Can I receive Social Security retirement and disability benefits at the same time?

Tampa Frontage Road Social Security OfficeYou cannot get double benefits by combining Social Security retirement and disability benefits.

There is a specific situation in which a person may receive both types of benefits at the same time, addressed below, but only to bring them up to their full benefit amount, not double benefits.

This can be a confusing subject, so we have tried to outline each situation in simple terms below. If you have additional questions, you may Leave a Question or Comment below. Please understand that we are not able to accept calls to the office with general questions.

If you are already receiving SSDI disability benefits and approaching retirement age

If you are already receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, you are already receiving your full benefit amount. When you reach full retirement age, the disability benefits will be converted into retirement benefits, in the same amount. This happens automatically, when you reach your full retirement age. You do not have to do anything to continue receiving your benefits. Nothing happens at age 62, because early retirement benefits do not apply, since you are already receiving your full benefit. (Note that this applies to SSDI, not SSI. For SSI, see below.)

If you took early retirement and applied for disability (before full retirement age)

If you took advantage of early, reduced retirement benefits, which can be done at age 62, and then are approved for disability benefits, this can result in you receiving both retirement and disability benefits for the same time period, to bring you up to your full benefit amount. However, it does not result in double benefits, just a combination of benefits to bring you up to your full benefit amount. The exact amount and timing of your benefit increase depends on whether the disability is found to have started before or after you started taking early retirement benefits.

If the disability started before you took early retirement: If the disability is found to have started before you began receiving early retirement benefits, then the end result for your benefit amount will be the same as if you had never taken early retirement benefits. You will get the difference to make up your full benefit, retroactively and going forward. At full retirement age, you will continue to receive your full benefit.

If the disability started after you took early retirement: If the disability is found to have started after you began receiving early retirement benefits, then during the period between when the disability began and full retirement age, you will receive your full disability benefit amount. Upon reaching full retirement age, the retirement benefit amount will still be reduced based on the number of months you received early retirement benefits.

If you are past your full retirement age and become disabled

If your disability began after you reached full retirement age, then becoming disabled does not make you eligible for any additional benefits.

If you are already receiving SSI disability benefits and approaching age 62

Since Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are based on financial need, one of the requirements of the program is that you apply for other benefits that you may be eligible for. That includes early Social Security retirement benefits. So, if you are on SSI disability benefits, Social Security may require you to apply for your early retirement benefits at age 62. However, your SSI benefits will be lowered accordingly, since SSI will only bring you up to the full SSI monthly amount ($735 per month in 2017).

Please Note: We are not able to accept calls with general questions from outside the Tampa Bay area. We have opened up comments on this article so that you may ask additional questions if you wish, and we will try to answer them as we are able. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to Leave a Comment or Question. Any answers are for informational purposes only; they do not constitute legal advice and do not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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591 Comments on Can I receive Social Security retirement and disability benefits at the same time?

  1. Estelle Tomoda // February 24, 2016 at 7:36 pm // Reply

    I started disability on Dec. 10th 2015, will begin SS on 3/1/16 do I stop disability benefits and go onmSS.

    • Generally speaking, if you are receiving Social Security disability benefits, when you reach retirement age, your disability benefits will convert automatically to Social Security retirement benefits. The benefit amount should be the same and you should not have to do anything.

      • Most of the Q&A I see here are in regards to SS disability. My wife is currently employed full time. She will be 67 in 2 weeks. she is already collecting SS retirement. She injured her hand. Would she still be eligible for EDD California State Disability. would here SS retirement income effect SDI benefits?

    • Robert McCrary // May 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm // Reply

      Took early retirement at 62 after being in a helicopter crash a few years earlier. I did not apply for disability because it was a slow moving freight train coming at me and I was fully functional at the time. Now, I am 69. I have had surgery on my spine to alleviate the damage…but nerve damage that preceeded the surgery has left me with a right arm that operates at 50%. Neck Pain, etc. Wondering if I can add disability insurance to my current retirement benefits or at least boost SS payments to meet what they would have been had I waited utnil full retirement.

    • Bobby C Wright // April 14, 2017 at 5:38 pm // Reply

      I’m was on Social Security Disability since 2009 and am now 66, so the Disability has already converted for me. My spouse was drawing $411.00 a month for herself and that same amount for our Son. Then last she received a letter saying that they made a mistake on her and my Son check and that they would beginning $711.00 a month each. In Aug. my wife turns 65 and she will draw more under my spousal benefits than under her own SS. Will she draw half of the amount I’m currently drawing or half of what my regular SS Benefit would have been without my Disability Benefit.

      • Your spouse’s benefit would be based on your primary insurance amount, which is the amount of your SSDI benefit. If your spouse waits until her full retirement age to take the spousal benefit, then she can receive up to 50% of your primary insurance amount. If she chooses to start taking the benefit earlier than her full retirement age, then the amount may be reduced.

    • Stephen Gons // April 25, 2017 at 10:20 am // Reply

      We have a female client, age 61 who is receiving both group LTDI & SSDI. She is divorced after a 20 yr marriage and never remarried. Assuming her spousal benefit would be more than her own retirement benefit, would she be able to collect a spousal benefit at age 62 while receiving her SSDI benefit? Thank you in advance for your help.

      • She can ask Social Security to tell her how much her spousal benefit would be. If the spousal benefit would be more than she is receiving on her own record, then she can receive the higher amount, not both.

  2. People who are on retirement at age sixty-two can work and earn a small income?
    People on disability can not work and earn any income ? why?dbcooper

    • In general, you are entitled to your full retirement benefits when you reach full retirement age, and continuing to work has no effect on that. So if you wait until full retirement age, you can collect your full Social Security retirement benefits, and also keep working and earning as much as you want.

      If you take early retirement at age sixty-two or another age before full retirement age, then special rules apply: if you earn more than $15,720 per year (for 2016), then for every $2 you make over that amount, your benefits are reduced by $1.

      For Social Security disability benefits, one of the requirements is that your disability makes you unable to work (or “engage in substantial gainful activity”). So if you start working, then Social Security considers that you must not be disabled. There are exceptions however: you can earn up to $1,130 per month as of this year (or $1,820 per month if you are blind) without it being considered substantial gainful activity. And you may be allowed a “trial work period” during which you can work and still receive benefits. See this Social Security pdf for more information about trial work periods.

  3. My mother took early retirement August two years ago then had a massive stroke in Feb one year ago causing her to be blind in her right eye and unable to move her right leg, hip and arm. Can she receive disability rather than early retirement?

    • Yes, someone in this situation should apply for disability benefits. If Social Security finds that she is disabled, then she would receive full benefits from the time she became disabled until reaching full retirement age. Upon reaching full retirement age, her benefits would still be reduced, due to the fact that she took early retirement.

    • tameka sirmans // March 26, 2017 at 11:10 am // Reply

      My child has learning disability will she be able to get disability

  4. if a person was collecting ssd before age sixty-two can he or she receive early retirement also at sixty-two plus ssd ?

    • No, not if the person is already receiving the full benefit amount. The disability benefits will convert into retirement benefits, in the same amount, upon reaching full retirement age.

  5. that’s funny the social security office in palos hills told me to comeback at age sixty-two to recieve them they told me possible to collect both as long as i received my disability first they said i could collect retirement also did they change that ?

    • If you’re already receiving full SSDI benefits, then when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will convert into retirement benefits in the same amount. You won’t receive both. This webpage from Social Security confirms that, and this Social Security pdf document (page 9) explains it in more detail. In the case you describe, nothing would happen at age 62. The only time age sixty-two comes into play is if someone decides to take early retirement before they are approved for disability (the limited exception discussed above). Otherwise, you can’t get disability and retirement at the same time, and you can’t get more than your full benefit amount in any case.

      • As long as you apply for SSDI before you apply for early retirement then you should get the SSDI upon approval – correct? You do not necessarily have to be approved first to receive your early retirement.

  6. I am receiving Disability and I am sixty-four I have been married (15yrs) and divorced. And I have never remarried. Can I get retirement benefits from my ex at the age of 66. And if I can how should I go about to do it.

    • Regarding your disability benefits, as mentioned above, they will convert into retirement benefits in the same amount, when you reach full retirement age. As for spousal benefits, in general, it is possible for a divorced spouse to collect partial benefits on their ex-spouse’s record. You should make an appointment at your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 to find out if you are eligible.

      • Susan Garey // April 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm // Reply

        I’m 75 years old. I’ve been collecting SS benefits since age 64. My husband is in Prison and I am only getting my SS. I would work but I have osteoporosis. Can I also collect disability benefits?

