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SSDI what happens to benefit at full retirement?

Recently on our disability forum a user asked, “If I am about to reach my full retirement age but I am currently receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI) will I continue to receive both SSDI and my SSA retirement benefit or will I just keep receiving just my SSDI benefit?”

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is awarded to claimants who are less than their full retirement age and who have a severe health condition which is expected to last at least 12 continuous months and will not allow them to continue to work at a substantial and gainful level.


What happens to SSDI when you reach your full retirement age?

Now, when your reach your full retirement age your SSDI benefits will be converted to your SSA retirement benefit and you will no longer receive SSDI (although the amount will be the same) and you will, instead, be receiving SSA retirement. You will not receive both SSDI and SSA retirement benefits.

The good news is you won’t have to worry about anything. The SSA will simply make an administrative change on their side, start taking the funds out of a different account, and start calling your benefits SSA retirement benefits.

Sixty-two years of age should I apply for SSDI or SSA retirement?

If you were born between 1943-1954 you will be eligible to receive your full retirement benefit at 66 years of age. The age will be even later for those born after these dates.

So what happens if you become disabled and you are close to your early retirement age?

If you become disabled and you are 62 years of age you can decide to take early retirement but your benefits will be reduced, leaving you with a decision. Should you take early retirement or should apply for SSDI benefits?

Before making this decision it’s important to consider the pros and cons. First, getting early retirement may be much easier. You will simply have to fill out the application and mail it to the SSA.

Getting SSDI benefits, however, can take months or years of hassle and frustration. Given your age, however, your chances of getting SSDI benefits are much better than a younger applicant’s chances.

The biggest consideration, however, is the benefit payment. Talk to the SSA and find out exactly how much you would forfeit by taking the early retirement payout versus getting SSDI benefits.

It also important to note that if you do get SSDI benefits the amount you receive will remain unchanged when you reach your full retirement age.

What about Medicare?

SSDI recipients will not receive Medicare benefits until twenty four months from the month they were first eligible to receive their monthly SSDI benefits, as opposed to the date they became disabled or unable to work.

Medicare may be available, however, for claimants aged 65 years and older. With this in mind, if you are 65 years of age or older and receiving SSDI benefits you need to talk to the SSA about your Medicare benefit.

The Social Security Administration recommends you contact them three months before you turn 65 years of age to apply for Medicare benefits.

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