June 5, 2009

Social Security Disability Benefits and Social Security Retirement Benefits

elder.JPG Many Indiana Social Security Disability Benefit recipients wonder when their disability benefits will change to Social Security retirement benefits.  Retirement benefits and disability benefits are both Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits are paid out of two trust funds: the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund and the Disability Insurance (DI) trust fund. If you are a person who is receiving disability benefits, when you reach your full retirement age, the Social Security Administration (SSA) stops paying them from the DI trust fund and changes payment to come from the OASI trust fund. Your monthly earnings will not change.  Although, because you’ll then be getting full retirement benefits based on age rather than disability benefits based on your medical condition, your disability will no longer be the basis for your entitlement. This means no more periodic re-evaluations by the SSA to see if you still meet the definition of disability and no restrictions on earnings should you return to work.

According to the SSA, depending on the year you were born, full retirement age is the following:

  • 1937 or Earlier – Retirement age is 65
  • 1938 – Retirement age is 65 and 2 months 
  • 1939 – Retirement age is 65 and 4 months
  • 1940 – Retirement age is 65 and 6 months
  • 1941 – Retirement age is 65 and 8 months
  • 1942 – Retirement age is 65 and 10 months
  • 1943-1954 – Retirement age is 66 
  • 1955 – Retirement age is 66 and 2 months
  • 1956 – Retirement age is 66 and 4 months 
  • 1957 – Retirement age is 66 and 6 months 
  • 1958 – Retirement age is 66 and 8 months 
  • 1959 – Retirement age is 66 and 10 months 
  • 1960 and later – Retirement age is 67

In summary, when you reach full retirement age, nothing will change, except for Social Security purposes, your benefits will be called retirement benefits instead of disability benefits.  You do not need to take any action.  Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you will get your benefits with no limit on your earnings.  While this information is gathered from various Social Security disability sources, it should not be relied upon for full accuracy.  Any questions related to your particular claim or retirement benefits should be directed to the SSA to ensure up to date and accurate information.  If you have any questions concerning the Social Security disability claims process, contact Attorney Scott Lewis at (317) 423-8888.

Filed under:Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
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