A plan participant may receive a distribution from a retirement plan because he or she became totally and permanently disabled. Even if received before the participant is age 59 ½, it is not subject to the 10% additional tax for early distributions, but must still be reported as income. The plan document will specify the terms and conditions that a person must meet to receive disability payments and will give instructions on how to apply for them.
Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income
Publication 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs)
Publication 907, Tax Highlights for Persons with Disabilities
Disability Information for Individuals, Businesses, and Partners Providing Services