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Disability benefits have hidden positives over retirement

Social Security may no longer be the comprehensive safety net intended for older Americans that it was designed for, but it still serves millions of people with required services. Nearly 20 percent of people in the United States collect a benefit from the administration, and not all of them are retired.

Disability benefits are one of the most important benefits that the Social Security Administration (SSA) may offer citizens. Payments can help defray the problems caused by a sudden injury or disability that may prevent a person from working at the same time that the cost of living goes up.

Just like retirement benefits, possible disability payments from the SSA are funded by a tax on gross earnings below $128,400 per year and all earnings of self-employed people. The administration assigns credits based on work history and earnings, so pre-disability earnings have a bearing on possible benefits.

There is no age limit on disability payments; anyone who is working and has earned the proper credits can apply to the SSA in the case of disability. Older workers may find disability payments better than retirement income. If a person has a disability without the proper credits, supplemental security income (SSI) may be available.

Applications for disability payments may be turned down upon the first try, for reasons from state budget contributions to problems with medical certifications. An attorney may help applicants with preparing their claims or appealing the decision by a Social Security office to turn one down. No one with a disability should have to face it alone.

Source: Benzinga, "Social Security Disability vs. Social Security Retirement Benefits," Eric Huffman, June 05, 2018

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