        • Unfortunately no. In general, it is not possible to receive Social Security retirement benefits and Social Security disability benefits at the same time. And at age 75, the limited exception (for people who take early retirement and then become disabled before reaching full retirement age) does not apply.

  7. Thank you. Much appreciated your answer.

  8. I currently receive SSD, my case will be reviewed in seven years as my condition is not expected to improve. At the time of review, I turn sixty-two and they decide that I am well enough to go back to work and I decide to apply for an early retirement, will my SS benefit be reduced?

    • Yes. If a disability review finds you are no longer disabled, you will stop receiving disability benefits. You will then have the option to take reduced retirement benefits at age 62, or wait for your full retirement benefits at full retirement age. However, if your condition does not improve, then be sure to provide medical evidence of non-improvement when it is time for your disability review. That way you may be able to keep your disability benefits and not have to make that choice.

  9. So what are r the limited exceptions. Please explain if you will. I appreciate your time with my questions.

  10. what are the limited exceptions for collecting both ssd & retirement benefits ?

  11. I’ve recently learned that after one has been receiving disability benefits for twenty-four months, one qualifies for Medicare even if one is under sixty-five years old. Is this true? And if it is, can one sign up for Medicare Advantage plan thru a private insurance rather than staying with the Medicare? Another question is, once in the Medicare system, and time goes by and one is no longer considered disabled and is still under age 65, can the decision be reversed and get kicked out of the Medicare system and one has to purchase health plan thru private insurance company?

    • You are correct on all points. Yes, after receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for two years, you can receive Medicare. Yes, you can sign up for any Medicare Advantage plans available in your area. Once you are receiving these benefits, you would only lose them if you are found no longer disabled as part of a disability review.

  12. Thank you very much for your quick response. Your knowledge and expertise guiding us through these confusing matters are invaluable. I have one last question. Do I have an option to opt out of Medicare and stay with a health plan under Obamacare? Or is it an automatic enrollment once one has been receiving disability benefits for twenty-four months? If it’s a choice between the two, I don’t know which plan will be a better option. I am currently getting subsidy under Obamacare. I am worried especially in the election year, if Obamacare will be overturned, depending on who wins. Thank you again for all your valuable input.

    • Glad I can help. To answer your question, Medicare Part A (for hospital coverage) is automatic and free. You can opt out of Part B (for doctor visits), but Medicare is usually the best option, because the premiums are usually lower than you can get elsewhere. This page has more information about Medicare costs.

  13. Michael Dryer // March 16, 2016 at 10:26 am // Reply

    My employer want’s me to sign a letter of retirement, (They are forcing me to retire) They have written a letter of my mental acuity, loss of concentration and chronic pain, If signing a letter of retirement will this cause any problems with getting SSI disability benefits, I have a mental (Complex Depression) and chronic back pain, I am fifty-nine

    • Regarding the potential for Social Security disability benefits, I can say that a letter from your employer attesting to your disability may be helpful, but medical evidence from your doctors is more important. As to whether you should sign the letter of retirement, I cannot advise you. There are likely other factors to consider. I can say that in general terms, when you are asked to sign anything, you should consider what you are getting in return and what you are giving up. For instance, if you are being offered a retirement package but would be giving up the right to collect unemployment benefits, you should consider the pros and cons. You may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits whether you retired voluntarily or were forced to retire.

  14. Jennifer Compo // March 16, 2016 at 7:21 pm // Reply

    My mother was in a mva 1-10-15. She has a tbi and is 100% disabled. She turned sixty-two one month after the accident and started receiving social security retirement in April 2015. Should I apply for disability also?

    • Yes, someone in this situation should apply for disability benefits, and make sure to allege the onset date of when she became disabled. If Social Security finds her disabled, then she can receive her full benefit amount instead of the reduced early retirement amount.

  15. I am receiving Dis-ability Benefits { SSA +SSI ) based on my condition that cannot go back to work. I am turning age sixty-six by October, and my dis-ability will be automatically converted to Dis-ability Retirement. my question is, would I continue receiving my SSI benefits?

  16. Pamela Pennell // March 20, 2016 at 4:47 pm // Reply

    I am currently drawing disability ….I am sixty-two yrs old and I just filed for early retirement from the state can I draw from disability and retirement at the same time. ?

    • As far as federal Social Security benefits go, disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits, in the same amount, upon reaching full retirement age, and early retirement does not enter into it. However, you mention “early retirement from the state.” If you mean benefits available from your state government, I am not familiar with this. In general, one can receive SSDI benefits regardless of additional income, but depending on your state, there may be special rules about this. I recommend consulting with the agency you applied to or with an attorney in your state.

    • I am on SSI and am 62 years old ..my husband is 62 also and is now collecting social security beniifits. We have been married 10 years and are separated,filming for divorce soon.
      I am getting $741 per month and he is receiving $1645 per month. Can I take or apply for 1/2 of his benefits?

      • As long as you were married for 10 years, you would be eligible for divorced spouse benefits. When you are eligible for both divorced spouse benefits and benefits on your own record, you receive the higher amount, not both. So you can apply and see. Divorced spouse benefits are based off of 50% of your ex-spouse’s benefit amount, but there is a reduction for taking benefits before full retirement age, just as there is for your own benefits. By the way, you taking benefits based on your ex-spouse’s record has no effect on your ex-spouse’s benefits.

  17. Pamela Pennell // March 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    Thank you for responding to me….

  18. Nina Millich // March 26, 2016 at 4:46 am // Reply

    I was forced into early retirement at thirty-eight years old due to a disability. I am and have been for three years receiving SSDI, do I qualify for any other benefit program such as SSI or SDI, or unemployment? Should I get an attorney or Advocate for this?

    • There are two types of Social Security disability benefits: SSDI and SSI (see here for the difference). Most people receive just one or the other. If someone already receives SSDI, the only way to also get SSI is if the income from SSDI was low enough that the person also qualified for SSI. Normally one applies for SSDI and SSI at the same time, so this may have already been addressed as part of the application process. It is possible that other benefits are available depending on the state; I can only speak to Social Security benefits.

  19. connie stuart // March 28, 2016 at 10:55 pm // Reply

    Three years ago I was put on disability. I got social security for about eight months before I received disability. I am sixty-five now, at what age will my disability be changed back to my social security.

    • As stated above, in this situation disability benefits will revert to retirement benefits upon reaching full retirement age. Full retirement age is gradually being pushed up to age 67. For people who are sixty-five in 2016, full retirement age is 66. You can calculate your full retirement age here.

  20. I am receving desability at the moment will term fifty-five next year and I could collect my retirement from my old job at fifty-five years of age my question is could I still have both.

  21. I have been on worker’s compensation for the past 20 years but have also managed to work a few hours a week for many periods of time during these 20 years. I never earned more than 60 dollars a week during this time, because I was limited in what I could do…..and it was supplemented by my worker’s comp payments.

    Now I may be forced into accepting a small settlement so worker’s comp may end. No clue as to what that settlement will be, but the amount recieved certainly won’t be as much as if I could continue to work a part time job.

    In the meantime…My company downsized and I lost my part time job totally about 5 years ago, and have been unable to find a new job because of the lousy job market and my disability… .small town in extremely rural area, no work available for me, (too many ‘whole’ people who could do jobs more efficiently) Employers wouldn’t touch me after I hit age 65…an older person plus I have a disability..I feel like a leper. 🙁

    I took social security retirement at age 62 for health reasons…

    My question is: With my worker’s comp gone…My social security isn’t enough to sustain me, being only 600 dollars a month. If I could find a job, I would be working Will I be eligable for SSI? My worker’s comp income was 418 dollars a month for the past few years. With workers’ comp payments plus my retirement income I am only making $1,024.00..but if I lose my worker’s comp, I will go down to only 606 dollars a month. Any settlement money will have to go to buying meds for my medical condtion as it is still ongoing.

    • Generally speaking, a person age 65 or older or a disabled person may be eligible for SSI if their Social Security benefits are too low. The SSI program has other requirements as well. It may also be possible for a disabled person who took early retirement to qualify for SSDI retroactively and allege the onset date of when they became disabled. You may contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for both programs.

  22. I’m 61 & have been on Disability (SSI?) since 2006. (I had to stop working, both PT & FT, permanently) I also have a retirement acc’t thru my former employer.

    At times, my monthly Disability income is insufficient to meet my monthly needs. Up until now, I’ve been withdrawing money from my retirement acc’t “as needed,” which obviously depletes the monthly income I’ll receive when I “turn on the income stream” (i.e. begin receiving reg. monthly income from my retirement acc’t.).

