According to a September 2013 Kiplinger Washington Editors survey of 1,000 veterans between the ages of 50 and 70, 7 out of 10 veterans did not know, or underestimated, the impact of filing for Social Security Disability benefits prior to the age of 70. Currently, Social Security benefits can be claimed any time between the ages of 62 and 70. Eighty percent of veteran’s currently collecting Social Security benefits reported that they claimed the benefits as soon as they could (age 62), while only 35-40% of the general population claim Social Security benefits at the earliest possible age of 62.
The Social Security Administration’s retirement age, however, is 70 years old. Retirement age becomes important when looking at the dollar amount of benefits a worker will receive each month. Any benefits claimed prior to the age of retirement (70) are reduced so that a worker who claims benefits at age 62, rather than at age 70, will be paid less and, assumedly, for more years based on average life expectancy. According to the Kiplinger survey, what most veteran’s do not understand is just how much their monthly benefit amount is reduced by claiming pre-retirement age benefits. By claiming Social Security benefits at age 62 rather than at age 70, a worker’s benefit is cut almost in half — $568 as opposed to $1,000.
The youngest Vietnam-era veterans are nearing Social Security benefits decision-making time. If the Kiplinger survey is correct, most of these veterans will not be aware of the monthly benefit reduction associated with claiming Social Security benefits prior to Social Security retirement age. There is help, however.
To learn more about the effects of claiming pre-retirement age Social Security benefits, or to learn more about Social Security Disability or Veteran’s Disability Benefits, generally, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. . Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security Disability and Veteran’s Disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process.