For many people living with a severe disability, Social Security disability benefits may be their only source of income to support themselves and their families. It is easy, then, to understand why they would be concerned about anything that may cause them to lose their benefits or reduce the amount they receive each month.
Instead of looking forward to retirement age as an opportunity to slow down and enjoy life, someone living with a disability may have concerns about what will happen to their Social Security disability benefits after 65 years of age. If you have concerns about your disability benefits, let a Social Security disability advocate at London Disability help by reviewing how reaching retirement age will affect your benefits. In the meantime, here is a general overview of what happens to Social Security disability as a person gets older.
Know The Source Of Your Disability Benefits
If you have a severe disability that prevents you from engaging in most work-related activities, you may qualify for one or both of the disability programs administered by the Social Security Administration. The Supplemental Security Income program pays benefits to adults and children who are blind or disabled and meet financial criteria that limit their monthly income from sources other than SSI and puts a $2,000 cap on the value of assets or resources they may own.
You may qualify for SSI benefits without ever having worked, but the same does not hold true for the Social Security Disability Insurance program. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a work history at jobs or self-employment where your earnings were subject to Social Security taxes. As with Social Security retirement, the benefits paid through SSDI are funded by Social Security payroll taxes collected by the federal government.
What Happens To SSD Benefits After Age 65?
Reaching 65 years of age does not affect your benefits received through SSI. The primary reason for this is that SSI, unlike SSDI, receives its funding through general funds of the U.S. Treasury and not through Social Security taxes. As long as there is no change in your income or resources, your SSI benefits will not change solely because you reach retirement age.
If you receive SSDI benefits, they will not stop when you reach 65 years of age. They will, however, convert to Social Security retirement benefits when you reach the full retirement age. The age at which you may retire with full Social Security retirement benefits depends on your birth year. Someone born in 1955 reaches full-retirement age at 66 years and 2 months while someone born in 1960 or later must wait until they are 67 years of age.
The conversion from SSDI to Social Security retirement automatically happens at the age of full retirement. You should not see any change in the amount of the monthly benefit after the conversion unless you elected to take early retirement benefits.
One change that you will see when the SSDI converts to Social Security retirement is an end to the periodic continuing disability reviews the Social Security Administration conducts to determine whether your disability continues to qualify for benefits. Conversion from SSDI to retirement benefits means you no longer will be subject to a review of your medical condition. Having a disability no longer is a factor in determining eligibility for benefits, which are based on your age when you reach the age to retire on full Social Security retirement benefits.
Early Retirement And Your Disability Benefits
If you are disabled and eligible to take early retirement benefits through Social Security at 62 years of age, speak with an SSDI advocate at London Disability because you could be making a mistake. Early retirement results in your retirement benefits being less than they would be by waiting until you reach full retirement age.
A better option may be applying for SSDI provided your disability meets the eligibility criteria. Collecting SSDI instead of early retirement avoids the reduced retirement benefit associated with early retirement.
If you filed for and began collecting early retirement benefits, you still may have the option to apply for SSDI. Social Security will determine from your medical records the date you first became disabled. A disability that existed before you began receiving early retirement may result in your SSDI benefits being paid at the full benefit rate until you reach full retirement age. You also may be entitled to retroactive payments for the period during which you received reduced retirement benefits.
Talk London Disability About Your Benefits
The Social Security disability advocates at London Disability have the knowledge and experience to help you with all matters related to SSI and SSDI, including initial applications for benefits, appeals of unfavorable determinations, and advice about benefits. Contact them today for a free consultation.