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Social Security disability can affect retirement benefits

Social Security is designed to aid those who are unable to earn enough income to live due to certain circumstances. This monetary assistance is reserved for those who are retired or are disabled. However, many in Pennsylvania are still confused about how obtaining benefits from Social Security disability will affect their retirement benefits.

Disability and retirement benefits are linked within the current Social Security system. When a person needs to collect disability benefits before he or she retires, it can affect how one’s available retirement benefits are calculated. The amount of benefits is calculated based upon the accumulation of benefits during a 35-year employment history. However, for those who have been disabled over a long period of time, they may not be able to obtain a 35-year employment history by the time they retire.

This results in the years not worked being counted as zeros in the calculation of available benefits. The Social Security Administration has recognized this issue and, under the current system, if a person is continuing to receive disability benefits upon retirement age, the amount of disability benefits received automatically converts into one’s retirement benefits. Essentially, this has the effect of calculating one’s retirement benefits based upon solely the work history before being disabled.

Those not disabled at the time they reach retirement age may still be able to take advantage of this alternative method of calculating retirement benefits in the same manner as Social Security disability. In order to obtain this type of calculation of benefits in Pennsylvania and other states, one will have to apply for what is known as a “disability freeze.” However, many times, applying may not be straightforward, which is why it is important to understand all applicable rules and regulations when going through the process.

Source: nasdaq.com, "Social Security Disability: What Happens When You Turn 66?", Dan Caplinger, Aug. 16, 2014

Source: nasdaq.com, "Social Security Disability: What Happens When You Turn 66?", Dan Caplinger, Aug. 16, 2014

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Our Philadelphia firm and attorneys have received numerous accolades in the area of workers' compensation law. Several of our attorneys have been recognized by their peers and listed in Super Lawyers since 2006. The Super Lawyers process recognizes the top lawyers in their fields in Pennsylvania.

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Krasno Krasno & OnwudinjoWhen You Need A Workers' Compensation Or Social Security Attorney
Serving Philadelphia Since 1936

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