufficient work history may qualify for SSDI, or if they have low or no income and few assets, they may qualify for SSI.

Should You Consult an Attorney When Navigating These Benefits?

If you suffer from a disabling condition and are already or about to turn 62, you should consult our South Carolina Social Security disability attorneys before filing applications for Social Security benefits. Filing your applications in the wrong order may result in the SSA denying your disability benefits claim. Our attorneys can also determine which disability benefits programs you qualify for and which benefits you should pursue to maximize your Social Security payments.

Get Help from Our South Carolina SSD Benefits Lawyers

If you’re 62 or older, receive early retirement benefits, and want to apply for Social Security disability benefits, get experienced legal help to avoid the common mistakes that might cost you the dignity and security you deserve. 

Contact Jebaily Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options with our South Carolina SSD benefits lawyers.

Rangeley Bailey

After joining the Jebaily Law Firm of Florence in 2003, she has been able to do precisely that. Her practice focuses on clients who need help with Social Security Disability and people that have been injured in car accidents and other injury cases. “I enjoy helping people,” she says. “I enjoy getting to know them and understanding the challenges they face and figuring out the best way to help them.”