This past July 2016 there were 65,636 total Social Security beneficiaries including individuals that were 65 or older, disabled and under age 65 and those who met other criteria for SS benefits.
The Social Security Administration has varying qualifying criteria to be considered eligible for disability benefits and retirement benefits.
If you are receiving disability benefits and are approaching retirement, you may be wondering how retirement affects your disability benefits; or, maybe you are suffering from a medically disabling condition, at full retirement age and are wondering if you can receive both disability and retirement benefits.
In either case, there are a few things to know about disability benefits after retirement in Florida, including:
- The SSA’s qualifying criteria for benefits
- How the SSA calculates your benefits and credits
- What happens if you choose early retirement
3 Things about Disability Benefits after Retirement
The following are a few things you should know about disability benefits after retirement.
1. Qualifying Criteria for SSA Benefits
The Social Security Administration has specific qualifying criteria for individuals to receive any of the following benefits.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Since SSDI functions similar to an insurance program, applicants for SSDI benefits must have paid into SS Trust Funds via a payroll tax. These individuals must also be able to prove their work history for a specific time frame.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Unlike SSDI benefits, applicants must be 65 years of age or older. Individuals may also be eligible for SSI benefits prior to the age of 65 if they suffer from a medically disabling condition as listed in the SSA’s Blue Book and have little means of income or property or are blind.
SSA benefit applicants may qualify for retirement benefits depending on their birth year and turning a specific age. These benefits are reserved for senior citizens who have reached full retirement age; however, there are varying ages and circumstances when individuals may apply for early retirement as discussed a little later.
2. Social Security Administration Benefits and Credits
The SSA uses varying formulas that include your income and how many years you have worked. This year, 2016, each $1,260 you earn is equivalent to 1 work credit and $5,040 per the max 4 work credits in a given year.
Your credits are evaluated on an annual basis based on your total wages or self-employment income within that year.
If you are applying for disability benefits, you will need to earn 40 credits with 20 of them being earned within the past 10 years. Also, it is important to note that disability benefits and eligibility will vary based on the age you became disabled.
If you are applying for retirement benefits, then you will need to have earned 40 credits if you were born after 1929 and decrease from there; i.e. if you were born in 1928 then you will need 39 credits, and if you were born in 1927, then you will need 38 credits.
3. Early Retirement
Early retirement benefits may be awarded as early as age 62; however, they will be reduced by 25% then your full retirement benefit amount.
Individuals who suffer from health complications which prevent them from being able to work and are just shy of their full retirement age are the majority of early retirement applicants.
What Happens to Your Disability Benefits After Retirement?
The Social Security Administration has varying requirements for individuals to qualify for the benefit programs, such as SSI, SSDI and retirement.
Each benefit program was designed to serve individuals in different circumstances; however, their common theme is that these benefits are available to those who no longer have means to a sustainable income.
If you are already receiving disability benefits, SSI or SSDI, and are approaching full retirement age, then your disability benefits will transfer to your retirement.
However, if you are aren’t at early or full retirement age and are applying for disability benefits, consider contacting an experienced and compassionate disability advocate to fight for the benefits you need.