A substantial number of people elect to receive Social Security Disability benefits if they are eligible. What is unclear for many is how collecting these benefits will affect their future retirement benefits and what happens to these disability benefits when employees reach full retirement age.
What is Full Retirement Age?
Contrary to what many people believe, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has determined “full retirement age” is only 65 for people who were born in 1937 or earlier. For those born after 1937, the SSA has defined “full retirement age” as follows:
- 1938: 65 + 2 months
- 1939: 65 + 4 months
- 1940: 65 + 6 months
- 1941: 65 + 8 months
- 1942: 65 + 10 months
- 1943 to 1954: 66 years old
- 1955: 66 + 2 months
- 1956: 66 + 4 months
- 1957: 66 + 6 months
- 1958: 66 + 8 months
- 1959: 66 + 10 months
- 1960 or after: 67 years old
What Happens to Social Security Disability in Retirement?
Your previous SSD benefits will not be terminated once you reach full retirement age. Instead, they will be converted to retirement benefits from another Social Security fund that will no longer be paid through SSD. However, you should not experience a gap in benefits, and the benefits will be processed the same way as your SSDI. Another important thing to note is that once you reach full retirement age, your benefits will no longer be restricted by earning limits as SSD benefits are. This means if you choose to, you could get a higher salary from a part-time job or different source of income without suffering from a reduction in your monthly benefit amount.
Will the Amount of Benefits Go Down in Retirement?
No. If you elect to start receiving retirement benefits at full retirement age, the monthly benefit amount will remain the same as your SSD benefit. This is because the retirement benefits you receive from the SSA are based on what you contributed to Social Security during employment just as disability benefits are.
What if You Start Receiving Retirement Benefits Prior to Full Retirement Age?
At times, people elect to start receiving early retirement benefits once they reach 62. However, if you are already on SSD, you are not eligible for conversion to early retirement benefits at 62. Rather, you would merely keep receiving SSD benefits until you hit the full retirement age listed above and at that point, the SSA would simply switch your SSD to retirement benefits.
Contact Our Experienced Social Security Disability Attorneys Today
It can be difficult to understand the conversion of Social Security Disability benefits to retirement benefits and when this occurs for each individual. The experienced Mount Pleasant SSDI attorneys at Klok Law Firm, LLC can walk you through your individual case and help determine what benefits you are entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation.