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Will my benefits increase because I became disabled while collecting early Social Security Retirement benefits?

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Learn how, depending on your age, you can get a higher Social Security benefit if you become disabled while receiving Social Security Retirement benefits.

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Watch the Video: “Will my benefits increase because I became disabled while collecting early Social Security Retirement benefits?”

Disability during Early Retirement

If you become disabled while receiving Social Security early retirement benefits, whether or not you receive an increase in benefits depends on when you become disabled. Social Security does not pay disability benefits for the first five full calendar months of disability, so you would not get an increase during those months. You would receive an increase in the sixth month if the sixth month is before your Normal Retirement month.

Social Security Normal Retirement Age

For many decades full retirement age was sixty-five. In recent years, the Social Security Normal Retirement Age was increased. The increase is being phased in so that, depending on the year you were born, normal retirement age is sixty-six with future retirees born in later years having to reach sixty-six and a half or sixty-seven for full retirement. The gradual increase in age has been put in place because people are living longer and the Social Security Administration needs to reduce its financial obligation.

If you don’t know your Social Security Normal Retirement Age, you can find out by calling the Social Security Administration at (800) 772-1213 or by looking it up on their website, www.socialsecurity.gov. If you become disabled more than twenty-nine months before your Normal Retirement Age, you will become eligible for Medicare before your full retirement age. Our article (I-11) “If I Am Approved for Social Security Disability, Will I Get Medicare and Medicaid Heath Insurance?” offers more information about entitlement to Medicare health insurance.

Tips for Counting Your Disability Benefit Waiting Period

Here are two tips for counting the unpaid disability waiting period. First, the month in which you become disabled does not count as one of the five unpaid months. The second tip is an exception to the first rule: If you become disabled on the first or second day of a calendar month, Social Security will count the month you became disabled as part of the unpaid waiting period.

Social Security Retirement after Disability

If you receive disability benefits after receiving reduced early Retirement benefits, when you reach your Social Security Normal Retirement Age, there will be another change in your benefit amount. At that time, the Social Security Administration will switch you back to Social Security Retirement and your ongoing benefit typically will be less than your disability benefit, but more than your earlier reduced retirement benefit.

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117 Comments

  1. Betsy Crowe says:

    I began drawing disability in 2009 at the age of 59. When I turn 66 will my disability become social security? And if so will my benefit from social security be less than my current disability benefit?
    Thank you.
    Betsy Crowe

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Betsy,

      If the disability benefit you are receiving is Social Security Disability, then your benefit will automatically become Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits and will continue in the same amount.

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to apply for Social Security Retirement. You can do this up to three months before your sixty-sixth birthday. The amount you will receive will depend on your Social Security earnings record. Your SSI will either be reduced or terminated, depending upon the amount of your SSR. Your total income will not be less than you are currently getting from SSI at that time.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  2. danham says:

    My SSDI was offset by a workers comp settlement for a term of 25 years, but after a divorce, 2000 dot com crash, and then the 2008 crash the settlement is gone. Can my SSDI be updated to reflect the lack of any settlement? Would it be updated at for the income i had at the time I was disabled? Or will it be my lack of income today?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Danham,

      I believe that you will not be able to get an adjustment in your Social Security due to loss of assets derived from a workers comp award. The offset (reduction) in Social Security is based on the amount you received, not on the amount you have left at a later point in time related to adverse investments or other financial events. Of course, always check with the Social Security Administration to be sure of your rights.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  3. Joan Gibbs says:

    I began receiving early retirement at age 62 1/2 and became disabled last year at age 65, 8 months. Would I be able to receive any social security disability? Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Joan,

      Please tell me the year you were born so that I can answer your question.

      Thanks,

      Kay

      • richard humphries says:

        I began receiving social secuity retirement benefits at age 62. Not knowing the in’s and out’s of social security I merely accepted social security retiirement benefits as I am currently. Before age 62 I was on medications for “cluster headaches” which is a disabling condition that stops you from doing anything short of laying down in a dark room with no sounds of any kind. In 2011, I underwent surgery twice for “Spinal Stenosis” which is surgery for deteriorating spine discs which affects your ability to function in any capacity, sitting, walking, lifting anything in excess of 8 lbs. My occupation since then involved a lot of driving, carrying heavy objects into one’s home for demonstrations, and then back out to my vehicle, going up and down steps, etc.’ Obviously I cannot attempt to continue this practice, or any other occupation that requires a lot of walking, sitting, or anything that requires periods of physical activities. This condition is considered to be an ongoing condition and it can be perpetual along with having to take sedative medications to tolerate constant pain. In view of this, can I be switched from social security retirement income to social security disability income? I was born in 1947 and currently 67 years pld?

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Richard,

          Social Security Disability is for individuals who are younger than full retirement age. You reached full retirement age at age sixty-six. Therefore, you are not eligible for Social Security Disability.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  4. william alleñ says:

    I received ssdi and worker compensation,I am 63 , under Michigan law will there be a offset of my workers compensation at age 65 or 66 , and if so how much?I started workers compensation benefits at age 56.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear William,

      The worker’s compensation offset will end when your Social Security benefits are converted to Social Security Retirement benefits at your full retirement age, which is age sixty-six and six months if you were born in 1957.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  5. karl says:

    Kay: I lost my job in May 2010 and new I would not be able to get another because of disability. I was unaware of the Social Security disability requirements. I took early retirement in February 2012 (age 62) because I needed the income. A doctor informed me in late 2013 that I should qualify for disability. I applied and was approved in April 2014, but they established the disability onset date as 1/1/2013.

    Where does that leave my payment, and can I appeal the onset date to get full disability/Social Security?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Karl,

      The current decision will result in an increase in benefits from your current reduced retirement beginning June 2013. You will be paid the difference between the two benefits for the retroactive period and will receive just disability benefits until you reach your full retirement age.

      You do have the right to appeal the onset date. If you do, I would suggest that you request a copy of your claim file so that you can tailor your appeal to the reasons that the disability examiner stated for your not being disabled before January 2013 (insufficient records, records don’t support disability, etc.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  6. ROBERT ALLEN says:

    I will be 62 yrs old on June 1st 2014. I have been on Social Security Disability for 1 yr. When will I be eligible for Medicare benefits and also when will I turn from Disability to Medicare and will I get less money or keep my current Dollar amount ?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Robert,

      You will be eligible for Medicare after you have received twenty-four months of Social Security Disability benefits, including back pay months. Your benefits will change from disability to retirement benefits when you reach age sixty-six, your full retirement age. The benefit amount will remain the same.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      S

  7. ken fields says:

    i was born in 1958. i got hurt in 7/27/2012 and have been getting ssd since the end of 2013. when i go back to work and stop ssd and i retire at 70 and go to collect ss retirement will i get the amout i was supposed to get or am i stuck at the amout i get now?? i am looking at not receiving ssd for ten years before i file for retirement. If i am stuck getting what i am getting now then why do they kept talking SS from my paycheck??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Ken,

      Your retirement at age seventy will be based on all your work earnings before and after your period of disability.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  8. Diane says:

    my husband took early retirement at 62 in 2010 could not find work but in January 2014 he had a heart attack and had to have a stent put in also on alot of meds can he apply for disability or is it to late for this he can not go back to construction to hard can not lift heavy things with this stent

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      Your husband is at least sixty-five years old. His Social Security full retirement age is sixty-six. He would be able to receive disability benefits at a higher rate than his reduced retirement only from July 2014 (his sixth full calendar month of disability)through the month before his sixty-sixth birthday. If there are any such months, he could apply for benefits. Once he turns sixty-six, his benefits would revert to retirement benefits, which could be slightly higher than his previous retirement benefits because he would be no early retirement reduction for the months he received disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  9. Michael Furia says:

    I began collecting social security benefits when I was 62. I have since worked part time making less than $12,000 a year. I am now 67 and have multiple medical and mental issues which I believe will quality me for social security disability status. Is it possible for me to collect s.s. disability even though I am already receiving standard s.s. benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Michael,

      No Social Security disability benefits are payable for individuals who have reached full retirement age, as you have.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  10. Rachel says:

    My husband is 63. He had a lumbar fusion in 1999 becuase of spinal stenosis. He has nerve damage and sciatic nerve pain, his left arm does not work much due to torn muscles. He has become unsteady and has fallen a few times. He was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure. We think he would qualify for dissability but can’t afford to be without his income while going through the process. When we inquired last year about early retirement or possible dissability amounts, we were told that he could file for early retirement while the dissability claim was processed. Is this true or would it effect his chances on getting approved for the higher disability amount?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rachel,

      Yes, your husband could apply for reduced retirement benefits to tide him over financially during the first five months of disability for which no disability benefits are paid. Once he was switched to disability, the benefit would go up to an unreduced amount. When he reached full retirement age and was switched back to retirement benefits, he would have a small permanent reduction in retirement benefits because of the five months of early retirement he received before disability benefits began. (I suggest that he also check with his employer to see if they have a short-term or long-term disability policy under which he is covered.)

