The Social Security Administration has several programs that pay benefits to people who are blind, disabled, and retired. The program that you qualify for, and the amount of the Social Security benefit at age 65 that you get, depends on several factors that you will learn about in this article.
Different Social Security benefit programs
The SSA administers the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs that pay monthly benefits to people who are disabled. It also oversees payment of retirement benefits to people who worked and paid Social Security taxes on their earnings for a sufficiently long duration to be eligible for benefits.
Someone who is eligible for SSI benefits can receive as much as $841 per month regardless of age. If you worked before becoming disabled, Social Security calculates the amount of your monthly retirement or SSDI benefit based upon your total lifetime earnings. Maximum retirement or SSDI benefits you may receive each month are $3,345.
How much Social Security benefit at age 65 you actually receive depends on several factors, including:
- 1). The program or programs paying the benefits.
- 2). Your lifetime earnings record.
- 3). Other income that you currently receive.
Retirement benefits that you get from Social Security when you turn 65 years of age may be reduced if you elected to retire early and started receiving benefits at age 62.
Social Security retirement benefits at 65
A common misconception about retirement benefits payable through the SSA is about how old you must be to receive them. Unless you were born prior to 1943, the full retirement age is not 65. The age at which you may retire and collect full benefits from the SSA depends upon the year you were born.
If you were born from 1943 to 1954, your full retirement age is 66. It gradually increases until it reaches 67 years of age for anyone born after 1960. The SSA has a chart available at its website to help you determine your full retirement age.
Someone who worked long enough and paid into the Social Security retirement system may be eligible for early retirement benefits at age 62. Before deciding that collecting benefits through early retirement sounds like a good option, be aware that you do not get a full benefit.
If you had lifetime earnings entitling you to the maximum retirement benefit of $3,345 per month at full retirement age, you do not get that much by retiring early. Retiring early reduces Social Security the maximum benefit to $2,364 per month and remains reduced even after you reach your full retirement age.
SSDI benefit available to you at age 65
The SSDI program pays monthly benefits to workers who paid Social Security taxes on their earnings for a long enough duration before a medically determinable physical or mental impairment caused them to become disabled and no longer capable of working. When you qualify for an SSDI benefits, it essentially pays you the benefit you would receive upon reaching full retirement age based on your lifetime earnings record.
In fact, your monthly SSDI benefit payments stop when you become eligible for full retirement benefits through the SSA. You will not, however, miss any payments because the SSDI benefit automatically converts to a retirement benefit in the same amount as what you had been receiving for SSDI.
SSI benefits payable at age 65
You must be blind, disabled or 65 years of age with little or no income and have resources with a total value that does not exceed $2,000 to qualify for SSI. Unlike SSDI, which is based you an applicant’s work history, you may qualify for SSI without ever having worked.
If you qualify for an SSI benefit, the maximum monthly payment that you can receive in 2022 is $841 or $1,261 for an eligible couple. The amount that you actually receive each month may be less than the maximum if you receive income from other sources.
For example, if a relative gives you $300 worth of food, you must report it to SSI. The monthly payment of $841 that you would normally receive from SSI will be reduced by the money given to you by the relative.
There are, however, exclusions to the income and resource rules that may in certain situations. For instance, food and shelter provided to you by a charitable organization may not count toward reducing your monthly SSI benefit. Other exclusions also may apply depending on the particular facts and circumstances related to your claim.
Learn more from a disability lawyer
The rules and regulations governing the SSA benefit programs available to you at age 65 are complicated, but help is available from an SSD lawyer and disability advocates at London Eligibility. Contact them today for a free consultation and claim evaluation.