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Disability Designation
Jul 13, 2013

Hello Mr Chambers, I am getting older and as a LTS it is getting harder for me to maintain employment. I am going to retire from my job and my state (NC) allows me to use the leveling option which will let me receive a small percentage of my SS benefits along with my state pension so I will receive an amount that is more than SSDI would be. My insurance will also still be paid under my retirement package. I know that I am very fortunate to have these resources and not have to deal with the SSDI administration and wait two years for Medicaid. My question is can I still file for disability even though I will be receiving a small portion from SS? If not is there a way to be declared disabled so I can access my IRA early without incurring the 10% for early withdrawal? I can also receive a reduction in my property taxes and some other benefits if I am declared disabled. Regards, Billy

Response from Mr. Chambers

As long as you have not yet attained your Normal Retirement Age with Social Security (age 66 for persons born between 1943 and 1954, and older if born later) you can apply for Social Security Disability. I don't know your pension contract, but it is entirely possible that getting SSDI would have an affect your pension payments.

SSDI is really a form of disability retirement. Basically, it says that due to your disability, you are unable to work until retirement so they will start paying you now what they estimate your normal retirement benefit would be.

You need to read your pension Summary Plan Description to see how it integrates with Social Security.

Good luck, Jacques

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