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  11. Mari says:

    My husband retired at age 60. At 62 he started receiving regular SS
    payments at a reduced amount. He has been under medical care for kidney failure for 5 plus years and now requires dialysis. Can he apply for SS disability benefits? DOB 1948.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mari,

      No disability benefits are available after a person reaches full Social Security retirement age, which for your husband would be age 66. If he became disabled more than five full calendar months before his 66th birthday, he can apply for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  12. Louis says:

    Hi Kay,

    I am applying for Medicare. I am 65 now (birthday in March). On the medicare application, they ask if I “want to receive reduced benefits while waiting for the disability decision?”

    If I say “Yes”, what impact does this have on my retirement benefits?

    Thank You Kay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Louis,

      If you choose to receive reduced Social Security Retirement benefits now, your benefit will be permanently reduced. However, if you are not working now or are earning less than $15,480 gross this year, it could be to your advantage to take the reduced benefit. I suggest that before you make the decision, you talk with a Social Security claims representative (not a service representative) and ask them to tell you the dollar amount and percentage of reduction you would have if you take reduced retirement before age sixty six and how many years would pass (i.e. how old you would be) before you started to lose money over all.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  13. Rita says:

    I am going to be 62 in June and I am going to apply for early SSR to help supplement our income. I am working fulltime at this time. I have a lot of medical issues and if I was to become disabled within the next 3 yrs would I qualify for Disability benefits and Medicare? Would my SS check increase and then go back down to what the decrease amount I am going to receive? DOB 1952..Thank you.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rita,

      If you are earning little enough to allow payment of reduced Social Security Retirement (SSR) benefits while you are working and then become disabled, you could receive Social Security Disability benefits for the months before you reach your full retirement age (age sixty-six). You would receive Medicare the earlier of age sixty-five or your twenty-fifth month of disability benefits. At full retirement age, your benefits would be adjusted downward for any months of reduced retirement benefits before your disability benefits began. This means that your retirement benefit would be less than your disability benefit but more than your retirement benefit at age sixty-two.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  14. Frank Zoellner says:

    I have been receiving ssd since I was 50, when I become of normal ss retirement age, will my benefit decrease or stay the same? Thank you very much, frank

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Frank,

      Your Social Security benefit will stay the same when you transfer from disability to retirement benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  15. Frank Zoellner says:

    I forgot to give you my date of birth-1955. Thanks, frank

  16. Donna S says:

    Kay,

    I began getting early retirement benefits earlier this year at age 62. I have a disability but was told I did not have enough credits for disability. I am 4 short. I am getting a very small check and I have 2 questions. First will my current benefit be adjusted based on earned income I will have before my full retirement age of 66. I will make well below the penalty income level. Second I should have enough credits for disability this year How will that effect my benefits if I can now qualify for disability? Thanks!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Donna,

      Retirement benefits are based on your thirty-five years of highest earnings. Your current retirement benefit will be increased only if your recent earnings are sufficiently more than earnings you had in one of the years used to calculate your benefit.

      If you become eligible for Social Security Disability (SSDI), your benefit will increase to a level of unreduced retirement, which is the amount that you would have received at age sixty-six if you had not taken early retirement. Then at age sixty-six your benefit will change from disability to retirement again and will be reduced. The retirement benefit at that time will be higher than what you are getting now because you will have reduction only for the months you received reduced retirement benefits not for the disability months.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  17. Frank Zoellner says:

    Many thanks!

  18. beth says:

    my husband became disabled after having heart surgery in 2008 he is 59 years old he gets 1.400 a month in disability. when he reach retirement age of 65 will it be converted over to social security and will his income increase or remain the same?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Beth,

      Your husband’s Social Security Disability will be changed to Social Security Retirement when he reaches full retirement age, which for him is either age sixty-six or sixty-six and two months. The amount will stay the same.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  19. Barb says:

    My husband was let go from his job as an RN after 32 yrs due to increase in confusion and memory. He has since been diagnosed with dementia. He was 61 when released of duty, and retired early at 62. Can he apply for disability now or is he receiving the best benefit now?? What about Medicare?? He is no longer able to care for himself and I have had to cut my hours drastically to care for him. Thank you so much for any insight!! So appreciated!!!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barb,

      You should start an application for Social Security Disability (SSDI) for your husband before the end of the month, if possible, to avoid possible loss of retroactive benefits. You can do this by going online to http://www.ssa.gov and beginning a disability applicatio. That will protect June as the filing month. You can complete the application later. Alternatively you can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 or go to a Social Security office before the end of the month and request an appointment to apply for him.

