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Disability Lawyer > Blog > Social Security Disability > SSDI And Retirement: What Should You Know?

SSDI And Retirement: What Should You Know?


If you are currently receiving SSDI benefits, or if you are planning to apply for Social Security Disability benefits, it is important to understand the relationship between SSDI benefits and retirement benefits through the Social Security Administration. Indeed, whether you currently receive SSDI benefits or may soon be receiving them, if you are nearing the age of retirement, you should learn more about what you can expect. The following are some key things you should know about SSDI and Social Security retirement. If you have additional questions or need help with your Social Security Disability benefit application or an appeal, one of our experienced national disability lawyers can assist you.

You Cannot Typically Collect Both SSDI and Social Security Retirement Benefits 

When you apply for benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, the Social Security Administration (SSA), according to AARP, “sets your benefit as though you had reached full retirement age.” In other words, “full retirement age, or FRA, is the point at which you qualify for 100 percent of the benefit Social Security calculates from your lifetime earnings.” What this means is that, when you begin receiving SSDI benefits, the calculation of the benefit amount you receive based on your work history is likely to be the same as your Social Security retirement benefit amount. As such, once you reach full retirement age, you cannot collect both SSDI and Social Security retirement benefits, since SSDI will convert to your Social Security retirement benefit.

SSDI Will Convert to Your Social Security Retirement Benefit Once You Reach Full Retirement Age 

To be clear, for most people who are eligible for SSDI benefits, SSDI will convert to a regular Social Security retirement benefit—as if you were not disabled, and as if you had retired on schedule—once you reach full retirement age. What is “full retirement age”? Over the last two decades, the full retirement age has been increasing, with the goal of ultimately increasing the full retirement age from 65 to 67.

In 2022, the full retirement age for workers born in 1960 and later is 67 years old. For people born in 1955, for example, the full retirement age was 66 months and 2 years, and that number increases by 2 months for each year that follows, meaning that someone born in 1956 will reach full retirement age at 66 years and 4 months. For someone born in 1957, full retirement age is at 66 years and 6 months, and so forth until a birth year of 1960 or later, at which point the full retirement age is 70. Once a person reaches full retirement age, the SSDI benefit they are receiving will convert to a Social Security retirement benefit, and in most cases, the amount is the same.

Seek Advice from a National Disability Benefits Attorney 

Do you have questions about SSDI benefits and retirement? Or do you need assistance with your SSDI benefits application? Whether you are currently applying for SSDI benefits, need help appealing a denial of benefits, or have general inquiries about the SSDI program, one of our national disability benefits attorneys can help. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Barszcz to learn more.



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