Approximately one in six Americans collect some form of Social Security each month. In addition to retirement benefits, the Social Security Administration offers other benefits, such as Social Security Disability insurance. For recipients, understanding and selecting the proper benefit program may be important for financial security.

Ohio retirement benefits are received by more than 70 percent of recipients. For eligibility, recipients must be over 62, earned at least 40 work credits and earned four of these credits annually. The benefit amount depends on age and the average of a recipient’s 35 highest-earning years of work.

Partial benefits begin at 62 and full benefits are available at age 65 to 67. Recipients may also choose to work until 70 to earn additional income and increase their retirement benefits.

Social Security Disability benefits are also available until retirement age. A disabled worker under 24, for example, needs only six work credits earned in the three years before their disability. Disability benefits, however, have strict eligibility requirements.

Workers who become disabled when they are older may apply for disability instead of retirement benefits. However, they cannot simultaneously earn both benefits.

Qualifying for SSDI may be easier for workers over 62 than seeking eligibility for retirement benefits. SSDI may also be a more attractive option because disability benefits may be 25 percent higher than retirement benefits each month.

Many workers may choose to delay retirement benefits and continue to receive SSDI until they reach their full retirement age. Deferment helps ensure that retirement benefits are not reduced because recipients receive full SSDI before retirement.

Supplemental Security Income is another option for low-income individuals with a disability and have not earned sufficient work credits for SSDI. SSI is different than disability and retirement benefits because this program is funded by general tax funds instead of payroll deductions.

An attorney can help determine options for seeking the most attractive benefits allowed under law. They may help assure that the rights to benefits are protected.