      Your husband is now receiving reduced early retirement benefits. If he is approved for SSDI, he will receive unreduced benefits. Additionally, after he has received twenty-four months of SSDI including retroactive months, he will be eligible for Medicare. If he has not already had cognitive testing to document his dementia, I recommend that you get in touch with his physician right away to arrange it.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Barb says:

        Thank you so much! I should add, he is now 64, and will be turning 65 in May of 2015. He also receives benefits for myself and our child who is a young minor. Would he lose this benefit if he applies for disability? He should receive Medicare next year anyways correct?? Thanks again!!

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Barb,

          The disability benefits could be retroactive for as much as twelve months from the month of application; but even so, your husband would receive Medicare based on age before he would receive it based on disability. The dependent benefits would continue in a higher amount than now. When he reaches full retirement age (sixty-six) benefits will be changed back to retirement benefits reduced again for the years he previously received reduced benefits, but they will be higher than if he had never had years of disability benefits. It will definitely pay to apply to see if he can be approved for disability.

          Sincerely,

          Kay

  20. I have been on FMLA from work since 4/1/14. I had bilateral SIJoint fusion surgery and also in 2008 lumbar surgery. The last surgery has left me in much pain sitting, standing, walking. Although PT will I.prove certain areas it is not expected that I will be able to sit painfree for more than 10 minutes indefinitely and will have limited mobility. I am currently on short term disability insurance which will last until 9/30/14. I was born in 1955. Should I apply for SSDI now, as returning to work is doubtful. What am I entitled to? Thanks.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary Lynn,

      If you cannot work standing or walking and all the occupations you have done in the past have required extended sitting, then you may be eligible. The only way to find out is to apply for benefits. You can get an estimate of what your benefit would be by requesting an earnings record statement (not a benefit statement) from Social Security either online or by calling 1-800-772-1213.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  21. Also…will I have to pay back any of the short or long term disability payments that I received prior to getting SS Disability. Thanks. M.Lynn

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mary Lynn,

      Most short-term and long-term disability policies reduce benefits when Social Security is paid for the same period. However, Social Security does not pay the the first five full calendar months of disability. You became disabled in April, so benefits would begin for October (paid in November) If you file now and your claim doesn’t pend long, you will not have much to repay.

      Sincerely,

      Kay
      Sincerely,

      Kay

  22. Barbara says:

    I began receiving disability social security in 2003 and now I am 67 years old and my SS has converted to regular SS. I recently found out that my ex husband died in Dec 2012 and was married to him for 15 years. I am not married now. I found out that I can file for 100 % of the amount of SS that he was receiving which is more than I receive now. Will I be eligible for retroactive pay and if so will it be for 6 months or 12 months since I did originally retire on disability and am still disabled. Just wondering if the change to regular SS after I turned 66 will affect the retroactive pay.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Barbara,

      The maximum retroactivity for survivor benefits is usually six months from the date of application for the widow’s benefits. Only disability benefits have twelve months retroactivity.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  23. Rita says:

    Hi Husbund has been on ssdi for 12 yr now 66 on 7/30 received letter and it reads that check for July will be received in August and as of July it says he is no longer entitle to disabilty Ben so we don’t know if we will get a check in July or not ??

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Rita,

      Both Social Security Disability and Social Security Retirement are paid the month following the month for which they are being paid. Your husband should receive his last disability check in July for June and his first retirement check in August for July.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  24. Rita says:

    It says you will receive $ for July around August — any thoughts ?thx Rita

  25. Mike says:

    Kay…my partner been on disability for years and turns 66 this week. We got a letter stating changeover.. will he still get cola each year….also..i am 63 but cant retire till 66….will getting married be plus or negative…mike

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Mike,

      Social Security Retirement benefits receive cost-of-living increases on the same basis as disability benefits do. Unless one of you is a widower and eligible on a deceased spouse’s Social Security record, I cannot see a Social Security disadvantage in marrying.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  26. Linda says:

    I am receiving early sir benefits. If my ex of over ten years predeases me, can I convert my benefits to his greater amount? I am 65

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Linda,

      Yes, assuming your have not remarried, you can switch from your retirement benefit to a widow’s benefits when your former spouse dies.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  27. Diane says:

