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How Early Can Someone Apply For Social Security Disability Insurance?

Full retirement age is when you’re eligible to receive your full Social Security benefits. The retirement age to receive full benefits was 65 for everyone, but that has changed. Currently, if you were born in 1951 or later, your full retirement age is now after the age of 65—all the way up to 67 if you were born anytime after 1959. If you were born before 1951, you’re 66 which is the full retirement age. Though you won’t receive full benefits, the earliest you can start getting Social Security benefits is 62.

Here’s what you’ll receive for different retirement ages:

  • Age 62: You will receive 72.5 percent of the monthly payment since you will be receiving it for 54 months.
  • Age 65: At this age, you will receive 90 percent of the monthly payment because you will have an extra 18 months of payments.

If you are receiving Social Security income as a spouse for full retirement, you will receive 50 percent of the monthly payment that your spouse would be. If you start getting benefits at:

  • Age 62: You will receive 33.8 percent of the monthly payment rather than 50 percent
  • Age 65: You will receive 43.8 percent of the monthly payment rather than 50 percent

If you are close to the age of 62, you can still apply for SSDI and here’s why:

SSDI benefits can be paid up to 12 months prior to the date of your application, if your disability goes back that far. If you are disabled, you are not penalized for receiving early Social Security retirement. Because you are disabled, you will get more disability as well as your retirement in full once you reach the retirement age. A disability freeze is when you retire early and zero earning years and affects your SS retirement benefits. If you receive SSDI, your earnings are frozen so the years that you are disabled will not decrease your SS benefit amount.

It is recommended that if you are in good health and capable of working, that you take into consideration not retiring early. Delaying your retirement no later than the age of 70 will better your benefits. Consider all of your factors when deciding to receive Social Security benefits.

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