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SSDI: Can I apply for early retirement at 62 if I'm waiting for a decision on my disability claim?

I am 61 years old, I have had heart disease cardiomyopathy and progressive congestive heart failure since 2005. I could likely have received my SSDI years ago but chose to work till I could not work anymore. I was advised by my Dr to stay at home and confine myself at home until a vaccine for coronovirus is made available. I applied for SSDI and am waiting for a decision. My funds will run out soon, I will not be able to get supplemental income. So, I need to know if I can apply for my regular reduced social security at age 62 so I can have income while I'm waiting on a decision on my SSDI. I'm confident I will be approved for SSDI but that may take some months or even years. Thank You in advance for your replys!

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  • Judith
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    You most certainly can file for retirement benefits which you would receive until the disability is approved.  If the disability is approved then you will be switched from the reduced retirement benefit to the unreduced disability benefit.  If the disability is denied, then you will already be set up for retirement benefits.  However since you already have a pending claim you cannot file online at ssa.gov.  You will have to call 1-800-772-1213 and make an appointment to file for retirement.  Be sure to tell the person setting it up that you have a pending disability claim.

    Many, many people file for both disability and retirement benefits at the same time.  It's no big deal for social security to process.  

    It takes no more than 4 months to process a disability claim.  Only if denied does it take longer.  It takes about 3 months to process a reconsideration.  It takes 1 to 2 years to process a request for a hearing. If denied at the hearing the next step is an Appeals Council Review which takes over a year.  That is social security's final decision on a claim.  After that you can file an appeal with the US Federal District Court - no idea how long that takes - or you can start all over again.

    NOTE:   Social Security does not pay a disability benefit to anyone who has reached full retirement age (currently it is age 66).  If someone is getting a disability benefit they are automatically converted to a retirement benefit at that time with no change in benefit amount.

    I was a SS claims rep for 32 yrs.

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  • 2 months ago

    Call the social security phone number for proper information.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    You won't get both but yes you can.

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  • Craig
    Lv 4
    2 months ago

    It seems to me I recall the SSA telling me that I could take the retirement benefit, or I could apply for disability, but not both.  Since I'm not likely to live as long as other people, I took the reduced retirement at 62, rather than accept the risk that I would enjoy less total "payback" if I delayed until full-rate retirement would start.

    The amount I get from SSA is modest...but it would still be modest even if I'd waited for full-rate retirement.  At least this way it is available through my 60s, when I am more able to enjoy it.

    I don't recall the amount of SSDI I might have been eligible for, but I don't think it was significantly greater than the reduced-rate retirement.

    Of course there may be others on here who can give you a more-informed answer.  Good luck.

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    • Craig
      Lv 4
      2 months agoReport

      Judith, I quite possibly misunderstood.  I see your full answer above, and thank you very much for that.  I know I was given paperwork for the disability claim at the time I filed for the early retirement - but perhaps due to my disability, I quickly became confused as to why.  Thanks again.

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  • 2 months ago

    yes.............it will be started as retirement and if SSDI is approved with be the SSDI amouny.

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