If you are age 50 or over and you are considering early retirement because of your physical condition, you should consider Social Security Disability. Often individuals retire from their work because they are unable to continue to physically perform the job duties. Since early retirement is available to them, they do not consider or know about Social Security Disability. However, if you are considering early retirement (or disability retirement) because you are having a difficult time performing your work as a result of your physical condition, or you have already retired from work because of your physical condition, you may qualify for Social Security Disability.
Social Security disability is an entitlement program. Money is withheld from your paycheck when you are working to support the Social Security Disability program. If you are age 50 or over and you have a strong work history (i.e. you have made more than $5,000 per year in five out of the last 10 years prior to your retirement, and you have worked at least 10 years in your lifetime), you probably are insured for Social Security Disability benefits. Social Security Disability is not a welfare program, and you can only qualify if you have actually paid into the system and you have a strong work history. Even if you are already receiving early retirement benefits from the Social Security Administration, you can still file an application for Social Security Disability. Social Security Disability pays you at your full retirement rate and not at a reduced rate such as early retirement.
If you are between the ages of 50 and 54, generally in order to qualify for Social Security disability, you must establish that your medical condition will prevent you from performing your past work, and at most you can only perform a sit-down job that does not require any of the skills that you have obtained from previous work. If you are age 55 to 64, again you must establish that you are unable to perform your past work, but even if you can perform a job that requires standing six hours a day, and lifting up to 20 pounds of weight, as long as none of your skills from your previous work would allow you to obtain alternate employment, you are most likely disabled.
Social Security Disability should be considered for any individual over the age of 50 that decides (or has already decided) to stop work because of difficulty performing the job duties. Individuals that are engaged in physical demanding work, often experience aches and pains from years of physical exertion. Commonly factory workers, construction workers, pipefitters, welders, and other typical union employees experience various injuries over their lifetime that affect their ability to perform work. Although you may not qualify for benefits from your employers (or union) because of the wear and tear on your body, if you have a medical diagnosis that would limit your ability to perform the work, you may qualify for Social Security Disability.
Even if you have already retired, it is important to know your options. Our office is available to help anyone that has already retired or is considering their options. If you are between the ages of 50 and 64 and you have had to stop your work because of physical limitations, please contact our office for a free initial consultation. We will review the Social Security Disability program with you and help you determine if you qualify for benefits. These are benefits you have paid taxes into and it is important that you know your rights and your eligibility. If you qualify for Disability, you also become eligible for Medicare after being on the Social Security Disability Program for two years. If we determine that you qualify, our office can assist you with the application process and the completion of any forms. For further details please contact our office immediately.
This article was written by Steven Butler. Steven is a partner at Linarducci & Butler, PA and his practice is limited to Social Security Disability/SSI claims. Steven offers free initial consultations for Social Security Disability/SSI claims to residents of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. To schedule a consultation with Steven, please use the Linarducci & Butler Contact Form or call 302-613-0707 to schedule an appointment.