    My husband started receiving retirement Social Security at 65 while working. One year later he fractured his skull and has been disabled ever since. Does he qualify for any other disability benefits?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Diane,

      Individuals who have reached full retirement age are not eligible for Social Security or SSI disability benefits.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  28. Dave says:

    I have been on SS disability since the summer of 2006. I am also on Medicare. I turn 65 next month in August. My employer is retiring me out as of my 65th birthday next month. Once I switch over to SS retirement, will my monthly payments stay the same as they was before? My employer is retiring me at age 65 instead of age 66. Thank you very much

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      Social Security will switch you to retirement benefits at your full retirement age. At that time, the amount will stay the same as your disability benefit.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  29. Dave says:

    Hi there, I have a 2nd question. As I said in the last post I sent you I begin drawing regular Social Security after my 65th birthday in August. Now my wife, who also turns 65 in August, she had not worked in several years, can she apply for and draw her regular Social security at the same time I draw mine? THanx again

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Dave,

      If your wife has enough credits for retirement, she can apply for benefits at age sixty-five. The benefit will be slightly reduced because she is taking it before her full retirement age of sixty-six.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  30. jimmy says:

    I turn 62 on 10/27/1952..I’ve been on ssdi for 3yrs…do I have to apply for early retirement if I choose to retire at age 62.because my disabling conditions haven’t changed if anything gotten worse.social security informed me via mail when I first got my ssdi that in three yrs they would reevaluate my condition…I diagnosed with fibromialga, spinal cervical disease, degenerative dics disease, depression,,,arachatitis…I. want know what my next move should be …

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jimmy,

      Social Security Retirement benefits are reduced substantially at age sixty-two. Stay on your disability benefits as long as you believe you are disabled or until Social Security tells you otherwise. If they review your claim and terminate benefits, you can both appeal and file for reduced retirement at that time. If your disability is reinstated you will be paid back pay for the difference between the reduced retirement and the higher disability benefit, which is equal to unreduced retirement.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

  31. Vickie Cox says:

    I was planning on leaving my job and filing for disability due to medical issues that were preventing me from continuing my job. I was having difficulty concentrating and keeping focused along with some other physical issues. Fortunately, before I did so, my company offered voluntary severance which I took and have been off work since 12/31/13. I just turned 63 and am going to file for disability. If I understand correctly, I can then go ahead and file for early retirement benefits so that I have income while waiting for approval. Thanks for you help.

  32. Dave says:

    Thank you Kay for your advice. We really appreciate it!

  33. Tammy says:

    Disabled male vet, aged 62, on early retirement benefits- can he switch to disability benefits? His disability happened many years before he took early retirement (as a result of his military service). Not sure why he did not apply for disability instead of early retirement, but wondering if it is too late to try and switch him?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Tammy,

      Your friend can apply for disability if he is disabled from all occupations he has performed in the past and, if approved, he can switch over to disability benefits. He will have to prove that he became disabled while he was fully and currently insured for disability benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  34. Betty Sue says:

    The company I worked for put me on short term disability because I was not able to do my job any more because of heavy lifting, injuring my shoulders. I am 65, but intended to work until I was 70. I took out and paid every week for extra long term disability coverage. My short term disability payments will only be around 300.00 a week. Since I am 65, have paid in SS for 40 years and took out extra disability coverage, can I go ahead and file for my early SS benefits, (not SS Disability, but regular SS retirement benefits) and still draw my short and long term disability payments? Thank You, Betty

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Betty Sue,

      You can probably do as you suggest; however, it is possible that that your short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits will be reduced by the Social Security. If this is the case, then you might consider either applying for Social Security Disability or waiting to get Social Security retirement until you are at full retirement age (sixty-six) to avoid a permanent reduction. I suggest that you read your STD and LTD policies to familiarize yourself with the provisions of your policies.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Betty Sue says:

        Thank You very much for the information. I cannot find any information on this and did not get a policy for my LT and ST disability. Since I was sent home from my job against my wishes and not allowed to return, it would seem that I would be allowed to do so, since I paid every week for my LTD insurance and am allowed to draw my regular retirement benefits, regardless… I wonder if anyone else has had this happen? I appreciate your help and replying so quickly.
        Betty

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Betty Sue,

          You have a right to get a copy of your policy. You can ask the insurance company directly if you think your employer will not provide it.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  35. Julie says:

    I have been receiving SSDI & SSI since I was 30. My birthday is December 8 and I will be 67. Do I need to apply for retirement benefits? I have been working at Build resources In California for over 20 years. Please advise me.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Julie,

