Would disability benefits replace my Social Security?

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Q. I’m on New Jersey short-term disability. At age 62, I assume that I could also start to draw my regular Social Security benefit. Once the New Jersey disability benefit period ends and I apply for SSDI, would SSDI replace the regular Social Security benefit?
— Unsure

A. How these benefits affect each other can be complicated.

They are governed by very strict rules.

You can start drawing on your Social Security retirement benefit at age 62 while collecting New Jersey short-term disability, said Ken Van Leeuwen, a certified financial planner with Van Leeuwen & Company in Princeton.

He said when the short-term disability ends, you do have the option to apply for SSDI.

“If you are approved, you would receive a larger benefit because SSDI benefits, claimed at any age, are calculated as if you were at full retirement age,” he said.

You would still need to go through the application process for SSDI and be approved, but if you are approved then it would replace your Social Security retirement benefits.

“This can be a risk however, because if you are not approved for the SSDI claim, then you will be left collecting the reduced retirement benefit that you began taking at age 62,” he said.

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This story was originally published on March 28, 2022.

NJMoneyHelp.com presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.