    And so, if I’m to maintain a healthy balance in my retirement account (i.e. enough money to provide a stable monthly income for the remainder of my years), it appears that I must seriously curtail my willy-nilly w/drawals from my retirement-acc’t, & arrange to have the funds dispersed as regular monthly income (“turn on the income stream”).

    MY QUESTION: What, if any, effect will this change have on the amt. of money I receive from Disability each month? In other words, will I continue to receive the same monthly amt. from SSI when I arrange to have my retirement funds dispersed on a regular monthly basis?

    Right now, partly because of my occasional w/drawals from my retirement acc’t, my monthly income from that source has been reduced to about $1000/month, so obviously I must continue receiving SSI (or some equivalent thereof) for my mere subsistence.

    Pls refer me to the appropriate agency if I’ve failed to express this question clearly here. Thnx.

    • The crucial question is whether you are indeed receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. SSI has strict income and asset limits, but SSDI does not. So with SSDI, your income does not affect your benefits (as long as you are not working). With SSI, you have to follow Social Security’s strict income and asset limits, which are complicated. The basics are described here. If you don’t know which benefits you are receiving, Social Security will tell you. You can try creating or logging in to a My Social Security account or call 1-800-772-1213.

      • Don’t want to take up your time w/an accolade, but I feel that I must say THNX SO MUCH! You have forced me to do something that I’ve needed to do for a long, long time: clarify what kind of benefits I’m receiving.

        I’m about to contact Social Security right now. (I also appreciate the contact information.) I’m not working at all (haven’t been ever since I was “certified” as disabled). & subsequent SS reviews confirm that this status is permanent.

        I’m keeping crossed fingers that I’m receiving SSDI bennies. Thnx again for the info!

  23. Wondering... // April 6, 2016 at 9:24 am // Reply

    My ex turned 62 in 2015 and applied for SS benefits. My minor son is now getting SS benefits. My son just had a huge amount deposited into his account last week. In calling SSA, they said it was back pay from March 2014 (disability). Will my ex get both disability and SSI? How or will this affect the amount my son gets monthly via SSI?

    • In order to receive disability benefits, either Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), a person must be found disabled under Social Security’s rules. It sounds like your ex is getting early retirement benefits rather than disability benefits, and your minor son is getting SSI disability benefits. The SSI amount is affected by the person’s income and assets, and in the case of a minor child receiving SSI, some of the income and assets of a parent in the household will be “deemed” to the child. For more on how parents’ income affects child SSI, see this Social Security webpage.

  24. My mom passed away two years ago. Can my dad receive Social Security survivor benefit? When I reported my mom’s passing to the SS Administration and asked if there’s a survivor benefit for my dad, the agent said no.

  25. Yes, my mom was receiving social security benefits and they lived together until she passed. My mom fought a long battle with Parkinson disease and my dad took care of her until she passed with one exception. My mom’s last 4 months were spent in a skilled nursing facility because she needed an extensive care than what we could provide. Would this impact the SS survivor benefits for my dad? If my dad is entitled to a survivor benefit, not sure why we were told no. What does my dad need to do to receive benefit? Does he need to go to the Social Security Administration to apply for the survivor benefit?

    • He can apply by calling 1-800-772-1213. There is more information on this Social Security webpage.

      • Hello I’m a AML patient looking to apply for social security disability and postal retirement disability can I receive both and if so how does it work.

        • Yes, postal workers can apply for both Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. You can receive benefits from both programs, but there will be an offset, so the amount of the FERS benefit is reduced based on the SSDI benefit.

  26. My wife is 63 and has been on LTD at her job and is about to leave and apply for Social Security. Seeing that she is disabled and would like to apply for either SSI or SSD (whatever she qualifies for) can she get Social Security and then turn that into SSI or SSD when she gets approved.

    She would get $1,400 for Social Security or $1,900 for whatever disability she qualifies for. In other words if she takes the $1,400 can she still bump that up to $1,900 if she is deemed disabled?

    • Yes, this is possible, and the crucial factor is to apply for Social Security disability benefits before taking Social Security early retirement benefits (or at least alleging a disability onset date before the date you took early retirement benefits). Then, if the person is denied disability benefits when they apply initially, they can take the early retirement benefits while they appeal the disability case. If the disability is eventually approved and is found to have an onset date before the person took early retirement, then both the back pay and the benefits going forward will be the higher amount.

  27. Susan Garey // April 15, 2016 at 1:56 am // Reply

    It’s not fair to me that my husband’s SS is taken away when he is in prison. If he were dead I would receive his because his is higher. He will be released when he is 90. It is likely that he will die in prison. The law needs to be changed.

  28. Troy Alexander // April 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm // Reply

    I am 43 and currently drawing CAL-STRS (teachers disability retirement) due to illness that doesn’t allow me to teach anymore. I receive 50% of my last salary, (50,000K) for a total amount of $24,900. I was informed today that I may also be able to receive regular SSI in addition to this amount.

    Is that even possible? Would SSI disability provide more income of the two?

    • First, as you may know, California teachers do not pay into Social Security (see this page for details), so you would not be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) unless you paid into Social Security from another job, and even so your CAL-STRS benefits might reduce your Social Security benefits because of the Windfall Elimination Provision (see this PDF for details). As for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), there are income and asset limits that must be met in order to be eligible. The maximum federal benefit is $733/mo. and generally you do not qualify if you receive “countable income” from other sources over this amount. The formula for countable income is described here.

  29. Iam 70 years old and receiving ssi at early age 62..iam recently found out that iam disabled,can I file ssdi even thou I started receiving ssi?

    • I think you mean that you started receiving Social Security retirement benefits (rather than SSI) early at age 62. And, since you are already past full retirement age, then unfortunately becoming disabled has no effect on your benefits.

  30. I will be 65 in August 2016 and I am currently on disability. My ex husband of eighteen years is six years younger than me. I make very little, when can I start collecting his social or could I have gotten disability under his name. thank you

    • A divorced spouse may receive one-half of their ex-spouse’s full retirement or disability amount if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer, the person claiming benefits is age 62 or older, their ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and the benefits currently being received are less than would be received based on the ex-spouse’s work. So in your case it sounds like the crucial factor would be your ex-spouse would need to be entitled to retirement or disability benefits. This Social Security webpage has more information.

  31. Am I eligible for early retirement (62) vs full at (66) after being on SSDI for over ten years at a reduced benefit.

    • I don’t know why you are on a reduced benefit, but for most people, SSDI benefits convert automatically to retirement benefits upon reaching full retirement age, and the benefit amount does not change, so there is no reason to do anything at age 62.

      • My question doesn’t make sense in terms of continuing SSDI until 66, however, I have the opportunity to babysit for a relative on my good days. I’m 62 and depend on SSDI. If I could switch to SSI and babysit a couple hours a week. Does that make more sense? Thanks so much for your expeditious reply

        Mary

        • Sorry if I did not understand. Just to be clear, there are three types of benefits that may apply here: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), which you say you are already on; Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is also for disabled people and has income and assets restrictions for eligibility; and Social Security retirement benefits, which may be taken early at age 62, at a reduced amount.

          In your case, if you are already on SSDI, you are probably receiving the maximum benefit you could receive. SSI is only a set amount of $733 per month. For both SSDI and SSI (and retirement benefits before full retirement age), there are restrictions on how much you can work. However, you can do a small amount of work and still receive SSDI. This pdf has the details. Hope this is helpful. You can also call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 for more information.

  32. CONNIE NEATHERLIN // April 25, 2016 at 1:47 pm // Reply

    My husbsnd took early retirement. He eill be 65 in July. He has been working part time but now his back is too bad to work. Would he get an increase if he took disability over S.S.?

    • It sounds like he would fit into the exception described above, under the heading “Early Retirement Exception.” He could apply for SSDI, and, if found disabled, he could receive his full benefit amount for the time period between the date his disability began and his full retirement age. He should allege the earliest disability date possible; however, when a disability is found to have started after a person took early retirement, then their benefit will still go back down once they reach full retirement age.

  33. Gordon Lang // April 25, 2016 at 6:45 pm // Reply

    i have been collecting ssdi for 11 yeares, i am now 63, and would like to know if i loose my disability can i take an early retirement and would it be less then i am recieving now.

    • Taking early retirement before full retirement age results in a benefit amount that is lower than what one would receive at full retirement age, and likely lower than what one would receive for SSDI.

      • If your male spouse died after 40 plus yrs of marrage and i get widow benefits. Now i am 63 and have some medical problems as work is concerned. If i apply for early retirement can i still keep my widows pension? I am in the state of texas with this question at hand.