      You will automatically be switched from Social Security Disability to Social Security Retirement when you reach full retirement age. The benefit amount will remain the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  36. David says:

    Hi Kay, I was on SS disability for eight years. I turn 65 this month and I will go from SS disability to SS retirement pay. My wife signed up for SS retirement as well. Will we be taxed by the government every month for our monthly SS checks? How much tax do they take out? I was not taxed when I was on disability. Will they automatically take taxes out from the start? And will they take out for Federal, an State taxes? Thank you again for your help

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Taxation of Social Security Disability and Retirements are the same. You have to request to have federal taxes withheld from your Social Security. You cannot have state taxes withheld. If you will owe state taxes, you will have to file estimated tax returns. The IRS can provide you with a worksheet to figure out whether any of your Social Security will be taxable.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  37. David says:

    And one more question, Once my wife and I start receiving SS monthly retirement pay. Willl they tax our monthly amounts from the start or will they not take anyting out thru the year but hit us up for it all come income tax time? Thanks

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear David,

      Please see my response to your previous question. If you request tax withholding, it will be withheld every month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  38. Peggy DuPont says:

    I currently receive SSDI. I am on a ticket to work program and work part-time earning less than 13000.00 yearly. Will my benefit increase at full retirement age? If so at what percentage? I was born in 1955.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Peggy,

      The calculation of benefits is a complex formula executed by computer calculation, so I can not give you a specific answer. In general, for your benefits to increase, your current annual earnings have to be sufficiently higher than the lowest year previously used to calculate your benefit. When you work, the calculation is done automatically in the fall of each year and you will be notified late in the year if your prior year’s earnings give you an increase in benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

    • Lauri says:

      This is interesting, I thought if you made over $1070 a month it was considered gainful employment by SSA and you’d lose your SSDI benefits?

      • Kay Derochie says:

        Dear Lauri,

        If a person receiving Social Security Disability has not recovered medically, he or she can earn more than Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), which is currently $1,070, during the nine-month Trial Work Period. During the following thirty-six month Extended Period of Disability, benefits are paid in any month that earnings are below SGA.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  39. Susan says:

    Hi Kay, I am 64,my full retirement age is 66 .I have not worked since this july due to 2 herniated discs.my job requires lifting patients,pulling
    pushing beds .I don’t think that I can go back to work.i want to apply for disability .If I get approved,my income will be same as when I get my regular social security income at age 66 or lower. Also I am planning to apply for Medicare on next May when I turn 65. Will applying for disability with cause any problem.Please advise. Thanks very much Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Susan,

      Social Security Disability benefits are paid at the same rate as full unreduced retirement benefits. You can apply for both disability benefits and Medicare at age sixty-five.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  40. Lauri says:

    Hi Kay,

    I’ve been on SSDI since my early 30′s, I’m now 54. I’m attempting a trail work period this month – 20 hours a week through the ticket-to-work program. I attempted this unsuccessfully last year and was reviewed within weeks by SSA. I’m giving it another try at only half the hours this time. What if a worse case scenario happens and I lose both my benefits and still can’t work, how would retirement benefits work for someone who can’t build up any more credits? I am divorced and realize I could get a reduced amount based off my ex-husbands record, but my current SSDI payment would be higher.

    Thank you!

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Lauri,

      If you are still receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI) at the time you reach full retirement age, your retirement benefit will be the same as your disability benefit. If you become ineligible for SSDI before retirement age and do not work, it is possible that your retirement benefit could be less than your disability benefit because the retirement benefit (when not preceded by disability benefits) is calculated based on thirty-five years of work. Years that you receive SSD are excluded from the formula and do not have a negative effect on retirement benefits, but years of no work and no SSDI could result in years of zero earnings being included in the calculation.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  41. Glenn Smiley Robinson says:

    Your advice although addressed to others was very informative thank you

  42. Aaron says:

    1952 YOB: I last worked August 2011. I become disable the next year and filed for SSDI Dec 2012, I will meet the SSDI Law Judge in Nov this year right after my 62nd birthday the same month. I want to apply for early retirement at 62. Should I wait after the Judges decision, or apply now. If I apply for early retirement will retroactive pay be off set or any at all if the decision is in my favor? Thanks Kay

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Aaron,

      You can apply for and receive Social Security reduced retirement while you are waiting for a decision on your Social Security Disability claim. If you are approved for disability benefits, you will be switched to disability and the difference between the disability rate and the reduced retirement rate will be paid for the overlapping months. The full disability benefit will be paid for months before the retirement benefits start.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  43. Wanda Butler says:

