Disability can strike at any age. Fortunately, people unable to work due to a disability can apply for benefits. One disability benefit for workers comes from the Social Security Administration: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). But what happens to SSDI benefits when a benefit recipient retires?
What is full retirement age?
That depends on when you were born. Normal retirement age was age 65 for many years. However, that age increased gradually for people born after 1938. For example, someone born in 1960 or later reaches full retirement age at 67.
People may retire as early as age 62. However, monthly Social Security will be lower.
Example: Josie wants to retire, but she’s only 62. Her benefits will be up to 30% lower than if she waits until she is 67. However, if she is on SSDI at age 62, she does not need to retire.
Will my monthly payments change when I retire?
Your monthly payments will be the same when you reach full retirement age. Your Social Security Disability Insurance payments automatically convert to Social Security retirement benefits.
Example: Richard N., age 66, has been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance payments for 10 years. After he turns 67, his monthly payments will be retirement benefits instead of disability benefits. He was relieved to learn that the payments would not decrease.
Can I collect Social Security Disability Insurance benefits and Social Security retirement at the same time?
Generally, no. The only exception may occur when someone retires at age 62 for health reasons, prior to becoming disabled. You won’t get two full payments. You may get SSDI monthly payments and a Social Security check that makes up the difference between your disability payment and your retirement payment for short while. Of course, you will still have to meet the disability and work credit tests to receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In some cases, though, if you opt for early retirement before becoming disabled, you may be stuck with lower monthly retirement payments for the rest of your life. Talk to an attorney before taking early retirement if disability benefits are also an option.
Example: Chris decided to take early retirement at age 62 due to chronic pulmonary obstructive disease. A year later, he applied for SSDI. His monthly payments remained the same, lower than if he had waited until age 67 to retire.
Do You or Someone You Know Need to Apply for Disability?
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have helped many clients receive the disability benefits they deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we assist clients throughout Southern California.