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Should you retire early or seek SSDI benefits? You cannot do both. Many people who can no longer work due to medical conditions experience confusion about whether to retire early or file for SSD benefits. What option you chose can have serious consequences for your income over time.

While it is correct that the SSA pays out both benefits, qualifying for the two benefits is completely different. SSD benefits are made for those who will never work again. Retirement benefits can be taken though you can still work. For example, you can take out retirement benefits, even though you can still do some work. You can do so with minimal penalty. However, you cannot elect to take early retirement and then decide to apply for SSD benefits later.

retire early or disability benefits


SSD benefits are for individuals who can no longer work.  However, early retirement is often taken because of poor health. But, as you may know, taking out early retirement benefits at the age of 62 reduces the amount of your  benefit forever.  If you are thinking of taking out early retirement benefits because of a severe medical condition, then it is better to apply for SSD benefits instead.

Why? Because the monthly amount of SSD benefits is the same amount of money you receive if you retire at your full retirement age. For most people, that age is 67.

Therefore, if you are being paid SSD benefits, then you will get a higher monthly benefit amount. Subsequently, your retirement benefit will be higher too. You will also receive more money over your lifetime.

If you have a severe medical condition that keeps you from working, then take a close look at whether or not you should retire early. Taking out early retirement can result in a significant loss of income that you may need later in life. Filing for SSD benefits is almost always the better choice.

Most people who live into their sixties will live past ninety years old. That means that if you retire early, you will be living on a lower amount of money for over 30 years.

30 years is a long time to live on less money. Especially when you consider the fact that you should enjoy the money. Because, you earned it from years of hard work.


If you are debating whether to retire early or collect SSD benefits, then you have found the right law firm. Obviously, we think the better choice is to apply for SSD benefits. However, this choice may depend on your personal circumstances. We can help. Learn more about the lawyers and staff at our law firm on our About Us page.

For example, you may want to know that Dianna Cannon has been helping her clients win Social Security benefits for thirty years. Brett Bunkall and Andria Summers have also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.

In the past 30 years, we have won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases for our clients. Our experts can also help you file for SSI benefits using the SSA’s website. However, we will need your help to apply for SSI benefits. Why? Because only you know your personal financial information. SSI benefits require you to have minimal assets and monthly income.

Likewise, if you need an appeal, we can help you do that too. There are also many forms that will need to be filled out. Don’t worry. If you have questions about these forms, we will answer them. You can learn more about SSA’s appeal forms. Call us today for help.


To receive SSD benefits, a person can meet or equal an SSA listing. You can only be paid Social Security  benefits, if your medical condition keeps you from working for one year or more. Likewise, you will receive benefits if your condition will result in death. Additionally, after you apply for benefits you can also get back due or past due SSD benefits. SSD benefits can go back in time one year prior to the application date, as long as you were not working.

Because the SSA is so strict, those who receive SSD benefits are among the most severely impaired in our country. In fact, those people who are getting SSD benefits are more than three times as likely to die in a given year as other people the same age.

At 55, if you start getting SSD benefits, then your chances of dying within five years from the onset of your medical condition is high. Depending on your gender, 1 in 6 men die after getting SSD benefits. Similarly, 1-in-8 women die within five years of the onset of their severe medical condition.

The truth is that 1-in-4 people in the United States becomes disabled before reaching retirement age. If this happens, then you should be paid Social Security Disability benefits and/or Supplemental Security Income benefits.


There are two types of Social Security benefits. The first type is Social Security Disability benefits (SSDI). This benefit requires you to have years of working a job and paying your taxes. The second type of benefit is Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This benefit is an addition to SSD benefits. Also, it is for people who have never worked or who have earned low wages.

In 2023, the average SSD benefit for one person is $1,300. However, most people receive less money than that per month. Many law firms claim that you can win more than $3000 a month in benefits. This is not correct. A high SSD benefit like that is only available for those with extremely high incomes.

Only 10% of those who get SSD benefits receive more than $2,000 per month. If you have a family, then you will receive a larger SSD benefit. For example, in 2023 the average monthly SSD benefit for someone with a spouse and children is $2,600 per month. Below you can read about the differences between SSD benefits and SSI benefits.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI):  

SSDI benefits are for those who have worked and can no longer work at any job due to a medical condition. The amount of money you will receive from SSDI benefits every month is based on how much Social Security tax you have paid during your work history. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have earned enough “work credits.” A work credit is an amount of taxable income. You can earn up to 4 work credits per year. The amount of work credits you will need will depend on how old you are when you apply. If you haven’t earned enough work credits for your age at the time you apply, you will only qualify for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI):  

SSI is a needs based benefit and it is for those people with little to no income, such as children and the elderly. Anyone who makes more than a certain amount of money per month cannot receive SSI benefits. The SSA counts the income of those in your house, not just your income and assets. If you have a spouse who earns more than $4000 a month, for example, then that income will prevent you from getting SSI benefits. You cannot qualify for SSI benefits, no matter how severe your medical condition, if you do not meet the income and asset rules for SSI.


Remember, if you retire early at 62, then you are going to receive a lower monthly benefit amount for the rest of your life. This is true even if you retire sometime between the ages of 62 and 67. Every year that you wait to retire your benefit amount increases. This is true as long as you continue working.

However, if SSA determines you should be paid SSD benefits, then the amount of your monthly benefit should be the same amount as your full retirement benefit. Again, your monthly SSD benefit is the same amount of money that you would get if you retire at 67 years old.

If you receive SSD benefits, then they will pay out until you reach the age of 67. Once you are 67 years old, then your monthly payment becomes “retirement” benefits. You still get the same amount. It just has a new name.


Obviously, it is better to file for SSD benefits if you cannot work due to a severe medical condition. However, you do not have to obtain SSD benefits on your own. Our law firm can help file your SSD application. Also, we can help you through the appeal stages of the SSA process.

When you leave that up to us, you can focus on your health. Our attorneys and staff can:

If you file your SSD application online at Social Security’s website, then you have 6 months to finish it. It is best to complete the application quickly. You don’t want to run out the 6 months. If you have questions about whether you should retire early or collect SSD benefits, then contact our law firm today.


The SSA benefits application and appeal process can be long and complicated. Because of that it is easy to make mistakes. Hire Cannon Disability Law to give you legal advice and walk you through the appeal process. In the past 30 years, we have won millions of dollars in ongoing and past due due SSD benefits for our clients. We have also won over 20,000 SSDI and SSI cases.

If you want to win benefits, then hire an attorney with the legal experience to win your case. You can hire us for no money down, because we do not charge you any money up front for you to become our client. You only pay us an attorney fee when you win benefits. Read here, if you want to learn more about how attorney fees work in this process.


We will use our skills to help you through the Social Security application process. It is our goal to win your case. But, it also our goal to make it easier for you. We offer a free review of your case. There is no pressure to become a client. If you call, then you can simply ask questions. Also, if we can’t help you, we will refer you to someone who can.

It also doesn’t cost you any upfront money to hire us. Why? Because you only pay us an attorney fee if we win your case. This means if we win your case, then you pay us out of your back benefits. If you do not win SSD benefits, then you do not pay an attorney fee. How much is the fee? It is 25% of your back benefit. Also, the fee is capped at $7200. However, even if 25% is more than the cap, you do not pay more than $7200. And, 25% is usually less than the cap. You will pay the lesser amount between the two.

If there are costs in your case, then you pay those costs. But the costs are usually less than $100. Usually the only cost is to pay for a copy of your medical records. You owe costs whether we win or lose. Again, attorney fees are paid from your back benefit. But, to hire most lawyers, you have to pay upfront. We don’t work like that. The only way for you to pay us is for us to win your case. So, that is our goal. Contact us today for help with your benefits.


If you want to learn more about the lawyers and staff at our firm, then read our About Us page. There you will find information about us. For example, Andria Summers can help you with your Medicare plan. Likewise, she has also won thousands of SSDI and SSI cases.

Dianna Cannon has years of experience helping her clients win SSD benefits. She has been an attorney for thirty years. Ms. Cannon also has licenses in a number of states. For example, she has a law license in California, Utah, Nevada, and Washington State.

Additionally, Brett Bunkall also has years of experience helping people obtain their SSI and SSD benefits. Mr. Bunkall has won thousands of Social Security hearings. All of us are experts at what we do. You can trust us to help you receive SSD benefits. Before you retire early, decide whether or not to collect SSD benefits. Call us now.

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