        • A person receiving widow’s or widower’s benefits may switch to their own retirement benefit as early as age 62 or as late as age 70, if it would be more than their survivor’s benefit. You would not receive both benefits, just the higher of the two. The rules are complicated and vary depending on the situation, so call 1-800-772-1213 to talk to a Social Security representative about your situation.

  34. A good friend of mine began drawing social security retirement at 65. He is now 75 he only gets $666 a month. He has no work history for the last 40 yrs his partner took care of him. Can he sign up for SSI since the benefit for SSI is $721 a month?

  35. I am age 65 and currently collecting SSI since age 62. I’ve recently become disabled and can no longer work at my part tin job. Can I switch over to SSI disability and collect the full benefit I would have been entitled to at age 66.

    • A person who starts taking Social Security early retirement benefits at age 62, and then becomes disabled before reaching full retirement age, can file for disability and, if approved, see an increase in their benefits. This is described above under the heading “Early Retirement Exception.”

  36. Dianne Schell // May 2, 2016 at 12:37 am // Reply

    My mother died in June of 1991. Her Social Security Check arrived in the mail before she died. We needed the money for her, not knowing she’d be gone the following day. She died in Michigan and her funeral was in North Carolina. When we returned to Michigan we received a rather cold letter from the SSA advising us to return the amount of her SS check. Should we have been allowed that money since she was alive when it was received and if so, how do we go about getting it?

    • Current policy is that Social Security checks are considered payment for the previous month, so payments received the same month a person dies would not need to be returned. This pdf has the details. However, I do not know if the same policy was in place in 1991, and it is unlikely that you would be able to appeal a decision made that long ago.

  37. I will be 62 May 6th 2016 and was diagnosed with colon rectal cancer Sept 2014 and was still working I didn’t know I would have so many complications, my employer keep me on payroll even though I was physically unabled to be at work till was laid off April 29th 2016. What date would I have to use as disabled date if I file for ss disability. Should I file for my social security for now and try for disability so I have a income coming in till see if approved for disability

    • A person in this situation can apply for disability and claim the earliest date possible for when the disability began. Then, if you have to take early retirement benefits at the reduced amount while your disability case is pending, you may be able to start receiving full benefits if your disability case is approved.

  38. susan sturgis // May 5, 2016 at 9:52 pm // Reply

    My mother receives social security for widows benefits, can she apply for disability as well? she is 73

    • Past full retirement age, disability is no longer a factor. Whether a person is receiving their own retirement benefit or survivor benefits, becoming disabled does not add an additional benefit.

  39. Having reviewed all the posted questions and your replies, I think my situation is a little different than anything covered so far.

    I am now 63, and have been on SSDI (NOT SSI) for about 2.5 years. My ex-spouse (c. 18 yr, marriage that ended in 2002) just turned 62, and is taking early retirement Social Security.

    Should I find out what my share of his benefits would be, and take that instead of my SSDI if the amount is more? How would this impact the amount I would receive at age 66 on my own SS?

    Related question: Is SSDI usually more than the age 62 retirement SS amount? — Is it equivalent to what the recipient would receive in SS at age 66?

    -Dawn

    • Yes, it is possible that your benefits as a divorced spouse would be higher than your own disability benefits, in which case you can receive the higher benefits. More on that here. The formula for divorced spousal benefits is complicated, so call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to ask them about your specific situation. There would be no change at age 66.

      Yes, SSDI is usually more than the age 62 retirement amount. SSDI is considered your “full benefit”; it may not be exactly what your full retirement benefit would have been (depends on when you became disabled), but it is comparable, and the early retirement amount is much less.

  40. Sheri Monti // May 18, 2016 at 1:33 am // Reply

    I am 59 and receive ssdi and looks like I will be reviewed around age 65 ,my question is if at that time I would be found no longer disabled would I be able to draw early social security benefits even though I have not worked d/t disability since I was 58, which would probably reduce my payment? I think full benefits are age 66 and 6 months,Thank you…I am fairly new to this and the booklet doesn’t go in to that I don’t think I will be able to work again but this question is a worry.

    • If you can show through medical records that your disability is continuing at the time of your review, then your benefits will continue. This is what happens in 95% of continuing disability reviews. Then, when you reach full retirement age, they will convert into retirement benefits in the full amount.

      If, at the time of your review, there is evidence that your condition has improved such that you are no longer disabled, then your disability benefits will stop. At that point, you would have the option of taking early retirement benefits in a lesser amount or waiting until your full retirement age to get your full benefit amount. In that scenario, you would still be eligible for retirement benefits. While eligibility for disability benefits depends on having earned enough credits in the years immediately before you become disabled, eligibility for retirement benefits continues, once you have earned enough credits, even if there is a period of not working. There is more information on credits here.

  41. Sheri Monti // May 20, 2016 at 11:58 am // Reply

    Thanks so much for the info.

  42. Jo Anne Mergenthaler // May 23, 2016 at 10:09 pm // Reply

    My husband passed away 2/25/2010 from Pancreatic Cancer. He was diagnosed Father’s Day weekend 2009 and was given 3 months to live. He held on for 8 months. He applied for disability benefits and that process took 6 months and then he had to wait a month to get his benefit which he received in Jan. He did not receive a benefit for Feb, since he passed. I was 57 yrs old then and worked full time.

    I started receiving his retirement benefit at age 591/2 yrs old, 3 yrs ago. Social Security told me that if my SS was more than his at my full retirement age it would switch automatically. I still continued to work after he passed but stepped down to part time work. At this time, age 60 I hurt my back at work, but they told me, after seeing their doctors and physical therapy that it was preexisting arthritis and osteoporosis. Even though my yearly physicals no doctor ever told me I had either. I consulted an attorney who told me I would have to quit work and I would get a one time settlement of 5,000 dollars. I didn’t want to quit working but I did have to step down to seasonal work because it hurt too much to stand too long or sit too long.

    So, I collect my husbands retirement still (a little over 1,000/mo)and I work seasonally retail work, a total of about 7 weeks out of the year (about 600/yr), would I be entitled for any other benefits. I live with my son, dil, and infant grandson and really need to get a place of my own and just don’t know how I can with the income I have. Things get stressful here and not sure what to do. Any advise appreciated.

    • Very sorry for your loss. As for additional benefits you might be entitled to, all I can really speak to are Social Security disability benefits. It is certainly possible to be found disabled based on arthritis (and osteoporosis, if it limits your activities). However, the fact that you are continuing to work could be an obstacle. Generally speaking, to receive Social Security disability benefits, you must have a disability that prevents you from working, and if you are engaging in “substantial gainful activity,” (SGA) then you cannot be disabled. One measure of SGA is making $1,090 or more per month, so you would need to be making less than that. You can find our how much your Social Security disability benefits would be by creating or logging into your my Social Security account. You can apply for benefits online here. If your initial application is denied, consult with an attorney. (With most attorneys, you will not have to pay anything up front.) If you are in the Tampa Bay area, you can call us at 813-444-2889.

  43. Anonymous // May 31, 2016 at 3:09 pm // Reply

    I am a truck driver and DOT pulled my physical because I had a stroke they say I have to be off work for 1 year I am on short term disability for 6 months then go on long term disability.
    I am 65 will be 66 in July can I start drawing SS retirement and my company disability benefits at same time

    • The language of your company’s disability insurance policy may allow them to offset Social Security retirement income (subtracting your SS income from what the LTD pays). It is common for such policies to have an offset for Social Security disability benefits, and they could have an offset for retirement benefits too. The policy may also require you to apply for any other benefits you are eligible for.

  44. Barbara fields // May 31, 2016 at 4:20 pm // Reply

    I have ssdi and just turned 65 can I retire and collect both?

    • Unfortunately, no. It is not possible to collect double benefits. Instead, when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will convert automatically to retirement benefits in the same amount.

  45. Janice Bailey // June 5, 2016 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    I am on SSDI and my husband receives a reduced amount for his SSI, apparently because we are married. We were told for him to receive his SSI he had to have a permanent fixed address. Is this accurate info? We want to travel for 6 months or so to visit friends and relatives we haven’t seen in years and our mail will go to a friend’s house. Also I am 58 and he is 53. When the time comes, can he collect off my retirement and keep his SSI?

    • Yes, Social Security requires a fixed address for SSI recipients. There are two main reasons for this. First, since SSI eligibility is based on income and assets, the nature of the household the person lives in (for instance if they receive free rent in someone else’s home) has bearing. Second, different states have different rules for any additional benefits they make available to SSI recipients, so if you are no longer a resident of the state, they want to know.

