Issues to consider when filing for Social Security disability

There are a large number of challenges faced by individuals seeking Social Security benefits. Some of these challenges could assist an individual to receive more benefits, while others could be setbacks. Here are a few things that the average Social Security or Social Security disability applicant in Pennsylvania may wish to consider in order to maximize the amount of income he or she is capable of receiving.

Some individuals may consider taking their Social Security benefits early. Generally speaking, taking Social Security early may not be recommended in all cases. Primarily, that is because these individuals will receive less income over their lives as opposed to an individual who waits until retirement age; nevertheless, if one has a disability, the situation is different. Disabled applicants also need to have contributed to the Social Security system through taxes for a certain period of time in order to qualify. Finally, when a disability recipient turns 66 years of age, then that person's benefits will convert to normal Social Security.

Another aspect of Social Security that a lot of people do not know about is that a child under 18 can receive survivor benefits. Eligible children must be unmarried and their parents must have been receiving social security. Certain rules apply to children trying to receive benefits, but normally the calculation is 75 percent.

Another thing to consider is that public sector workers, like government employees and teachers, may be subjected to benefit reductions. Many government employees do not have to pay into the Social Security system as this would cause many to be ineligible to receive benefits. Nevertheless, there are numerous workers who have had other jobs, which qualify them for social security; and, in such cases, they could be subjected to benefit reduction. The amount of the benefit cut depends on the individual's work history.

The advantages and disadvantages when applying for Social Security disability vary per individual. In order to receive the highest benefits, a Pennsylvania resident must consider all of these advantages and disadvantages to create a strategic application plan. Fortunately, even in situations that appear difficult, challenges can often be overcome to the advantage of an applicant and his or her family.

Source: marketwatch.com, "6 steps to maximizing Social Security benefits", Stephen Williams, May 1, 2014

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