Removing Retirement Penalty through Disability

Posted July 13, 2023 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

So you filed for disability benefits but the path to receiving benefits has led you to your 62nd birthday. Upon turning 62, you decided it would be best to file for early retirement. Now, you have to decide if continuing your disability case is worth it, even though you are receiving monthly payments already. After all, going in front of a judge can be intimidating! We’re here to tell you not to drop your disability case. In the end, your penalty for taking early retirement could be dropped and you could get possibly even get back-pay to when you became disabled!

Social Security’s website states that the penalties for taking early retirement can be up to 30% if taken right when you turn 62.[1] However, the award for disability benefits and early retirement benefits are calculated the same way.[2] The actual method for calculating your benefits involves several steps involving heavily complicated information, which we won’t get into here.[3] If you’re curious, Social Security has a number of different benefit calculators available on their website.[4]

The important thing to note, is that your early retirement benefit is essentially your potential disability benefit, but with a 30% reduction penalty. What does that mean? If you are found disabled prior to your 62nd birthday, you will receive your full retirement benefit amount! No reduction penalty! Not only that, but you could also be entitled to backpay even before you turned 62!

To find out more about how to file for disability and if you could possibly remove the penalty on your benefits, contact us at Premier Disability today!

By: Adam Sundling of Premier Disability Services, LLC®


[1] See https://www.ssa.gov/oact/quickcalc/early_late.html

[2] See 20 CFR 404.210

[3] 20 CFR 404.212 discusses how to compute the benefit if you become disabled or retire after 1984.

[4] https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/calculators/

Why the Work History Report is Important

Posted June 25, 2023 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

When filing for disability, Social Security will send you a document title “Work History Report” for you to fill out. But why do they do that? Why do they want to know what work you did? Can’t you just attach a resume and that would be good enough?
Actually, the way that Social Security Disability works requires proof that you are unable to perform work that you have done in the past 15 years.[1] Such work is known as “Past Relevant Work”.

“Well they have my tax records, so why can’t they just look at what my previous job was?”

While your tax records do contain your earnings and where you work, they don’t tell Social Security what exactly you did at that job. A “sales clerk” could be a person sitting behind a desk and answering phones or it could be someone who is in a store lifting and carrying product to a register to scan. So it is important that Social Security knows exactly what it is that you did in your past job.

The Work History Report is a primary way for Social Security to determine your past work.[2] As such, it is very important for you to include specific details about your past jobs in it. If some details are lacking, a judge may misinterpret what your past work actually was and it may lead to a denial. The most important information that judges look at is job title, lifting or carrying requirements, and how long you were standing, walking, or sitting during a typical workday.

We at Premier Disability Services understand just how important the Work History Report is to a disability case, so if you are struggling feel free to give us a call and we can assist you!

By: Devon Brady of Premier Disability Services, LLC®


[1] See 20 CFR 404.1560

[2] See 20 CFR 404.1560

Survivor Benefits: What Happens to Your SSDI When You Pass Away?

Posted June 23, 2023 by Premier Disability Services, LLC®

If you’re receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits and you’ve wondered what happens to those benefits when you pass away, you’re not alone. It’s a tough but important question. Understanding how survivor benefits work can provide peace of mind. Knowing that your loved ones may be able to receive financial support after your death can ensure their well-being in difficult times.

What are Social Security Survivor Benefits?

When a person who has paid into the Social Security system passes away, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can provide survivor benefits to eligible family members. It’s an essential part of the social safety net that can help reduce the financial hardship that often follows the loss of a loved one.

Here are the main categories of family members who could potentially receive survivor benefits:

Surviving spouses – If you’re married and you pass away, your spouse can receive benefits based on your work record. If they’re of full retirement age or older, they can receive 100% of your benefit amount. If they’re age 60 or older, they can receive 71.5% to 99% of your benefit. If they’re disabled, benefits can begin as early as age 50. They can also receive benefits at any age if they’re caring for your child who is under 16 or disabled.

Children – Unmarried children under 18 (or up to 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full-time) can also receive benefits. Children who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled can also qualify.

Dependent parents – In some cases, if you have a parent who was dependent on you for at least half of their support, they might be eligible for survivor benefits once they reach age 62.

How Much Can My Survivors Receive?

The amount of survivor benefits your loved ones can receive depends on your earnings and the amount of Social Security benefits you were entitled to at the time of your death. The more you paid into Social Security during your lifetime, the higher their benefits would be.

Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit that is up to 50% to 100% of your basic Social Security benefit. However, there’s a limit to the amount of money that can be paid to a family. This family maximum is usually between 150% and 180% of your benefit rate.

Applying for Survivor Benefits

Survivor benefits are not automatic. Your loved ones must apply for them. They can do so by calling the SSA at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contacting their local Social Security office. Your family members need to contact the SSA as soon as possible after your death because benefits may not be retroactive. They may lose benefits if they delay applying.

Conclusion

Thinking about what happens to your SSDI benefits when you’re no longer here can be tough, but it’s an important conversation to have. Having an understanding of the process can provide some peace of mind and knowledge that your loved ones could receive some financial support. Remember, it’s completely normal to have questions about such important matters. Becoming informed and prepared is one of the best ways we can provide some comfort for our families no matter what the future holds.