Chattanooga Injury Attorney Brent Burks

Discussing Social Security Benefits

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There are some misconceptions about social security disability. One of the first things people tend to ask is do you only get social security benefits if you can’t work any job. That’s not really the case. We’ve seen this reported on very prominent news shows. This can’t be further from the truth. We have these things in law called grid rules, and depending on your age, typically over 50 years old, education, past work experience, etc., you can be considered disabled if you are restricted to only work some jobs.

Generally speaking for social security disability, you have to have worked five of the last ten years. But once again, you can still get SSI benefits which you have to be disabled as well. That for people that meet certain income limits. Is there a penalty if you are able to do some type of job? The answer is you can. You are not ineligible unless you make $1000 or more per month. So if you are under that limit you can still receive your benefits. There is even an exception to that, what we call an unsuccessful work attempt as long as that work attempt doesn’t last longer than 6 months. There is a big incentive to get people to get back to work. That’s what most of our clients want to do, so there is no harm in trying. I think people who are working a part-time job is something that you should consider. You are not disabled if you can do part-time work, you are disabled if you can’t do full-time work.

At age 62 you can take your early social security retirement benefit. You will take about a 25% hit on your benefits. However, you can also draw disability until you hit your full retirement age. For example, at age 62 you could also apply for social security disablity. So if you were drawing your early benefit and then you were later to be found disabled, you would get your 25% back.