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[[I am able to withdraw without penalty from my standard IRA due to total disability (I am 53). Does
anyone know if I switch to a Roth if I would be able to withdraw also immediately without penalty
?(I have no taxable income other than withdrawals from the IRA and with my deductions the
rollover to Roth could be essentially tax free).]]

Disability IS a penalty exception, both for a regular IRA and a Roth IRA. But you must be disabled according to IRS guidelines....and this can get a little tricky. An individual is considered disabled if he is unable to engage in any "substantial gainful activity" by reason of any medically determininable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or to be of long continued and indefinite duration. But an individual is NOT considered disabled unless he furnished proof of the disability in the form or manner required by the IRS (even though that form or manner has yet to be described.

For additional information on the disablity requirements to avoid the penalty, see IRS Publication 590 at the IRS web site.

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