    I have been on Worker’s Comp since 1997, I turned 62 in 2013 and now I am 63 still on Worker’s Comp and Social Security Retirement. I received a letter September 8; 2014 that my worker’s comp has been offset because I opted to take an early retirement. I am not on Social Security Disability, just SSR early. Now, Worker’s compensation is saying I owe it back. I get 853.00 per month, now reduces to $636.00. Workers Comp said it was done intentionally and can be punished by jail time. Also, second part I was receiving $1653.00, reduced to 853.00 because IME doctor said I could go back to work I am not able to return to the workforce due to a severe injury sustained on the job. I am paying the price for negligence of the government. I can not pay my bills and they continuously reduce my pay. Help, please

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Wanda,

      It is my understanding that in states in which Social Security is reduced by workers comp benefits, the offset applies only to Social Security Disability and not to retirement benefits. It sounds as if you live in a state that reduces workers comp by Social Security and not the other way around. It is possible that the law is different in such a state and includes offset for Social Security early retirement. You can appeal the decision and request a copy of the law that says that workers comp is offset by (reduced by) early SS retirement. It could also be advisable to contact a workers comp attorney in your state for guidance.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  44. Wanda Butler says:

    I meant to ask if you receive Worker’s Comp can you receive your SS too without an offset, by Worker’s Comp. Not SSDI, but SS because you turn 62 and are eligible to draw it.

  45. mom says:

    I have been receiving OWCP and SS disability I don’t know if it was supposed to be reduced. I was never asked or told about it. Am I gonna have to pay back anyone for getting overpaid. I am now 62 and they are telling me I need to file for retirement.

  46. Charlie Kay says:

    Hi, I was born in 1953 and in 6 months I will be eligible for early retirement at 62. I have also been on workers comp. these last 6 months. I understand that my comp. settlement may be used to offset SSDI and medicare if i file for that. Would I be better off to take my early retirement and not worry about paying an offset then later apply for SSDI? Or should I go a head and apply for SSDI anyway? I make $1,180.00 weekly from my comp. My SSDI would pay me $2,132.00 monthly. if I take early social security retirement that would be $1,612.00 monthly. I just don’t want to make a costly bad decision. I’m guessing my comp. settlement could be around $25,000.
    Thank you for your time , CK

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Charlie Kay,

      I would consider applying for Social Security Disability because the offset is not dollar for dollar. You can receive SSDI and workers compensation equaling eighty percent of your current average earnings (as determined by Social Security) at time of disability. This amount is usually more than either benefit alone. (Note that for the purposes of the offset the workers compensation settlement will be prorated out at a monthly rate Additionally, the reduction for taking early retirement benefits is permanent. If you get on SSDI, you will not have that reduction. Also, if you qualify for SSDI, you will become eligible for Medicare after twenty-four months of benefits before the usual eligibility age of sixty-five. Lastly, when you reach full retirement age, you will automatically be converted to Social Security Retirement benefits and the offset will stop.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  47. Kim Perry says:

    My mom had to retire early because of her health and has now passed away. She was receiving social security retirement benefits, but could she have also received disability from social security? She received $1400 per month.

    Thank you,

    • Kay Derochie says:

      You can apply posthumously for disability benefits if your mother became disabled at least six months before her her full retirement age.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  48. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    My husband passed away on. 18 Nov 2012. At the time he was 65yrs10months (DOB 2 Feb 1947) At the time he was receiving early
    Retirement Social Security benefits. He retired early for health reasons.
    When I went to claim widows benefits, the representative told me I should apply for posthumous disability, which I did The representative asked me for an onset date which I gave as 10 March 2010. After many inquiries I was told by telephone that he had been approved and two deposits of $1914(back payment for one year) were made to my bank account. I never received a determination letter. I am currently receiving a widows benefit based on his early retirement benefit. Am I entitled to receive a widows benefit based on his disability benefit which would have been his full benefit at 66? While I received the back payment for I year my widow’s benefit was never adjusted. I have no idea what date his determination was based on. He worked 38 years at maximum FICA deductions
    Thank-you for any advise you can offer.