      According to this page, when an SSI recipient leaves a household during a certain month, as long as they intend to and do return during the same month or the next month, then it is considered a “temporary absence” and nothing changes. However, I know of no such provision for a 6-month period.

      When you reach retirement age, your husband may be able to receive spousal benefits of up to one-half of your benefits. However, since SSI is a needs-based program, his SSI may be reduced.

  46. Kellie simpkins // June 7, 2016 at 11:56 am // Reply

    I am on retirement but still work Part time. I can not live on the small retirement check. I have degenerative disc disease and physically I cannot work at all anymore. Is there anything that I can do for help in income?

  47. Buddy Brantley // June 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm // Reply

    My father in law retired early at 62 due to declining health (heart problems and diabetes) and tried to work a menial part time job to supplement his SS. He is currently 69 now and lost the job because he is simply physically unable to work. Is there anything he may possibly qualify for in terms of disability or is it too late for him?

    • Unfortunately, becoming disabled after one reaches full retirement age has no effect on benefits, as it is generally not possible to collect both retirement and disability benefits.

  48. I’m currently a full time employee. 67 years old. Started getting SS when I turned 66. Recently had surgery and am getting short term disability benefits. Is this ok?

    • After full retirement age, the income from working or from another disability program or policy has no effect on your Social Security retirement benefits. Some disability policies or programs have offsets for income from other sources, so it is possible this will affect you. You can look at the terms of the policy or program to find out.

  49. Great. That’s what I was hoping. Thank you for responding.

  50. Hard Core
    If a person took an early retirement at age 60 because of illness and receive their supplemental income retirement from their job. Is it true that at age 62 their supplement income will stop and they will only receive their dollar amount of their retirement? If they are receiving SSDI already will they be able to receive their social security at age 62?

    • For your first question, if you are talking about an employer-based early retirement policy, you would need to consult the terms of that policy. Many policies require the person to apply for any government benefits they are eligible for, and the policy may have an offset that subtracts the amount of the government benefit from the amount you receive via your employer.

      For your second question, the answer is no. For someone already receiving SSDI benefits, it is not possible to receive additional retirement benefits. In this case, nothing will happen at age 62, as there is no opportunity to take early Social Security retirement benefits. Instead, upon reaching full retirement age, the Social Security disability benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount.

  51. Janine Bradburn // June 14, 2016 at 9:54 am // Reply

    I have been on SSDI since June 2011. It is my only income. I am a Navy veteran. I am 61 years old. Can I collect early SS benefits as well?

    • Unfortunately, no. What happens in this situation is that upon reaching full retirement age, the Social Security disability benefits will convert automatically to Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount. It is not possible to receive both.

  52. My son just got his navy psd can he receive anything else it’s hard to live on $600 a month he served 15 yrs for this country it’s a shame

  53. Mr Conley, I would like to thank you in advance for my question.My mother up to recently had been collecting edd disability due to a job accident and now has exhausted her benefits and she is now 62 & unable to work.Would it be best she apply for retirement then a yr later apply for SSI to take benefit of the “freeze”.Or will she need to wait until 64,since the full retirement age is now 66?Thank you

    • Generally someone in this situation should apply for disability benefits before taking early retirement benefits (or at least claim a disability onset date earlier than the date they took early retirement benefits). That way, if they have to appeal their disability case, they get their early retirement benefits in the meantime. If the disability is later approved and found to have started before the person started taking early retirement benefits, they’ll get their full benefit amount, retroactively and going forward.

      There is no reason to wait in order to take advantage of the “freeze.” The sooner the better, and one should always apply as soon as one becomes disabled. Sorry if that may be unclear above.

  54. I took an early retirement at age 50 and receive a small monthly annuity and wanted to look for other full-time work to make up the difference. 7 months into looking I became disabled and applied, will my early retirement annuity have any bearing on my SSDI payments if I get approved?

    • An employer-provided pension or similar policy should have no effect in terms of qualifying for or receiving SSDI benefits, because it is considered passive income. (From Social Security’s point of view, what matters is income from working, because that could show that you are working enough that you are not disabled.)

      However, you should also take a look at the terms of the early retirement policy from your employer. Depending on the type of policy, it is possible that there is an offset for other benefits, such that if you receive other benefits, the amount you receive from the employer-provided policy is reduced. (This is more often the case with employer-provided disability policies rather than retirement policies, but it’s a good idea to check and make sure.)

  55. My wife started drawing SSDI in 2006 because of End Stage Renal Failure. She had a kidney transplant in 2014. She is still drawing SSDI and we are wondering if she should file for early SSI as she is now 65?

    • When you say “early SSI” I think you are talking about early Social Security retirement benefits rather than SSI. Since your wife is already receiving SSDI benefits, what will happen is at full retirement age the SSDI benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits, in the same amount. There will be no change in the amount and there is nothing to apply for. It is generally not possible to receive both SSDI and retirement benefits at the same time.

      (SSI is for low-income people. People receiving SSDI are sometimes eligible for SSI as well, but only if their income is less than $733 per month, in which case the SSI brings them up to $733 per month. If that is the case, then one can apply for SSI at any time.)

  56. Cathy Wyatt // June 24, 2016 at 9:54 pm // Reply

    My husband took a buyout from GM 4 yrs ago and retired due to health issues. GM agreed to supplement his pension with what would be considered some SS until age 62 when he has to file for SS. He was just granted SS disability and we just received his first check, which included back pay dating from Feb. 2014. My husband knows he has to inform GM he is now receiving SS but are we going to be required to pay back the money they supplemented for the last 1 1/2 yrs? We did not know they would back pay based on the date he was disabled. He probably gets $1,700 a month supplemented so you can see that would be quite a lot of money to repay. I’m of the belief that we are not “Double-dipping” as my husband thinks, since money was paid from GM and now SS.

    What is your opinion? Or have you had anyone else from GM ask a similar question?

    • It will depend on the written language of the policy or agreement from GM, so you should read that and probably have a lawyer in your area look at it as well.

      Different employer pensions and disability policies have different terms. Some things to look for would be whether there are different provisions regarding what happens if he receives disability benefits rather than early retirement benefits, and whether the terms mention anything about back payments or just that he has to inform them when he starts receiving benefits.

  57. Bonnie Fox-Williams // June 27, 2016 at 10:05 am // Reply

    I found your site very helpful and informative. Thank you ! You have given me greater understanding of the system.

  58. My wife was award ssd, ssi, and back child benefits, will she get a check from all 3? Ssd and child benefits EOD is August 2010 and ssi feb 2013. How much u think her back pay will be?

    • You can estimate the amount of back pay by creating or logging in to a My Social Security account to see the amount of your monthly disability payment, then multiplying by the number of months since your established onset date (EOD). However, for SSDI you need to subtract five months because they do not pay for the first five months you are disabled. Also, the maximum retroactive payment is 12 months prior to the application date. (And SSI pays only from the application date forward.)

      Generally, the only time people receive both SSDI and SSI is if the SSDI payments are low enough that the SSI is needed to bring the person’s income up to $733 per month.

  59. Judy Johnson // June 28, 2016 at 3:02 pm // Reply

    Im 61 and receiving disability retirement frm another entity . Can i apply for ss now and also keep receiving my disability.

    • First of all, for SSDI, you would have to have worked enough in recent years to still be “insured.” You can check by creating or logging in to a My Social Security account and see what it says you would receive in disability benefits.

      If you are eligible for SSDI, then there are two questions: will your payments from the other entity affect SSDI, and will your payments from SSDI affect the payments from the other entity.

      For the first question, it depends on what the other entity is. Generally, if it is from a private pension or insurance, it does not affect SSDI. If it is a government pension, it may affect SSDI.

      The second question is whether any SSDI benefits you receive will affect your other entity payments. This depends on the terms of the other entity program or policy, and you would have to look to the language of that policy. It is possible that they would offset your benefits if you receive SSDI.

  60. Janet Thompson // June 29, 2016 at 1:54 pm // Reply

    I have not worked since 12/2015 however I did start drawing Social Security 11/2015. I am unable to perform normal work functions and want to know if I can draw disability even though I am no longer working or if disability can be added to my Social Security? I have no retirement. I am 66 years old. Thank you for your time.

    • Unfortunately, once you are receiving your full Social Security retirement benefits, then any disability you may have has no effect, as it is generally not possible to receive both retirement and disability benefits at the same time.

  61. John R BlackSr // June 30, 2016 at 4:26 pm // Reply

    J Black
    My question is if I go on Disability no at age 62 I would receive $1058 a month and my early retirement would be $833 a month.If I wait until age 66 my retirement would be $1083, what would I be receiving ? disability or retirement and how much.

