Currently, the full retirement age for collecting Social Security benefits is 66. When Americans reach this age, assuming they have enough work credits to qualify, they can start drawing on full Social Security retirement benefits if they wish.

However, for individuals who have been receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), this can be a confusing time. You may find yourself wondering if your benefits will change. Will you lose money? Get more money? Do you still technically qualify for SSDI or SSI?

The answers vary depending on your situation, but Disability Associates can address most of them.

Will I Lose my SSDI Money When I Reach Retirement Age?

When you reach retirement age, you will no longer collect SSDI benefits.

However, your benefit amount likely will not change — but the source of payment switches from the disability trust fund to the retirement trust fund. When you first apply for SSDI, the Social Security Administration (SSA) bases your benefit on the amount you would receive when you reach full retirement age. There are a few exceptions to this rule, but more than likely, your benefit amount will not change when you reach the age of 66.

Will I Still Receive the Full Amount of SSDI Benefits if I Elect Early Retirement at 62?

If you elect early retirement at 62 and file for SSDI benefits, you may be able to receive benefits equivalent to the amount you would receive at full retirement age.

However, once you hit full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will terminate and your retirement amount will revert to your early (age 62) retirement amount which is 25% lower.

Is There Any Case Where My Benefits Shrink When I Reach Retirement Age?

As mentioned above, if you elect to take early retirement and then file for SSDI, your check will shrink when you reach full retirement age. This is one of the only instances that will cause your federal benefits to decrease.

Do I Need to Do Anything Different When I Reach Retirement Age?

Luckily, the answer to this one is simple. You will not need to contact anyone or change anything when you reach retirement age. You will continue to receive your benefits just like you normally would.

If this FAQ about understanding your Social Security Disability Benefits and retirement did not answer all your questions, you can always contact us for more information. The experts at Disability Associates have over 25 years of experience helping individuals work with the SSA and collecting the benefits that they’re entitled to.

Just give us a call at 410.686.2227 or contact us on the website for more information. We are doing everything in our power to provide the same service to our clients during this time of uncertainty as always.