Published on: October 11, 2022
Social Security Administration (SSA) runs several different programs paying benefits to those who are disabled, blind, or retired. The amount of Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits that you can get at age 65 depends entirely on the program for which you qualify, and other variables discussed in this article.
Different Social Security benefit programs
The SSA presently runs two programs for the disabled community- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Apart from this, it also administers payment of retirement benefits to people who paid Social Security taxes for a sufficiently long period of time during their job to qualify for such benefits.
If you are eligible for SSI benefits, then you can receive $841 per month irrespective of your age. On the other hand, if you were working before you became disabled, Social Security will calculate your monthly retirement or SSDI benefit in accordance with your lifetime earnings. Retirement or SSDI benefits are capped at a maximum of $3,345 per month.
The amount of Social Security benefits that you receive at age 65 will vary according to the following factors:
Social Security retirement benefits at 65
It is a popular myth that the payment of retirement benefits through the Social Security Administration depends upon your age. It is widely believed that you must be 65 years old to receive them. However, the reality is that the full retirement age is not 65 unless you were born before 1943. For those born after 1943, the age at which you may retire and receive full retirement benefits from the SSA depends on the year of your birth.
For those born from 1943 to 1954, the full retirement age is fixed at 66. It increases gradually after that and reaches 67 for anyone born after 1960. The SSA, in fact, maintains a chart to determine your full retirement age and the same can be accessed on its website.
This does not mean that one would not be entitled to retirement benefits upon retiring before the full retirement age is fixed according to the SSA chart. If you worked long enough and paid into the Social Security retirement system, you will be eligible for early retirement benefits at age 62. However, you need to keep in mind that you will not get full retirement benefits in case you decide to opt for early retirement.
Suppose you had lifetime earnings entitling you to the maximum retirement benefit of $3,345 per month at full retirement age. However, you decide to retire early. In this case, you will not get full retirement benefits. Retiring early reduces the maximum Social Security benefit to $2,364 per month and it remains reduced even after you reach your full retirement age. So, if you elect to retire early at 62, your retirement benefits will stay reduced even after you turn 65.
SSDI benefit available to you at age 65
The SSDI program pays monthly benefits to those who paid Social Security taxes on their earnings for a long enough period before suffering from a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that disabled them and prevented them from working. On qualifying for SSDI benefits, you practically receive the same benefit that you would have received upon reaching full retirement age based on your lifetime earnings record.
In fact, once you become eligible for full retirement benefits through the SSA, your monthly SSDI benefit payments will automatically stop.
SSI benefits payable at age 65
To qualify for SSI benefits, you must be blind, disabled or 65 years of age with little or no income and have resources with a total value of up to $2,000. However, unlike SSDI, which is based you an applicant’s work history, you may qualify for SSI even if you have never worked.
The maximum SSI benefit that you can receive monthly in 2022 is $841 or $1,261 for an eligible couple. However, if you have other sources of income, then the amount you actually receive may be less than the maximum SSI benefit.
However, there are certain exclusions to the income and resource rules which exclude a part of your income and resources in certain situations. For example, food and shelter that you receive from a charitable organization may not be counted towards the reduction in your monthly SSI benefit. Other exclusions may also be applicable as per the particular facts and circumstances of your claim.
Learn more from a disability Advocate
The rules and regulations governing the SSA benefit programs are complicated. Calculating the benefit available to you at age 65 is also not as straightforward, but SSD Advocate and disability advocates at Disability Experts FL are always ready to help. Contact them today for a free consultation and claim evaluation.