Social Security Disability Benefits
The final category of Social Security benefits applies if you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work. These benefits are paid from the Disability Insurance Trust Fund.
A person qualifies for disability benefits after working long enough to be eligible for Social Security before becoming disabled. You must meet certain criteria defined by the SSA, including severe disabilitya disability that has lasted or is expected to last at least one year or result in death, with the person deemed unable to perform any work. The benefit begins six full months after the onset of the disability. This benefit is for life unless the SSA determines that you no longer qualify.
Get Ssa Benefits While Living Overseas
U.S. citizens can travel to or live in most, but not all, foreign countries and still receive their Social Security benefits. You can find out if you can receive benefits overseas by using the Social Security Administrations payment verification tool. Once you access the tool, pick the country you’re visiting or living in from the drop-down menu options.
How Do You Qualify For Social Security Disability Benefits
Disability benefits are available to qualified recipients under two programs, Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Income .;; SSI is a means-tested program for people with disabilities who have very limited means, but SSDI is an insurance program that is available to qualified workers with disabilities regardless of their resources.; As of January 2018, some 13.8 million disabled workers and their dependents were receiving SSDI benefits from Social Security.
SSDI pays cash benefits to people who are unable to work for a year or more because of a disability. Benefits continue until you are able to work again on a regular basis, or until you reach retirement age. At that point, the disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same. After receiving SSDI benefits for two years, you also become eligible for health insurance coverage under Medicare. The disability program also includes a number of work incentives to ease your transition back to work.
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Who is eligible?
As with retirement benefits, you must have accumulated a certain number of work credits before you can qualify for SSDI disability benefits. However, fewer credits are required to qualify for the disability program than for retirement. You can earn up to four credits per year of employment. How many credits you need to qualify for disability depends on the age you become disabled.
Who is “disabled”?
Recommended Reading: What To Say To Get Disability
When Is Full Retirement Age For Me
Over the years, the SSA has periodically adjusted the age of full retirement. There are several designations of full retirement age according to the SSA and each is defined by your date of birth. The breakdown is as follows:
|Date of Birth|
|1960 or after||67|
For the majority of current SSD beneficiaries, the age of full retirement is 67, which means you may have at least a couple more years before you need to be concerned with how hitting retirement age will affect your benefits; however, its good to understand the process in advance so there are no surprises when you do reach 67.
If You’re Not Sure Why You Received A Payment
Contact the authorizing agency directly to find out why they sent the payment. You may be able to find the authorizing agency in the memo line of the check. View this diagram of a sample Treasury check to help you locate the authorizing agency contact information on your own check. Scroll about half way down the page to see the diagram.;
If you’re unable to find which;agency authorized the payment, .;They;can help you determine which government agency you need to contact. To find which;RFC;you need to call, look for its city and state at the top;center of the check.;
Use the Treasury Check Verification System to verify that;the check is legitmate and issued by the;;government. ;
Also Check: How To Check Status Of Disability Claim
Why Retirement Scares Social Security Disability Recipients
The biggest concern that those receiving Social Security disability have about reaching full retirement age is that their benefit amounts might go down. The reason has to do with the way that disability and retirement benefits are calculated.
Specifically, in determining how much you receive in disability benefits, Social Security takes a look at your average lifetime earnings during the period before your disability began. It then uses a formula to come up with what’s called the primary insurance amount, which is the base for determining how much you’ll get from Social Security.
In many ways, the calculation of disability benefits closely resembles how Social Security determines retirement benefits. But the big difference is in the length of work history that gets considered. For more retirees, Social Security looks at a 35-year work history, and if you’ve worked less than that, then Social Security fills in the blanks with zeroes. That has the effect of bringing your average earnings down, and it therefore produces a lower primary insurance amount and reduces the benefits you’d receive.
Image source: Social Security Administration.
Obviously, for those who have been disabled for a long time, accumulating a 35-year work history is impossible. Many disability recipients therefore dread the possibility that their Social Security payments will go away or be greatly reduced when they qualify for retirement benefits.
