Q. I was working and I injured my back and had to stop working when I was 60 years old. I was receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Finally, I got total disability a month before I turned 62. On my birthday, Social Security told me I had to retire early, so I figured I would be put on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), but instead they forgot everything about disability and were told i would receive $ 1,174 per month from social security. I feel like I have been deceived by SSDI. What do you think?

– Confuses

A. To begin with, the details of each individual’s claim are very specific based on their personal circumstances.

If you haven’t already, you should talk to someone at Social Security to better understand this decision.

Your SSDI benefits are based on your lifetime covered earnings, said Jeanne Kane, Certified Financial Planner at JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton.

This is the income you paid Social Security taxes on until you became disabled, she said.

Some other benefits may reduce your SSDI Advantage, she said. These include workers’ compensation, public disability benefits, and pensions based on work not covered by social security, such as a government or foreign pension.

In your case, Kane said, you were injured on the job.

“Do you receive worker’s compensation, another public disability benefit? ” she said. “If so, it could reduce your SSDI benefit to the point where it makes more financial sense for you to take early retirement benefits from Social Security. “

Kane noted that your Social Security retirement benefits are also based on your lifetime insured earnings.

You receive the full benefit at full retirement age (FRA). FRA for people born in 1955 is 66 and two months. It gradually increases for anyone born in 1960 or later.

If you file earlier than full retirement age, you receive a lower benefit, she said.

“In general, we recommend that people wait as long as possible to claim Social Security retirement benefits ”, she said. “If you apply early, your benefit may be permanently reduced by up to 30% compared to what you would have received in your FRA. “

For example, a 30% reduction will turn your benefit from $ 1,200 per month into just $ 840 per month, she said.

“You contributed to the SSDI and SSA retirement benefit programs while working, so you deserve to make the most of them,” she said.

Again, contact Social Security for details on the benefits you are entitled to.

Email your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes on Bamboo column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. Find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.com‘s weekly electronic newsletter.

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