Social Security Disability vs. Social Security Retirement Benefits

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on September 18, 2018

Social security cardsAfter suffering a serious injury, your ability to work may be severely impacted. If your injuries result in disability, you may be eligible for assistance from the Social Security Administration. Social security disability (SSD/SSDI) benefits help with the costs of living when you are unable to work following an accident or illness.

Many clients who are curious about disability coverage ask our Provo, UT lawyers how SSD/SSDI differs from social security benefits collected during retirement. The legal team at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton will compare these two programs below, noting the basic similarities and differences.

About Social Security

Social security as we know it today began in 1935 under the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration to provide aid for children, those lookin for work, and the elderly. When used colloquially, most people use the phrase “social security” to refer to social security retirement benefits, which people receive upon retiring. In fact, around 70 percent of all people who receive social security benefits are receiving retirement benefits.

Qualifying for Social Security

To qualify for social security retirement benefits, you must be of a certain age depending on the year you were born. For people born before 1960, benefits kicked in around age 65 to 66. For people born after 1960, retirement benefits an start being collected by age 67. The amount you receive will depend on the amount of work units you earn during your life.

About Social Security Disability

Social security disability is intended to cover people who have suffered an injury that had rendered them disabled and unable to work. These benefits are taken from the social security trust fund via FICA Social Security taxes. After collecting social security disability for two years, the disabled individual becomes eligible for Medicare.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability

To qualify for social security disability benefits, a person must be fully disabled, and in such a way that working any of your previous jobs is no longer possible. The injury will also have made working at a less physically or mentally demanding job impossible. Any gainful employment or earnings must be considered as well, since people making more than a certain monthly threshold no longer qualify for social security disability.

Social Security and Social Security Disability Similarities

As noted above, one of the key similarities between social security retirement benefits and social security disability is that they both draw from payroll taxes from a worker’s wages. Additionally, work credits are used to determine eligibility and the amount of benefits.

Social Security and Social Security Disability Differences

The primary difference between social security retirement benefits and social security disability is the circumstances in which these benefits are given. There’s a strict set of guidelines to qualify for social security disability benefits.

Can I Receive Both Social Security Benefits Simultaneously?

No, it is not possible to collect social security retirement benefits and social security disability benefits at the same time. It may be more advantageous to a person to collect one type of benefits rather than another, however.

Legal Assistance with Social Security Disability Issues

Since social security disability insurance is crucial for many disabled workers, it’s important to have a lawyer on your side for assistance. An attorney can assist you with denied claims and any disputes over amounts given by the Social Security Administration. The expertise and peace of mind will prove invaluable given the complexities of the process an the amount of benefits at stake.

Contact Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton

For more information about social security disability issues and how our lawyers can help you with your situation, we encourage you to contact our experienced team of lawyers. We at Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you. You can call our Provo office at (801) 753-1616, our West Jordan office at (801) 509-7102, our Orem office at (801) 669-8835, and our Saratoga Springs office at (801) 341-8424.

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