Published on: July 18, 2023
Losing Social Security disability benefits at full retirement age causes some people to unnecessarily worry about losing what may be their primary source of income. A great deal of misinformation is circulating about disability benefits and the full retirement age, including the popular belief that age 65 is the Social Security retirement age. Here’s a sneak peek: Congress changed it in 1983.
This blog aims to explain how reaching full retirement for SSD beneficiaries affects their monthly benefit payments. You’ll probably be surprised and relieved by what you learn. As you continue reading, remember that a phone call puts you in touch with an experienced disability advocate at Disability Experts of Florida where you get accurate answers to all your Social Security disability questions and concerns.
Social Security And The Full Retirement Age
Federal legislation in 1935 created the Social Security Administration and a national retirement system for American workers. About 20 years later, Congress amended the Social Security Act to add the Social Security Disability Insurance program with monthly benefits for workers too young for retirement benefits who could not work because of a disability.
The retirement age under the Social Security Act was 65 until Congress again amended the law and changed it to a graduated system. A worker’s right to begin receiving full retirement benefits is now based on their year of birth. Use the following full-retirement age chart to find the age when you are eligible for retirement benefits:
If you were born on January 1, 1955, use the previous year to look up your age for full retirement on the chart. Your full retirement age is 66 because Social Security uses the prior year instead of your actual birth year.
What Is Early Retirement?
If you work long enough to be eligible for retirement benefits before reaching the age for full retirement, you may qualify for early retirement at age 62. A couple of things you should know before electing to retire early include:
- You get less each month in benefits by not waiting until full retirement. If someone retires at age 62 in 2023, their monthly benefit is 30% less than it would be had they waited.
- Once you reach full retirement age, there are no restrictions on the earnings you receive while working. Early retirees in 2023 lose $1 in monthly benefits for every $2 they earn from working.
- You may qualify for SSDI benefits even after retiring at 62, but when you reach full retirement age, your retirement benefits remain subject to the 30% early-retirement reduction.
Contact Disability Experts of Florida if you have a physical or mental impairment that may qualify for disability benefits. If Social Security determines that your disability predates early retirement, you may be entitled to an increased benefit. Learn more from a disability advocate.
What Happens To SSDI When You Reach Full Retirement Age?
If a medical or mental health condition prevents you from continuing to work, you may be eligible for SSDI benefits. SSDI is a program through the Social Security Administration that pays what you would have been eligible to receive each month at full retirement age. Money to fund the SSDI program comes from Social Security taxes on earnings, which also fund retirement benefits.
You may have heard about monthly SSDI payments stopping when beneficiaries reach full retirement age. Don’t worry because that’s only partially true. The SSDI payments convert to retirement benefits. You’ll receive the same amount as a monthly Social Security retirement payment as you did the month before when it came from SSDI. In fact, you may receive more.
Some people who qualify for SSDI also receive workers’ compensation, civil service disability, state-funded temporary disability, or public retirement benefits. If this applies to you, the monthly SSDI benefit you received may have been reduced by all or part of the public benefit payments. However, the reduction does not apply to Social Security retirement, so the reduction disappears when your SSDI benefits convert at full retirement age.
Contact A Florida Disability Advocate
If you receive SSDI and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of a disability, only the SSDI converts to retirement benefits. Social Security benefits are countable as income, so it may affect your SSI monthly payment. The disability advocates at Disability Experts of Florida are here with skilled and experienced representation in all matters related to disability benefits through SSI and SSDI, including assistance with applications, appeals, and other issues that affect your right to benefits. Contact them today for a free consultation.