    • If you are found disabled then you would receive the $1058 per month disability benefit, and when you reach full retirement age it would convert into a retirement benefit in the same amount.

      One option that many people take is to apply for disability first. Then, if they are denied at first and are waiting for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge, they take the early retirement benefits in the meantime, and if they are found disabled, then the amount goes up to the disability amount, retroactively and going forward, as described in the Early retirement exception section above.

  62. Thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
    My mother has been on SSI due to a mental disability (she did not have enough credits for SSDI). She is now 63 1/2 and the SS office states that I have to apply for her for retirement benefits. Her ex husband who she was married to for 20 years has passed. My question is that if she qualifies for retirement widows survivor benefits will her Medicaid be taken away or changed to medicare. For example if she receives 600 on her ex husbands benefits and then 125 on SSI will she still continue to have Medicaid? And will it be SSDI that they give her because she is disabled?

    • Her new benefits would not be SSDI, but surviving spouse’s benefits. That may make her eligible for Medicare, and it may even be required that she sign up. This may be a good thing; one advantage is that more doctors accept Medicare than Medicaid. It is possible that she will be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, and low-income people can also get help with the Medicare premium costs through Medicare Savings Programs such as the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program.

  63. Robin R Minor // July 3, 2016 at 10:19 am // Reply

    I am a 50 year old woman. Who might be considered disabled. I had a stroke and heart attack in the past 4 years. I’m under 2 specialist and a PCP Care. My doctors have had to put me on live since February 11- 2016. I’m not getting any better, I’ve applied for either SSI or SSDI. It’s been since December of last year. The Social Security Administration has not requested my medical records from 3 hospitals yet. The job where I was working said I quit, even though my doctors were facing them. Can I apply for unemployment insurance, to no fault of my own. And still try and get SSDI or SSI?

    • Regarding your SSDI/SSI claim, you may want to consider hiring a Social Security disability attorney in your area. Usually you would owe no fee unless the attorney is successful in obtaining benefits for you.

      Regarding unemployment insurance, yes you can apply, but it may affect your SSDI/SSI claim. The problem with accepting unemployment insurance benefits is that by doing so you are claiming that you are actively looking for work, and this would usually contradict the claim that you are unable to work due to your disability. If you hire an attorney, they would be able to advise you on the best approach for your situation.

  64. John Sterling // July 3, 2016 at 1:24 pm // Reply

    I was forced to retire back in 2007 when I had a back surgery that made me worse. The doctor wrote a note saying that any type of employment was out of the question for me. I had started collecting disability in November of 2008. I also received a lump sum check going back 24 months about 9 months later. Now that I am 62 years and will be 63 this year in September, does that mean I can also collect social security benefits.

    • Unfortunately, no. It is generally not possible to collect both retirement and disability benefits from Social Security. What will happen is when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will convert automatically to retirement benefits in the same amount.

  65. I have receiving a small disability ckeck from an insurance co. Plus my sedition. My. Sadi was reduced to show this. Now that I am turning 65 the insurance ckeck stops. Will. SS recalibrate my Sadi to show this lost of income?

    • It depends on the type of other disability benefits you were getting. Check out this Social Security webpage for information about how different types of other payments may affect your disability benefits.

      • Presently working 32 hrs per week at age 73. Receiving SS benefit and worker comp benefit due to a broken elbow had surgery to repair elbow with a plate. Receiving WC benefit for 3 months now. Having occupational therapy three times a week. Still having pain weakness and numbness in my right hand. Can one acquire disability benefits in conjunction with SS Benefit? With doctors consent.

        • Generally speaking, one of the requirements for receiving Social Security disability benefits is that you are not engaged in “substantial gainful activity,” (SGA) which basically means “work.” In 2016, the SGA limit is $1,130, so if you are making more than that amount per month, then you would usually not be eligible for disability benefits.

  66. Maria Barnes // July 6, 2016 at 4:51 am // Reply

    if i am recieving disability ssi, can i still apply for my x husband’s retirement to?

    • Yes, this is possible, if you were married for more than 10 years and you are age 62 or older. If the divorced spouse’s benefits were higher than your SSI amount, you would get the higher amount only, not both. If the divorced spouse’s benefits were lower than the SSI amount, then you would still not get both; instead, the SSI amount would be adjusted such that it would bring you up to the SSI maximum ($733 per month in 2016). More information on divorced spouse’s benefits is available here.

  67. Dennis Figi // July 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm // Reply

    So the way I read this you can collect social security disability and your social security at age 62 as long as your disabled after you start collecting your 62 early retirement.
    Thanks
    Dennis Figi

    • While the Early retirement exception discussed above can result in a situation where people receive both retirement and disability benefits for the same time period, it never results in double benefits, just a combination of benefits to bring them up to their full disability benefit amount. Thank you for your comment, as it prompted me to revise the language above somewhat to hopefully make this point clear.

  68. Luis C Nunez // July 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm // Reply

    Thank you for your time Brendan , I am 62 1/2 and have been receiving short term disability via my jobs insurance . The insurance company only approves 1 month at a time. They keep requesting additional medical reports most of the reports they already have in their possession. I have been diagnosed with Narcolepsy, Idiopathic Hypersomnia, sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension. Which I am told by my doctors that there is no cure.
    Now I am without income and want to know if I can apply for early Social Security benefits and is it possible to also file for SSD? Still waiting to hear from Medical insurance review to approve me for this short term/long term disability. Any advise will be greatly appreciated..

    • Yes, this is possible. Many people choose to file for Social Security disability benefits, and then while they are waiting for a decision, apply for Social Security early retirement benefits. In that scenario, you would receive the retirement benefits in a reduced amount due to taking them early, but if you were found to be disabled, then the Early retirement exception discussed above would apply, and you would get your full benefit amount retroactively and going forward.

  69. Chris John // July 11, 2016 at 4:57 pm // Reply

    So once at retirement age, SSI payment will become SS retirement payment. My question is will the SSI status be removed from my record such that I won’t be to apply for certain benefits say Lifeline for SSI status, Thanks in advance.

    • Actually, when someone is receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits rather than Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, then the SSI benefits will not necessarily convert to anything. SSI provides benefits to low-income people who are disabled or elderly, so if a person’s income remains low, they will just continue to receive SSI for the rest of their life. For instance, this is the case with someone who has never worked.

      What SSI will require that a person do is apply for any other benefits they are eligible for, including early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62. This might be the case for someone who had worked enough to qualify for Social Security retirement benefits but not enough to qualify for SSDI. So at age 62, the person would have to take whatever retirement benefits they are eligible for. If those benefits (and all their other income) are less than the SSI amount, then the person will continue to get SSI to bring them up to the full SSI benefit amount. If their income is greater than the SSI amount, then they would no longer receive SSI.

      You can find out what your retirement benefit would be by creating or logging in to a My Social Security account.

  70. I started receiving disability a few years ago I turn 62 this past September of 2015 can I receive Social Security

    • If you’re receiving SSDI, then your Social Security disability benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach full retirement age. It is generally not possible to receive both disability and retirement benefits.

  71. Does Dialysis qualify as terminsl..csn i get any mote thsn $730 a m9nth?”

    • A person undergoing dialysis for chronic kidney disease should meet Social Security’s standard of disability and be approved for benefits relatively quickly. The amount received in benefits depends on whether one has worked enough and recently enough to qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. If so, the amount of benefits varies by individual. A person without enough work credits may still qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which have income and resource limits. The federal maximum SSI benefit for an individual in 2016 is $733 per month.

  72. EDWARD L LEPORIS // July 17, 2016 at 6:39 am // Reply

    Hi I’m receiving RSDI parents under my father’s amount and I’m in Colorado now can I get SSI and RSDI ?

    • Generally, SSI is only available if you are disabled and your other benefits are less than the federal benefit rate ($733 per month in 2016), in which case the SSI would pay only enough to bring you up to the maximum federal benefit of $733 per month.

  73. Robin R Minor // July 19, 2016 at 10:55 am // Reply

    Thank you for answering my question. In the question of unemployment. The job I had said I quit, but I didn’t. Everytime I had an appointment I let them know ahead of time. On several occasions when I was working, I would actually have an episode. And my co-workers would tell me or take me to my supervisor. She would actually say to my face” gosh Robin you and your explicit word blood pressure. That she couldn’t lete go home because she didn’t have enough workers. I would always have my primary care physician fax all my information from when I had the appointment to the job. Including how high my blood pressure was. And how I was feeling. Even when I was sent to the hospital when the EMTS came to get me from work. The job said I voluntary quit. When doctors where sending faxes saying the amount of time I should of been bed resting.

