Will My Social Security Disability Change When I Turn 66?

A great deal of confusion exists about the status of Social Security disability benefits when the beneficiary reaches retirement age. People hear about not being able to collect SSD benefits after 66 years of age and believe it will create a financial hardship.

At London Eligibility, each Social Security disability advocate takes pride in providing people who come to us for advice and assistance with knowledge-based and honest answers that they can trust and rely upon. As far as your benefits changing after you turn 66, let’s take a close look at why the issue arises and the reason that you will not be left without a monthly payment coming to you.

How long do you continue to receive disability benefits?

Once your application has been approved for benefits through either the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs, you receive monthly payments as long as you continue to be disabled. As long as you have a physical or mental impairment that satisfies the Social Security Administration definition for disabled and, in case you qualify for benefits through SSI, continue to meet financial criteria, your benefits will continue.

How income affects Social Security disability benefits depends on the program through which you receive payments. If you qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance, income from the following sources may reduce how much you receive each month:

1). Workers’ compensation

2). Public disability benefits

3). Sick pay

4). Vacation pay

5). Pension benefits through work that was not subject to Social Security taxes

Monthly income earned through a job or self-employment that exceeds $1,310, or $2,190 if you cannot work because you are blind, indicates an ability to engage in substantial gainful activity. A determination by the SSA of the existence of a qualifying disability is based, in part, on the fact that your medical condition prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity, so your earned income could prove otherwise.

SSI recipients also have income criteria to meet, but it includes earned and unearned income. In addition, Social Security regulations let you exclude a portion of the income you receive from counting toward eligibility for benefits. For example, you may exclude the first $20 of unearned income that you receive each month and the first $65 of earned income. Additionally, you can exclude one-half of the remaining balance of monthly earned income. Ask a Social Security disability advocate at London Eligibility to review your income sources with you to determine whether they will affect your SSI benefits.

What happens to SSD benefits after you turn 66?

The short answer to the question about SSD benefits after 66 for recipients of SSI is that your benefits continue for as long as you remain medically and financially eligible to receive them. If you receive benefits through SSDI, the effect on your benefits of turning 66 years of age requires a more in-depth explanation.

Funding for Social Security retirement and SSDI benefits comes from Social Security payroll taxes and taxes paid on income earned through self-employment. Your lifetime earnings subject to Social Security taxes are used in computing your retirement and SSDI benefits.

SSDI benefits that you receive convert to Social Security retirement benefits when you reach full retirement age, which may be when you turn 66 depending on when you were born. Although people associate retirement with turning 65 years old, the only people eligible to receive Social Security retirement at that age are those born before 1937.

People born in the years from 1943 to 1954, may receive retirement benefits when they turn 66. The full-retirement age gradually increases for those born in 1955 and after. For example, if you were born in 1955, your full retirement age is 66 years and two months. Unless the Social Security laws change, the maximum full-retirement age is 67 for anyone born in 1967 or later.

Conversion of SSDI to Social Security retirement

Monthly SSDI benefits automatically convert to Social Security retirement at full-retirement age without the need for you to do anything. The conversion does not generally cause the amount that you receive each month to change. However, you may notice an increase in the monthly benefit if you also received workers’ compensation or the other sources of income that reduced your SSDI benefit. Those sources of income do not affect retirement benefits.

Reaching full-retirement age also means that you no longer have limits on the income you can earn each month from working. When the benefits convert from SSDI to retirement, the substantial gainful activity income limits no longer apply.

Learn more about disability benefits and retirement

A consultation with a Social Security disability advocate at London Eligibility provides answers and guidance for all of your questions and concerns about SSDI, SSI, and retirement benefits. Let them review your claim to determine the best way to maximize your benefits./p>