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SSDI options for those who are disabled

Missouri residents may not realize that their Social Security benefits could be a significant asset if not their largest. As such, it is important to consider management of these benefits. The potential benefits may be the greatest for those with higher earnings during their work histories, but management is important for anyone to maximize amounts received through Social Security. Social Security disability benefits are important because approximately 14 million individuals in the U.S. receive these payments, many times more than those receiving assistance through welfare.

There are some important factors for disabled individuals to consider, particularly as they approach the age for traditional retirement. An individual who has become eligible for disability benefits prior to the age of 62 may continue to receive the full benefit until reaching the age of 66. The individual receiving full disability benefits until full retirement age may then convert to retirement benefits at the full amount. An individual who is not disabled but takes a retirement benefit after the age of 62 and before reaching full retirement age may lose a significant portion of retirement benefits.

Spousal benefits may be available in both cases as well, even if a couple is no longer married. In case of divorce, an ex-spouse may be able to collect spousal benefits if the marriage lasted at least 10 years. Decisions about when to collect spousal benefits may be affected by the timing of a request for these benefits. Reductions may occur if a spousal benefit is taken at the earliest possible time.

While those offering recommendations at a Social Security office may provide counsel about the options for obtaining the greatest amount of benefits at a given time, this may result in lower benefits than possible at full retirement age. It may be wise to discuss the implications of various options with a lawyer who is familiar with Social Security and disability issues.

Source: Forbes, "Social Security Q&A: What Social Security Disability Insurance Options Are Open to People with Disabilities?", Laurence Kotlikoff, August 17, 2014

Source: Forbes, "Social Security Q&A: What Social Security Disability Insurance Options Are Open to People with Disabilities?", Laurence Kotlikoff, August 17, 2014

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