    • Employers may claim that an employee quit voluntarily in order to reduce their unemployment insurance obligations. If you are applying for unemployment benefits, then in general terms the termination of your employment needs to have happened through no fault of your own (this could even include quitting voluntarily under certain circumstances). For Social Security disability benefits, however, you can be eligible for benefits regardless of the nature of the termination.

  74. Robin R Minor // July 19, 2016 at 3:34 pm // Reply

    Thank you again for responding. So even though Unemployment says you have to be able to work to get it. Still to no fault of my own I didn’t quit. I had and still have evidence that I was under doctors and specialist care on my health. Can I still apply for unemployment cause I didn’t quit?

    • Yes, you can apply, and state the circumstances of the termination of your employment. Your former employer may contest the claim. And, as mentioned before, when you apply for unemployment benefits, you are generally stating that you are willing and able to work. This can complicate a claim for Social Security disability benefits, because to get disability benefits you are stating that you are not able to work.

  75. Patricia Susan Westfall // July 19, 2016 at 4:17 pm // Reply

    I received unemployment and as soon as my disability came thru I went off unemployment. Without unemployment I would have been broke. The lawyer is right make sure you tell them everything and you may have to have the people from unemployment to contact your former employer for additional information. My former employer let me go and didn’t even have the courtesy of letting me know. The unemployment office informed me. My work didn’t fight against me getting unemployment. So don’t worry it can be done. Good luck.

  76. Can u retired at 49 years old in receive reduce retired disability

    • To be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, you have to be found disabled, meaning that there is medical evidence of a condition that prevents you from being able to work. This can happen at any age. Social Security retirement benefits are a separate matter. A person may take early retirement at age 62, accepting a reduced amount in exchange for starting retirement benefits before reaching full retirement age.

  77. Chrysoula Holtzhauer // July 21, 2016 at 4:12 pm // Reply

    My dad is 72 and retired. But now he has cancer and can’t work at. Can he get disability & medicare for his cancer? And will this lessen the amount of retirement he already gets? Thanks

    • He should already be eligible for Medicare, but he may not have signed up if he was still getting health insurance through work. If he stops working, he can sign up for Medicare. And it sounds like he is already receiving Social Security retirement benefits. Disability benefits are only a factor before full retirement age. Once a person has reached full retirement age, then becoming disabled does not provide any additional benefits.

  78. Susan Brown // July 22, 2016 at 5:33 pm // Reply

    I have spent hours scouring the internet to no avail searching for an answer to this question. My husband became disabled at age 63 in 2014. He will turn full retirement age at 66 in 2017. We know the file and suspend laws were all changed this year. I too am on disability and draw from my own work history, so do not need to draw from him. What we want to do is before his Social Security Disability income converts to retirement Social Security Income on his 66th birthday, is stop the conversion and delay starting his regular Retirement Social Security for as long as possible, hopefully until he reaches 70. If we can do without his social security for the short term, we feel it will be more beneficial to us down the road being able to draw the accrued growth on his retirement Social Security. I realize we are unusual in that I have my Social Security income in place. Any knowledge or advice with first and foremost, can he stop the conversion from Disability to retirement Social Security and second, how exactly would be the best way to go about stopping his Disability Income before it converts. I would genuinely be grateful for the help.

    • Yes, you can suspend his retirement benefits for any period of time between his full retirement age and age 70 for the purpose of earning delayed retirement credits and receiving a higher benefit amount at age 70 or whenever he decides to restart benefits.

      It is not really a matter of stopping the conversion from disability to retirement benefits. That will happen when he reaches full retirement age, and indeed that has to happen in order for him to be able to suspend. Once his benefits have converted, then he will be in the position of any other retired person who can, before age 70, suspend their benefits for the purpose of earning delayed retirement credits.

      You can suspend retirement benefits by notifying Social Security orally or in writing.

      As you mentioned, the old “file and suspend” loophole has been closed. You can still suspend benefits, but any spousal benefits would also be suspended.

      To help me answer this question, I referred to A Social Security Owner’s Manual (4th edition, with the new file and suspend rules), by Jim Blankenship, which you may also find helpful.

  79. Janice Bailey // July 24, 2016 at 12:59 am // Reply

    I am on SSDI and my husband is on SSI which is reduced apparently because I was on SSDI before he was on SSI. I get $755 a month and he gets $365. I know I can work on a trial basis but my question is can my husband work on a trial basis

  80. Levenita Holder // July 25, 2016 at 10:54 am // Reply

    Can one receive full retirement payment at age 66….if they are currently been receiving disability payments for the past 16 yrs…

    • For someone receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, their disability benefits will convert into retirement benefits at full retirement age, in the same amount. This is considered their full benefit.

  81. I m already collecting social security at 66 now im unable to work.Can i collect disability!

  82. Susan Brown // July 27, 2016 at 9:10 am // Reply

    Thank you for getting back. I couldn’t find one answer to my specific question on any website including Social Security’s! It clearly says file and suspend is still in play, albeit without the “loophole”, but no where in the disability Q. & A. does it address my question. Your time was appreciated!

  83. i have widow benefits since i am 62. lost my job 2 yrs ago been booking ever since , but now have hurt my lower back and can’t sit stand or walk too much. Can i receive ssdi and my regular ss. thank you

    • It is possible that the SSDI benefits you would be eligible for under your own work record would be more than you are receiving in survivor benefits. If that is the case, then upon establishing that you are disabled, you would be able to receive the higher benefit (but not both). You can contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to find out whether your own SSDI benefits would be higher than your survivor benefits.

  84. Deborah Cobb // July 27, 2016 at 12:17 pm // Reply

    I have already applied and was accepted for early retirement (I just turned 62). I will not start getting benefits until the end of Sept. I requested early retirement because I had carpal tunnel surgery on both wrist 2 years ago and I am still in a lot of pain with both arms. I also previously had surgery on 1 of my wrist 20 years ago. This was all covered by workers comp. I am in pain everyday at my job. I have been at my job over 33 years. Can I now try to get SSDI? I have 2 months to go before the early ss kicks in.

    • Yes, you can apply for SSDI, and you should allege the earliest onset date possible. If you are denied at first, it may take many months to get approved. (You may want to hire a lawyer to help you.) You can continue to get reduced early retirement benefits in the meantime, and if you are found disabled, then you would receive your full benefit amount rather than the reduced amount.

  85. I just started receiving SSDI and I am 60 years old should I apply for a disability freeze or is it automatic. Also my wife is 6 months younger than me, what is the best time for her to file she has her own earnings record but it is much lower than mine.

    • The disability freeze is automatic. Starting from the established onset date of your disability, Social Security will not count the time period during which you collect disability benefits, when they compute your retirement benefits. The net result is that the amount of your benefit will stay the same when it converts from disability benefits to retirement benefits at full retirement age.

      As for your wife, she may apply for benefits at a reduced amount as early as age 62. Social Security will pay her own benefit first, and if her benefit based on your record is higher, then they will pay an additional amount so that the combination of benefits equals the higher amount. See this page for details. She can also wait until full retirement age to receive a higher amount.

  86. RAY BARBERIO // August 4, 2016 at 9:38 pm // Reply

    I’m a disabled veteran I became disabled in 2001 I turn 62 in August should I apply for Social Security disability or early retirement thank you Ray

    • If you are disabled, you will probably want to apply for Social Security disability benefits.

      You don’t mention whether you are receiving veterans benefits, but in any case it is possible to receive both veterans benefits and Social Security disability benefits.

      You can apply for Social Security disability benefits and then, while your application is pending, take Social Security early retirement benefits at a reduced rate. Then, if you are later found to have been disabled, you will be eligible for your full benefit rather than the reduced benefit, as described in the article above.

  87. micki batson // August 5, 2016 at 11:26 am // Reply

    I have been receiving FECA and social security retirement disability; is there a coordination of benefits?

    • You can receive both types of benefits at the same time, but there may be an offset. For people receiving FECA and SSDI, their total benefits may not exceed 80 percent of their average monthly income when they became disabled. This article has more details.

  88. Cathy Russo // August 8, 2016 at 10:28 am // Reply

    I’m not 100% clear about this explanation. My husband is 61 and needs to file for disability. His disability amount is higher than his social security. So would he receive the Disability amount? Can he receive the combination of the Disability and the Social Security amount?

    • If he is found disabled, then he would receive his disability amount. Then when he reaches full retirement age, the disability benefits would convert automatically to retirement benefits in the same amount.

