Physician's Money Digest, June30 2003, Volume 10, Issue 12


If you're over age 62 and becomedisabled, you may be tempted tostart collecting Social Security benefits early. The problem is that yourcheck could be almost 25% lowerthan it would be if you waited untilyou reach the age when you qualifyfor full benefits. Applying for SocialSecurity disability benefits will probablyget you a bigger check and youwill still have the right to claim fullbenefits once you reach the requiredage. The process takes more time,with a 2- to 3-month lag betweenwhen you file and when you startgetting benefit checks, but the waitmay well be worth it. Complex cases may drag on for ayear or more, and you may need alawyer's help, which will cost you.