If you have worked long enough, and paid enough Social Security taxes on your earnings, you are covered by Social Secret Retirement and Social Security Disability. Social Security will reduce your benefits if you retire early. Please contact us if your health is making it difficult to continue at your work. Your Social Security retirement benefits will not be reduced if you are found to be eligible for Social Security Disability before your retire.
In February, 2010 Social Security announced a list of 38 diseases and medical conditions that obviously meet the disability standards. Among these diseases is Early Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Using a procedure called "Compassionate Allowances," Social Security will now quickly identify people who have EA Alzheimer's and other diseases, and award their benefits. Compassionate Allowances allow the Social Security worker who is making the disability decision to rely on " minimal objective medical information."
Social Security employees have now been instructed to promptly gather information about medical treatments and activities of daily living from the claimant or third parties. For Compassionate Allowance cases, there will not be a consultative examination by a Social Security doctor unless the exam is "absolutely necessary." Steps for Processing Compassionate Allowance claims.
The new Compassionate Allowance procedures will eliminate waiting and uncertainty for many people who have clear cases of disability. There are many other cases which meet the Listing of Impairments, and can be quickly processed if they are properly presented to Social Security. Some cases do require extensive preparation, and must be reviewed by all five steps of the claims process.
We can explain how Social Security Disability regulations apply to your claim, if you are not able to continue working.
Remember, if you retire early, Social Security reduces your retirement benefits by a certain percentage taken away from your full benefit, based on how many months you retire before reaching your Normal Retirement Age. The result is early retirees will be paid a smaller percentage of their Primary Insurance amount. This early retirement decision frequently affects the surviving spouse, who is left with a lower Social Security monthly benefit.
So, while you may begin collecting Retirement benefits several years or months before your Normal Retirement Age, the reduction of your benefits will be applied to all the benefits you receive for the rest of your life. Also remember, Medicare coverage is not available until you reach age 65, unless you have become eligible for Social Security Disability. Click here to Find Your Normal Retirement Age.
The obvious disadvantage of early retirement is that Social Security will pay lower monthly retirement checks and lower cost-of-living increases for the rest of your life.
If you are not able to keep up with your job, and qualify for Social Security Disability, you do not have to make the early retirement decision. Older workers who are laid off, or need to reenter the workforce after retiring, often have difficulty finding another job. Blue-collar workers frequently experience these problems, because their work leads to health problems that inhibit their ability to continue working to later ages, compared white collar jobs. A worker who has reached age 50 is treated favorably by Social Security Disability regulations, if the worker is unable to keep up with the level of exertion, persistence and pace that younger workers are expected to maintain. We prepare your case so that Social Security can make a favorable decision at the earliest possible step in their claims process.
Social Security Disability is not "means tested." It doesn't matter how much income you have from other sources; you are still entitled to your full Disability Benefit amount, just like people who retire at Social Security's Normal Retirement Age. For example, Jack Welch, the former CEO of General Electric, has MONTHLY income of $1.4 million:
Jack has assets of $456 million.
But, as you can see on his income statement, Jack still gets his full monthly Social Security Retirement check even though he has an enormous income from other sources. (He does have to pay income taxes on half of his Social Security benefit, because half his Social Security + all his other income is over the $34,000 per year threshold set by the IRS.) The point is: don't cut yourself short by taking early retirement, if you are eligible for Social Security Disability!
Plan for Your Retirement Income Needs
To qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, most workers born after 1929 need 40 Quarters of Coverage (QCs) to be fully insured. Quarters of Coverage are also called Work Credits by Social Security. The amount you have to earn to get a QC (work credit) changes every year. For past years, the amount needed to earn each QC is much lower than the amount required for this year. Old law coverage amounts.
When you do retire, how much income will you need to balance your household budget? Personal financial planners say you'll probably need anywhere from 60% to 75% to maintain your pre-retirement living standards. Social Security can supplement your retirement income. But you need to know what to expect from Social Security, so you can plan sufficient retirement income from other sources.
If you or your surviving spouse receive a government pension (either in installments or in a lump sum), your Social Security retirement benefits payments, and your spouse's widow[er]'s benefits from Social Security, will be reduced by an offset. Read more.
If you are eligible for an employer's pension plan from a large corporation, your private pension plan will probably reduce the amount its pays you by the amount you're eligible to receive from Social Security retirement. Check with your plan administrator. We can help you review your eligibility for all these sources of retirement income, as part of a total evaluation of your Estate and Retirement Planning.