Originally, the age at which an individual could claim Social Security retirement benefits was 65 years old. In 1961, a law was passed which allowed individuals to collect reduced Social Security retirement benefits as early as age 62. However, workers still had to wait until the full retirement age (65) to collect the entire payment for which they had qualified.
In 1983, the law changed which raised the full retirement age to 66 for the majority of baby boomers and 67 for people born in 1960 or later. Early retirement benefits will still be available at age 62, but they will be reduced proportionally to how much earlier the benefits are claimed. Retirees who reach the full-benefit age and delay claiming their benefits will receive a financial bonus.
Many individuals who retire early due to health problems may still be eligible for the Social Security Disability Insurance program. The Social Security Administration (SSA) requires that you: are working at levels below the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level, have disabling health problems that have lasted or will last at least 12 months, and are still insured for the SSDI program.
If you have questions about whether you may be eligible for disability benefits, please feel free to contact Mr. Hankus at any time for a free telephone consultation.