Knowing how your financial situation will continue once you retire is a concern shared by many Americans. If you currently receive SSI or SSDI benefits and are approaching retirement age, you may be wondering:
● Will you stop receiving disability benefits altogether, or do they continue?
● Does the government automatically convert them into Social Security Retirement benefits instead?
● Do you get both SSI/SSDI and Social Security Retirement payments when you retire?
● How does early retirement affect your situation?
Below is a brief answer to all of these questions you might have as you approach retirement age while receiving disability payments.
Your disability benefit will convert to social security retirement once you are retired. You will not need to do anything for this process because the Social Security Administration handles it automatically. Any monthly check you typically receive will continue but under the new benefit program. The actual date you qualify for retirement may vary since it depends upon which year you were born.
Participants in the social security retirement program do not also receive SSI/SSDI at the same time. When you are unable to work or have a disability preventing you from doing so, you are essentially getting retired early. If you are disabled up until retirement age, then your disability benefits transition into social security retirement. Your regular monthly payment does not change and continues.
Early retirement can make it possible to receive social security retirement payments while waiting for disability application approval. This would occur when you are 62 years of age or older but not yet qualified for full retirement benefits. Choosing this option means you receive your retirement benefit immediately, but it is reduced by 25%. Once you have your SSI/SSDI claim approved, your benefits convert to the full retirement amount.
It is also possible that you may receive prorated payments that are retroactive. This benefit will cover the period you received reduced benefits while waiting for your disability claim to be approved.
There are significant risks involved when you opt to retire early. Your initial reduced monthly benefit amount can become permanent, which can occur under two circumstances:
● You retired early and never applied for SSI/SSDI, or,
● Your application for SSI/SSDI benefits was not approved.
Also, your earnings will undergo a disability freeze by the Social Security Administration. Remember, any benefit you receive is based on your earnings. Years with little to no income will reduce your benefit amount.
If you are considering applying for Social Security in Arkansas, be sure to give Wren Law Firm a call. We can help review your case and provide you with representation that comes with 20+ years of experience. For a full explanation of the process of applying for Social Security Disability, read our definitive guide.