In recent months, stories related to the record number of Americans both applying for and receiving Social Security Disability benefits have made headlines. As baby boomers continue to age, a large percentage of those Americans applying for and receiving SSD benefits are over the age of 60. Individuals approaching the federal retirement age of 62 often have many questions related to SSD benefits, retirement benefits and the overall process of applying for SSD benefits.
Individuals between the ages of 62 and 66 who suffer from a disability are often advised to apply for both retirement and SSD benefits. These individuals will receive retirement benefits immediately, whereas it can take roughly a year for qualified and approved applicants to begin receiving SSD benefits. Once an individual turns age 66 they qualify to receive full social security benefits and are therefore no longer eligible to receive SSD benefits.
The process of applying for disability benefits can be complex and time-consuming. It's wise, therefore that individuals who suffer injuries that prevent them from working file for disability as soon as possible. Several forms must be filled out and submitted related to an individual's disability and how it interfere's with the ability to work. Applicants are also required to submit extensive and detailed medical records to prove unequivocally that they suffer from a physical or mental disability which prevents them from working.
In many cases, applicants may be asked to see a social security doctor. It's important to do so and submit to any additional tests or requests as failing to do so will likely result in a denial of benefits. If a claim for disability benefits is denied, applicants may choose to appeal the denial. In cases involving a denial of disability benefits, it's wise to seek the advice and assistance of an attorney who can assist with the appeals process and help provide for the best possible outcome.
Source: News OK, "Senior Citizens and Social Security Disability," Tom Margenau, May 8, 2013