Why Filing for SSD after 60 is Beneficial

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Why Filing for SSD after 60 is Beneficial

– Matt Sauerwald, President, Disability Help Group

Matt Sauerwald is one of the nation’s top Disability Advocates. Matt has spent more than a decade helping people who are unable to work due to a disability, representing thousands of clients along the way. He knows the disability benefits process can be confusing, and that it may be unclear whether an older worker should apply for SSDI or skip straight to retirement benefits. Here’s what you should know. 

Many people who become disabled after 60 don’t think it’s worthwhile to file for SSDI benefits. Most people know the process for applying for benefits and then possibly going through a lengthy appeals process can take months–or even years. Since you can take early Social Security retirement benefits at 62, it may not seem worthwhile to go through the process. But, the process may be less daunting than you think. And, applying for SSDI, even if it’s only for a few years, can mean significantly more income for you. 

The SSDI Application Process after 60

When an applicant for Social Security disability benefits is 55 or older, the Social Security Administration (SSA) uses grid rules in place of the usual evaluation of residual functional capacity. That’s because younger workers who have the capacity to perform some type of work may be expected to retrain and pursue a different type of employment. But, workers of an “advanced age” are assessed as follows:

  • A person of advanced age who is no longer able to perform past work and has limited education is considered disabled unless they have skilled or semi-skilled work experience with skills that are transferable to another kind of work they could perform with their disability
  • A person of advanced age who is no longer able to perform past work and has graduated from high school or has a higher education is considered disabled unless either their education or skills from skilled or semi-skilled past work is transferable to another kind of work they could perform with their disability. 

So, the process may not be as challenging or as drawn out for older SSDI applicants. 

How Applying for SSDI after 60 Offers More Benefits

Imagine that you become disabled at age 61. You know you can apply for Social Security retirement benefits at 62, so it may not seem worth it to apply for disability benefits. Here’s why you’ll likely receive far more in benefits if you start with SSDI:

  • When you are awarded SSDI benefits, you will usually receive “back pay” to the date of your application. So, if you apply at 60 or 61, you could receive a year or two of benefits that you would miss out on if you waited to apply for retirement benefits. 
  • When you take Social Security retirement benefits early, your monthly benefit is reduced–and the reduction is permanent. For example, if you take retirement benefits at 62%, your benefits could be reduced by as much as 30%. That adds up to a lot of money across your remaining years. However, when you receive SSDI, you get the full amount you would have received if you’d taken Social Security retirement on schedule. 

For most people, applying for Social Security disability is a better option than taking early retirement benefits. If you need help with your disability claim or appealing an SSDI denial, Disability Help Group is here for you. To learn more about how we can help, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here.

Matthew Sauerwald has been a dedicated voice for the people seeking disability benefits since 2010. He has represented thousands of claimants fighting for Social Security disability or VA disability benefits, and currently leads Disability Help Group, one of the most successful disability advocacy organizations in the United States.

"Thank you so very much for assisting me in my VA claim. Your company helped me to receive my VA benefits and to maximize them. I could not have done this without your help. Your company stepped in and fought on my behalf, and it was well worth the process. Words cannot express how grateful I am for all your company has done for me."
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How Can I Get TDIU?

How Can I Get TDIU?

Many veterans are unable to earn a living because of service-connected disabilities. Congress created a special benefit called TDIU to help these veterans live comfortably. Also known as Unemployability. TDIU pays the same monthly amount as a 100% disability rating.