The advantage of filing for disability instead of early retirement is a higher monthly Social Security check. Generally, your monthly disability benefit is approximately the same as your full retirement age benefit. The early retirement age benefit is 29 and half percent less than the full retirement age benefit.

It is possible to apply for Social Security disability and receive early retirement benefits at the same time. If you are successful in your disability case, you effectively get a monthly pay increase from Social Security. However, if you are unsuccessful in your disability case, you are locked in to the early retirement Social Security amount for the rest of your life.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska