Phoenix: 602.256.2000
Flagstaff/Prescott: 928.358.4068
Tucson: 520.333.6665

What is the Difference Between Social Security Disability and Social Security Income?

Social Security Disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits are two separate programs. If you are suffering from a disability that is severe enough that you cannot perform your usual work, and you cannot perform alternative work, then you may be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits.

Social Security pays disability benefits to people who are unable to work because they have a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year, or result in death. While some programs such as workers' compensation will provide benefits to injured workers with a short-term or partial disability, Social Security does not.

In contrast, Social Security is a retirement plan for the majority of American workers. If you are among the 96% of workers covered under Social Security, you will be entitled to certain Social Security benefits when you retire.

Under the Social Security retirement plan, when you work you pay Social Security taxes and you earn "credits" towards your Social Security benefits. In order to receive Social Security income, you will need 40 credits (10 years of work). If you stop working before you accrue enough credits, the credits remain on your Social Security record.

If you later return to work, you can earn more credits until you qualify; however, you cannot receive retirement benefits until you have acquired 40 credits.

How much will my benefits be?

Each person's benefit payment is based on how much they earned during their working career, thus, higher lifetime earnings means greater benefits. Retirement benefits are also affected by the age of retirement.

If you retire at the age of 62 (the earliest possible age for Social Security), your benefit amount will be lower than if you retired at age 66 or 67 (based on your date of birth). For instance, if you retire at 62, your benefit will be around 25% less than if you waited until you reached full retirement age.

Phoenix Social Security Disability Lawyers

Are you unable to work because of a disabling medical condition? If so, you should apply for Social Security Disability benefits as soon as possible. At Fendon Law Firm, P.C., we have been handling Social Security Disability cases since 1979. Attorney Matt Fendon, as well as the other members of the firm, would be honored to help you as well!

We are qualified to handle your case because:

  • Attorney Don Fendon is a member of the National Association of Social Security Advocates.
  • Attorney Matt Fendon is a member of the National Association of Disability Representatitves
  • Attorney Matt Fendon is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives
  • We have offices in Phoenix, Prescott, Tucson, and Flagstaff.
  • We offer free initial consultations.
  • We are accredited by the BBB with an A+ Rating.
  • Our attorneys are AV® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®.

Are you ready to get started? Call our Phoenix Social Security Disability law firm today!