When You Reach 65 You Must Apply For A Normal Retirement Pension
You will continue to receive a disability pension benefit up until age 65, as long as you continue to qualify for Social Security Disability payments. Three to six months before you turn 65, you should contact the Pension Fund to apply for a normal retirement pension. Please note that the conversion to a normal retirement pension will not happen automatically. You will have to complete a pension application form for the normal retirement pension, including obtaining spousal consent, if applicable. If your Social Security Disability pension is discontinued or ends before age 65, you will no longer be eligible for a disability pension benefit from the Pension Fund. If that happens, you should contact the Pension Fund to see if you may be eligible for an early retirement pension.
NOTE: If you have applied for and are eligible for weekly disability benefits from the 1199SEIU National Benefit Fund or Workers Compensation payments for up to a maximum of 26 weeks, you may not receive normal, early or disability retirement pension payments until the first of the month following the expiration date of that benefit.
You must apply promptly for a disability pension. Retroactive payments cannot be made for any period more than two years before the date you file your disability pension application with the Fund.
Also Check: Do You Accrue Pto While On Short Term Disability
Applying For Social Security Benefits
When you are ready to apply for Social Security benefits, you should plan ahead and review the application process. Contact your local Social Security office. You can start your claim online at www.ssa.gov or by calling 1-800-772-1213. The process does take some time, so file your claim in advance so you can get your benefits started promptly. If you or your spouse is applying for disability benefits, you will want to consult with a Social Security disability attorney who is licensed in your state.
You Automatically Get Medicare When You Turn 65
- Well mail you a welcome package;with your Medicare card 3 months before your Medicare coverage starts.
Sign up for Part B if you live in Puerto Rico or outside the U.S.You get Part A automatically. If you want Part B, you need to sign up for it. If you dont sign up for Part B within 3 months of turning 65, you might have to wait to sign up and pay a monthly late enrollment penalty.
The Amount Of Your Social Security Benefits Check Is Not Likely To Change
When you become eligible for disability benefits, Social Security sets your benefit amount as if you had reached full retirement age. For most beneficiaries, the amount of their Social Security retirement benefit check remains the same as their Social Security disability benefits check.;
One exception to this rule is if you are receiving workers compensation or a public disability benefit from a government job for which you did not pay Social Security taxes. These additional benefits can reduce your actual Social Security disability payment amount. That reduction may end when you reach full retirement age, and your monthly check amount may increase at that time.;
Does Disability Pay More Than Social Security
Applying for Disability benefits has a reputation as a time-consuming and inefficient process. Consequently, many people entering their 60s who could potentially qualify for disability benefits may opt to just elect for Social Security a couple of years early to avoid the hassle. However, this strategy has the potential to cost you a lot of money in the long run. Whether opting for disability would be the more remunerative strategy will depend on your age. A financial advisor could help you weigh the best options for your retirement goals.;
To be clear, when we say Disability, we mean Social Security Disability Insurance. If we say Social Security, were referring to Social Security Retirement Benefits. Additionally, the analysis presented here is based on the assumption that you are eligible to begin receiving either of these benefits, and therefore are at least 62 years old. If youre younger than that, youre not eligible to begin receiving Social Security benefits. In this case, your only option is to take disability.
Recommended Reading: What Do You Need To File For Disability
Tips For Navigating Social Security
- A financial advisor can help you account for the various sources of retirement income, including Social Security benefits. SmartAssets free financial advisor matching tool can pair you with up to three advisors in your area. Get started now.
- If youre applying for Social Security disability benefits, youll need to fill out form SSA-827. This provides your consent for the SSA and Disability Determination Services to view your medical records.
- Dealing with a disability, either temporary or permanent, is hard enough without considering the financial impact. Having an emergency fund in place for unpredictable things like this can be a huge relief.
If You’re Between 60 And 66 You May Have An Easy Time Getting Disability Benefits While Saving Your Full Retirement Benefits
By Melissa Linebaugh, Contributing Author
Winning a disability claim generally gets easier for people as they become older. This is particularly true for people over the age of 60. However, some older folks choose to apply for early retirement at age 62 or 63 rather than applying for disability. Even though this may seem an easier option, it can reduce the amount of benefits you are entitled to. You can get disability benefits up until full retirement age, which is 66 right now.
Also Check: How To Claim Ssi Disability On Taxes
What Happens To My Odsp When I Turn 65
Question & Answer
Long delays for appeal hearings
If you’re appealing a decision made by OW or ODSP in 2020, your appeal hearing may not happen for a long time. People report that they’re getting hearing dates from the Social Benefits Tribunal that are between 9 and 16 months in the future. We’ll update this information as things change.
