Social Security Disability Income benefits provide a way for individuals with disabilities to still care for themselves and their families. The amount of benefits depends on how long a person worked and how much the worker paid into Social Security.
However, what happens to those benefits when a person reaches full retirement age?
How the Social Security Administration calculates benefits
When a worker suffers a disability, the SSA determines the person’s benefits by calculating the average indexed monthly earnings. Those benefits convert to Social Security Retirement payments at the age of retirement. That age for most people is now 67.
How benefits could change at retirement age
A family has the ability to increase its benefit payout by suspending SSDI for a time and essentially delaying retirement. The law allows any eligible recipient of Social Security Retirement to hold off accepting benefits until 70. The money accrues interest in the meantime, increasing the amount the individual finally receives when payments begin.
Additionally, if a person receives workers’ compensation while collecting SSDI, the SSDI benefits typically reduce in proportion to the compensation or other government benefits. At retirement, the beneficiary no longer has this reduction and gets the total amount of the Social Security benefit.
Other possible benefits
A person’s circumstances can open the possibility of other benefits in addition to SSDI. A person with limited income and resources can apply for Supplemental Security Income. Many people who receive SSI also qualify for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to cover their food budget.
At retirement, those receiving SSDI payments might be able to see their total benefits increase. A family should continually review its situation to determine if it is receiving the full amount due when circumstances change for retirement or other reasons.