    Jennifer

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      It is possible that your survivor’s benefit should be increased because your husband’s early retirement reduction of benefits would have been less with some months changed to disability benefits. I can see that this “detail” could easily have been overlooked. I recommend that you formally request a recalculation of your widow’s benefits based on the facts you outlined. Also, you have a right to a letter of approval on the disability determination that includes the disability onset date that was established. Letters can arrive two to three weeks after the money does. If it has been longer than that, you can ask for a letter. In the meantime, you can ask a representative to check the computer for the date of the disability onset.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Jennifer says:

        Thank-you for the information. When I applied for widows benefits, the representative asked for the date of his disability onset, and frankly I pulls a number out of the blue that seemed close to his retirement date. I,
        not being familiar with the system assumed that when SSA examined his medical records would establish the disability onset date. He took early retirement at age 60and received a social security supplement from his employer until he reached 62. That is why he took the early SS benefit. What he actually should have done is applied 6months before his 62nd birthday for SSDI. Because I never received the determination letter( the SSA representative said the letter was never sent) I was granted an appeals hearing. That was last September and the hearing is scheduled for 23 October 2014. The attorney who I saw when the appeal was granted is now telling me that even if the medical evidence is accepted, the SSDI cannot be granted retroactively. I am not asking for back payments, I understand those can only be paid for one year, but for all those years he paid in at the max , it would certainly be nice to receive the full widow’s benefit. From what I read here it seems like that is possible. If I turns out to be the case, would his benefit have been the full amount he was eligible for in February of 2009? Additionally would his benefit have been increased for COLA up until 2012? And would that be the amount that I would have been eligible for in November of 2012? I was 65 and 10 months at the time. Thank-you so much in advance for your time in reading and responding to this lengthy question.

        Jennifer
        ep

        • Kay Derochie says:

          Dear Jennifer,

          Only the months for which disability benefits would have been payable (the maximum twelve months) can be changed from retirement to disability, so the maximum cancellation of monthly reductions is for twelve months or about 6% total as I figure it. However, your situation is a bit complex, so I recommend following the advice of your attorney regarding understanding whatever decision is rendered and regarding appealing if it is unfavorable.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  49. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    Sorry two more questions. If they won’t go back, would his benefit be reduced for 11 months or for 17 months? What is the monthly reduction
    rate? Thanks again.

    Jennifer

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Jennifer,

      Please see my response to your prior posting. The reduction ratio is 5/9 of 1% per month for the first 36 months of reduction and 5/12 of 1% for each additional reduction month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  50. Jennifer says:

    Dear Kay,
    Thank-you so much, I think I am finally getting a grasp on the basics of these computations and realizing what a labyrinth it is! You have been extremely helpful. I don’t feel like I’m trying to solve an equation with all unknowns anymore and I think know what questions to ask my attorney.

    Jennifer

  51. Matt G says:

    I started receiving Social Security Disability in 2007 at the age of 55. I understand that when I turn 66, my disability will become social security retirement and I will continue receiving the same amount, which was originally reduced because I am living outside of US. I am planning to continue living abroad; will I continue getting the reduced amount when I turn 66?

    Thank you!

    Matt G

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Matt,

      I am not familiar with Social Security Disability being reduced due to foreign residency. I imagine that it will stay the same at retirement; however, I suggest that you contact the Social Security Administration to find out.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  52. Raul says:

    I was receiving SSDI while receiving Workers Comp in 2012..Now SS wants all the money I received for the last 2 years..Initially I informed the SS office of the injury while receiving Workers Comp..My problem is SS said I never informed them of the Workers income. Doesn’t the SS office run a check to verify a person s income before approving the application?

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Raul,

      Social Security (SSDI) is not a public assistance program like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) so you income is not checked. You can ask for waiver of collection of the overpayment if you were not at fault in causing it and cannot afford to repay. You can ask that your original application be examined to show that you declared the worker’s comp when you applied or you can submit a copy of it if you kept a copy. If you did declare the workers comp and if you did not realize there would be an offset, you could be found not at fault. Even if the request for waiver is denied, you can ask for a repayment plan. Also note, that they are probably are not asking for your full benefit back because you are allowed to have workers comp and SSDI equal to 80% of your current average earnings before becoming disabled.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  53. Kathy says:

    I filed for SSD in 2005 at which time I was 55 years old, It was awarded in 2007. I started receiving Medicare January 2008. I am still on SSD and will be 62 years old in Dec. (born in 1952). Do I have to do anything or do I actually retire at the age of 66 at which time it becomes SSR.

    • Kay Derochie says:

      Dear Kathy,

      Your benefit amount will continue unchanged, except for cost-of-living adjustment, throughout your lifetime. When you reach full retirement at age sixty-six, you will be converted automatically to retirement benefits, but the amount remains the same.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

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