50-62-Year-Olds Aren’t Applying for SSD, Missing Opportunities

50-year-old woman looking out windown on rainy day

A significant group of disabled Americans could be missing out on receiving the social security disability (SSD) benefits they deserve, because they don’t think they need to apply.

Those who are 50-62-years-old may become disabled, but think that social security disability is not for them. Perhaps they are daunted by the seemingly complicated process or by what they have heard about how common denials can be. Or maybe they are worried about the stigma of being categorized as disabled, even though the disability is at no fault of their own.

Therefore, they may avoid applying for SSD altogether and instead apply for early retirement to afford their medical bills and continue to support themselves and their family while they are unable to work. Being so close to retirement age, this shouldn’t hurt, right? However, applying early for retirement significantly reduces the benefits you can receive once you reach full retirement age.

Difference Between Social Security Disability and Social Security Retirement

It is important to understand that although the social security administration is responsible for both social security disability and social security retirement, these are separate entities. Social security disability was created to help Americans who have been diagnosed with disabilities, such as mental disorders, musculoskeletal system and connective tissue disorders and cancer that cause them to be unable to work. On the other hand, social security retirement was created for those who have reached retirement age and are ready to leave the workplace.

The Older You Are, the More Social Security Disability Benefits You Can Receive

If you are a disabled worker, you are not alone. In fact, disabled workers make up the majority of those who receive SSD benefits at nearly 87%. Other claimants include disabled adult children and the widows and widowers of the disabled.

Being 50-62-years old as a disabled worker is often the prime age to receive SSD benefits. This is because it is typically easier for workers who are 50 and older to receive the highest social security disability benefits. According to a report from the Social Security Administration, social security benefits for disabled workers increase with age.

Simply put, Americans 50-years and older have diligently payed taxes over the years to fund SSD. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of benefits awarded to disabled workers ages 50-64.

  • Ages 50-54: 16% of Benefits
  • Ages 55-59: 25% of Benefits
  • Ages: 60-64: 30% of Benefits

It is also important to note that those who successfully apply for SSD and are approved to receive benefits typically do so until they reach full retirement age. Therefore, receiving SSD benefits will not change the social security retirement benefits you are entitled to. This is a crucial point because as mentioned, if you are disabled, but apply for early retirement instead, your benefits will be reduced.

Don’t Wait — Apply for SSD Benefits As Soon As Possible to Start Receiving Benefits

If you are between 50 and 62-years-old and you have been diagnosed with a disability, you should apply as soon as possible for social security disability. The process can be complicated, and requires paperwork, proper documentation of your disability and many other elements. With this in mind, it is important to understand your options and seek out an experienced social security disability lawyer who can help you submit your initial application and appeal your claim if necessary.

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability and Veterans Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.


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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.