Whether you still qualify for income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program once you’re 65 depends on your situation.
Will Full Retirement Age Change My Benefit Amount
Standard full retirement benefits from the SSA are calculated on what a worker contributed to the Social Security system over the course of their employment. Disability benefits are as well, so the amount of your monthly benefit payment is not affected by the transition from SSD to retirement benefits.
Read Also: How To Collect Disability In Nj
Why It’s Easier To Get Disability After Age 60
For older workers, in particular claimants 60 and older, Social Security must consult a series of tables called the “grids” to decide if a person is disabled. The grids are a set of rules that take into consideration a disability claimant’s age, residual functional capacity , education, and work history to determine whether the claimant should be approved or denied.
The reason claimants over the age of 60 are much more likely to be approved under the grids is because Social Security takes into consideration the fact that it may be harder for older workers to learn new skills and to transition into new workplaces. That said, if you worked at a skilled job before you became disabled and you could put your skills to use at a less demanding type of job, you won’t be approved for disability just because you are older.
Here is what the grids take into account.
Do Ssi Benefits Convert To Social Security Retirement Benefits
October 23, 2017 by Harris Guidi Rosner
Do SSI Benefits Convert to Social Security Retirement Benefits?
Unlike Social Security Disability Insurance payments, Supplemental Security Income payments do not automatically convert to Social Security Retirement benefits upon reaching retirement age. As we have discussed in prior blog posts, SSI is funded by general federal taxes while SSDI and Retirement are funded by payroll taxes.
Unfortunately, not only do SSI payments not automatically convert to retirement payments, but the Social Security Administration can essentially force you to apply for early retirement benefits at 62, instead of waiting for your full retirement age. This can happen if you did not qualify for SSDI benefits, but you did work enough years to qualify for a small retirement benefit.
One of the requirements of continuing to receive SSI benefits is that you apply for any other cash benefits that are available, including retirement benefits.
However, the good news is that you will be able to receive both retirement and SSI at the same time, so your overall monthly benefit amount will not decrease. If you are currently receiving the maximum SSI amount of $735 per month and begin to receive $500 in early retirement benefits, you will still receive $735 per month: $500 will be retirement benefits, and $235 will be SSI benefits.
Recommended Reading: What Is The Medical Model Of Disability
The Transition From Disability To Retirement Is A Scary One For Social Security Recipients
Most people think of Social Security as a retirement program, but disability benefits are also a huge part of Social Security. About 8.8 million Americans receive Social Security disability benefits, and another 1.8 million more dependents rely on the program to help make ends meet.
One of the most confusing things about Social Security disability is what happens after you reach retirement age. For many disabled Americans, shortened work histories mean that retirement benefits would ordinarily be unavailable or insufficient to meet their financial needs. But in figuring retirement benefits for the disabled, Social Security doesn’t follow the same formula that it uses for most retirees.
How To Get A Social Security Card
Its Not Automatically 65
Many people think that their SSDI benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits when they reach age 65. Some of these people are correct, but only those who were born before 1937. Anyone born after 1937 does not reach full retirement age at exactly 65 years of age so their SSDI benefits will not change to retirement benefits as soon as they turn 65 years old. When will these benefits convert? It depends on the year you were born. The following outline will help you understand at what age your SSDI benefits will convert to retirement benefits:
- 1938 65 years and 2 months
- 1939 65 years and 4 months
- 1940 65 years and 6 months
- 1941 65 years and 8 months
- 1942 65 years and 10 months
- 1943 through 1954 66 years
- 1955 66 years and 2 months
- 1956 66 years and 4 months
- 1957 66 years and 6 months
- 1958 66 years and 8 months
- 1959 66 years and 10 months
- 1960 and later 67 years
Getting A Social Security Number For A New Baby
The easiest way to get a Social Security number for your child is at the hospital after they are born when you apply for your childs birth certificate. If you wait to apply for a number at a Social Security office, there may be delays while SSA verifies your childs birth certificate.
;Your child will need their own Social Security number so you can:
- Claim your child as a dependent on your income tax return
- Open a bank account in their name
- Get medical coverage for them
- Apply for government services for them
Keep your Social Security card in a safe place to protect yourself from identity theft.;
Recommended Reading: How Do You Qualify For Disability