Having a disability can be difficult at any age – but this can be especially true as an individual grows older. The aging process can bring health concerns – and financial concerns as well. As a result, many individuals who are receiving disability benefits often wonder how those benefits might change with age. That’s an entirely understandable concern. As a result, taking a closer look at the various benefits available and how those benefits might change with age can be very helpful.
What Disability Benefits Does the Social Security Administration Provide?
The Social Security Administration provides various types of benefits to disabled individuals and to individuals who have reached retirement age, as well as to their dependents in some cases, depending upon the circumstances.
The two types of disability benefits provided by the Social Security Administration include:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits: SSDI benefits are benefits that the Social Security Administration pays to individuals with a qualifying medical disability that has caused them to be disabled for at least one continuous calendar year or more. In addition, recipients must be “insured” – which means that they worked a qualifying job for a sufficient length of time from which they regularly paid a portion of their salary to the Social Security Administration.
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits: Unlike the case with SSDI benefits, those who receive SSI benefits need not be “insured.” They do, however, have to have income and resources below a certain threshold established by the Social Security Administration and have a qualifying medical disability that has rendered them disabled for one calendar year or more.
Those who receive either type of disability benefits should know that after age 65, the standards to qualify for those benefits will typically be less stringent than for individuals of a younger age. This is because the Social Security Administration recognizes the difficulties associated with advancing age and adjusts its standards accordingly.
A Closer Look at Retirement Benefits
In addition to these two types of disability benefits, the Social Security Administration provides retirement benefits to qualifying individuals who have reached retirement age. Retirement age will vary depending on the year that the recipient was born.
- For those born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67 years old.
- For those born before 1960, full retirement age is typically 66 years of age and some number of months, depending upon the particular year of birth.
Those who wish to collect early Social Security retirement benefits can typically do so as early as age 62 – although the amount of benefits received will be reduced by a small percentage for each month prior to the beneficiary’s full retirement age. Those who wait until full retirement age can collect a higher amount of benefits, and those who wait until age 70 instead of collecting benefits at full retirement age can collect an even higher amount.
Can You Collect Various Types of Benefits at the Same Time?
Those who are receiving SSDI benefits should be aware that the law does not allow one individual to receive Social Security retirement and disability benefits at the same time. For that reason, these benefits will automatically be converted to retirement benefits when the recipient reaches full retirement age.
On the other hand, those who receive SSI benefits may be able to collect Social Security retirement benefits and SSI benefits simultaneously. It is important to understand, however, that the SSI benefit amount will likely be reduced based on the amount of retirement benefits received.
If you are receiving disability benefits and approaching retirement age, you may understandably be concerned about whether you need to take any steps to ensure that the transition occurs smoothly. The good news is that typically, this transition occurs automatically without any interruption of benefits. Accordingly, recipients should continue to receive their monthly checks on roughly the same schedule.
Ultimately, to understand the benefits for which you may qualify, how much you might receive, and what can be collected simultaneously, it’s best to consult with an attorney regarding your particular circumstances. Doing so can provide you with peace of mind and confidence that you’re fully asserting your rights as you pursue the benefits you need and deserve.
Liner Legal – Your Disability Benefits Legal Team
At Liner Legal, we know that Social Security benefits are an important source of financial support and stability at all stages of life – but especially with advancing age. Understandably, you want to remain informed and involved about your ongoing benefits.
Our knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys has years of experience pursuing the best legal strategies on behalf of each and every client we serve. We would be honored to help you, too. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call today. We look forward to helping you soon.