I will be 62 in December. Do I have to file for Social Security, or does my VA disability continue until I do file for Social Security? Can I claim both, or do I have to give up my VA disability? - Samuel


Electing to file for early Social Security benefits will not impact your VA disability benefits – you can definitely receive both. That’s the really good news. However, since you were born in 1947, your normal or full retirement age is actually 66. So if you do decide to file for early benefits at 62, your benefit will be reduced by approximately 25 percent. That’s a pretty big pay cut. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply this fall, but rather that you should take a close look at your finances and determine what makes the most sense. If you need the additional income to make ends meet, it probably makes sense to apply for early benefits. On the other hand, if you can wait, your benefit will increase each month you put off taking Social Security. Obviously, the longer you live, the more sense it would make to delay benefits. Typically, it takes 10 or more years to break even if you start benefits at your full retirement age instead of at 62. The Social Security website is actually filled with a wealth of great information on this topic, including calculators. Thanks for your service and sacrifice.