Early Distribution Exception - Disability

Generally, if you are under age 59 1/2, you must pay a 10% additional tax on the distribution of any assets (money or other property) from your traditional IRA. Distributions before you are age 59 1/2 are called "Early Distributions."

The 10% additional tax applies to the part of the distribution that you have to include in gross income. It is in addition to any regular income tax on that amount

An exception to this rule is early distributions due to disability as explained in IRS Publication 590-B Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), on page 23:

Disabled. If you become disabled before you reach age 591/2, any distributions from your traditional IRA because of your disability aren't subject to the 10% additional tax.

You are considered disabled if you can furnish proof that you can't do any substantial gainful activity because of your physical or mental condition. A physician must determine that your condition can be expected to result in death or to be of long, continued, and indefinite duration.

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