  89. i have had severe axiety and depression for 40plus yrs ,i am 63 now,i have been on medications for all of those years ,i did not have hardley any income from 18 to 33 because of the anxiety,panic attacks.depression,social anxiety,at 34 i managed to get a job and keep it and retire from,sometime barely able to hold on to it,missing a lot of days,i had 7 sick days when i retired at 62,i should have had hundreds,i do get a pension and early social security,my mom died and i could not do it any more ,i got worse,i never wanted to work a single day in my life,i saw this article and i feel like i should try and apply for disability.i would like some advice from you if you have any or recommend someone in louisville ky or do i quailify for disability,thare is much more ,i have not slept ina bed in 30 yrs ,sleep apnea.i would appreciate some advice.what should i do.thanks garry

    • Yes, you can apply for Social Security disability benefits. If you are found to be disabled, then your benefits will increase as described in the article above. I recommend contacting an attorney in your area. The best way to find one is to call the NOSSCR referral line at 1-800-431-2804. You can also start an application yourself by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213.

    • i have contacted an attorney,i have not heard back,should i wait for him or go ahead and file?i have not seen a diagnosed by anyone except family doctors,i have seen quits a few over 40yrs of dealing with this,should the lawyer,he is a disability lawyer not take the case should i try another,i have other medical issues also ,thanks for your time.garry louisville ky

      • Having an attorney represent you is highly recommended. So yes, you may have to call a few in your area, but you should keep trying.

        The decision of whether to start the application yourself or wait until you have an attorney is up to you. There is no requirement to be represented by an attorney at any stage, but you may wish to have an attorney advise you with the application.

  90. I applied for early social security benefits at age 62, and will receive first check in sept. 2016. Is it possible for me to apply for disability now, I have prolapse organs, and Underactive thyroid for over 30 yrs, and Ibs (D)for over 30 yrs. I just didn’t know when I applied for social security if I could apply for these health disabilities. I worked at one job for 27 yrs, I have paperwork for the last 5 yrs to show the prolapse bladder, going to pelvic therapy, take thyroid meds, and suffer daily with the ibs. I actually left my job of 27 yrs at age 57 1/2 because I suffered from the ibs so bad, and had many problems from fatigue, brain fog from the thyroid. would like to apply for the disability benefit if that is possible now that I’m 62, and have applied for social security. Thank you so much.

  91. Thank you so much for helping. I appreciate the quick response

  92. Janice Bailey // August 12, 2016 at 12:43 am // Reply

    A friend of mine just found out she qualifies for widow’s benefits from SSA. She filed for disability several months ago. Can she collect both?

    • Generally speaking, she would only receive the highest benefit amount available, not double benefits.

      In some cases, a person may receive both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits on their own record, and also some excess survivor’s benefits, if the survivor’s benefits are more than their own SSDI benefits, but it still only brings you up to the amount of the highest single benefit amount. In that case, Social Security would pay the person their full SSDI benefits, and then pay them excess survivor’s benefits to bring them up to the total survivor’s benefit amount. So in that situation, they are getting benefits from two sources, but not double benefits.

      Another way that disability relates to survivor benefits is that if the surviving spouse is disabled, they can collect survivor’s benefits as early as age 50, if their disability started within 7 years of their spouse’s death, rather than having to wait until age 60.

  93. I am on 100% S. S. disability since about age 56. Will my S.S. benefit amount decrease at age 62 or at retirment age? I was born Jan.23,1956. This is all so confusing. I wanted to try nd work a part time job, not sure I can buy am afraid bt reading all of this I will.loose my benifits.I am divorced after 30yrs of marriage and he made a bit more money than I did.Will I be able to receive a portion of thst at 62?

    • If you are receiving SSDI benefits, then they will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach full retirement age. (Nothing will happen at age 62.)

      Generally speaking, not being able to work is part of the definition of disability as far as Social Security is concerned, and if you earn more than a certain amount per month ($1,130 in 2016), then Social Security may decide you are no longer eligible for benefits. There are exceptions, such as a trial work period. And once your disability benefits convert into retirement benefits, then you can work without your benefits being reduced.

      Yes, it is possible that your divorced surviving spouse’s benefits could be higher than your own SSDI benefits, in which case you would receive the higher benefit, but not both.

  94. thanks for the reply,what do you think my chances are with what i have told you?

    • There are too many different factors that come into play for me to be able to say what your chances of being approved are. However, from what you mentioned, I would say it is strong enough that you should move forward with contacting an attorney in your area or applying for benefits yourself.

  95. thank you mr.conley,if you know someone who has friend they would recommend{ social security lawyer} please let me know

    • I recommend any member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). You can connect with a lawyer in your area by calling their referral line at 1-800-431-2804.

  96. thanks,i assume this is and will be a long process?i have ordered my records from the doctors that are still alive

    • It can be a long process. It is possible to be approved on the initial application, but many people have to request a hearing before an administrative law judge, and the current backlog means that there is usually over a year wait for a hearing.

  97. Hi I have a few questions, I have been on disability for 14 months, received state disability for a year. An attorney filed for me SSDI, in Calif. Nov. 2015. I was put on wc-disability since Jan. 2016 but I am not getting any payments, wc says has been delay. I could start getting payment from my employer private pension, but need to quit my job. What will happens If I get SSDI. Can I get the pension also. or wait for wc to start paying temporary disability. Or will I be able to get the three payments? WC, SSDI & Pension. I asked my wc attorney and also called SS 800# did not get a clear answer. i am 63 and will need to buy health insurance, Thank you in advance.

    • Generally speaking, it is possible to get workers’ compensation benefits, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, and an employer-provided pension at the same time. However, there may be offsets that prevent you from receiving the full amount from all three types of benefits.

      One offset that applies to people receiving both workers’ comp and SSDI is that the total amount you receive from both programs cannot total more than 80 percent of your previous income. Social Security will lower your SSDI benefits to reflect this, but will raise them again if your workers’ comp payments stop.

      Social Security will not lower your SSDI benefits to offset a private pension or employer-provided disability payment, but it is possible that the employer plan itself may have an offset that lowers your employer payments if you get SSDI. Check the terms of the policy or program.

      By the way, one of the requirements to be found disabled for SSDI is that you are not able to engage in substantial gainful activity, so you can’t get benefits if you are working and earning more than a certain amount ($1,130 in 2016).

  98. Hello there,
    I have question in regards to my father, my father is disable cannot work anymore since 2006 he stop working and had a mild stroke 2007, he is getting benefit.
    but in 2012 he went back to the Philippine with my mom, he still getting something.
    now that he is back here with me and separated from my mom, we are applying for his SSI, and when we went for his second appointment the sss rep told us that my dad has 269.00 monthly allowance for sss because he said out of 269.00 he is only getting 150.00 and the rest goes to his medical. so is that mean that what ever he is getting 269.00 is that for his SSDI.
    is he going to be getting that also even thought he gets SSS
    and what is Medicare and medical does he need these two,.

    • There are certain situations where a person gets both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits at the same time. This would happen if the person’s SSDI benefits were low enough that they would still need SSI to bring them up to the maximum SSI benefit of $733 per month. However, I can’t tell if that’s what is happening in your case or not. There are other reasons why a person’s SSI benefits would be lower than $733 per month, for instance if they have other income.

      As for Medicare and Medicaid, in general a person receiving SSDI gets Medicare and a person receiving SSI gets Medicaid. Someone receiving both types of benefits may be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

  99. Hi, I do not have enough credits for SS Disability. I am divorced but was married for 10 years, I am not remarried. I’m 53 years old and have a disability. If I were approved for disability, can I collect off of my ex husbands credits? He is 59 years old, remarried and still working.
    I am not eligible for SSSI due to a rental property I own so I have too many assets. Thank You!!

  100. Can i have both ssd ssi retirement if i am dying from kidney failure

    • If you need a kidney transplant or need dialysis to survive, then you should be approved for disability with no problem. You may also qualify for a compassionate allowance, which allows your claim to be decided in about three weeks rather than having to wait for several months. In addition, you should qualify for Medicare right away instead of having to wait two years after you become disabled.

      However, there is no provision for double benefits in any case. As detailed above, generally one cannot receive both Social Security disability and Social Security retirement benefits at the same time.

      As for SSDI and SSI, some people receive benefits from both programs, but only when their SSDI benefit amount is so low that they still qualify for SSI to bring them up to the $733 per month SSI amount.

  101. Paulette Black // August 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm // Reply

    Hello!

    Since suffering a hip fracture in an auto accident many, many years ago, I have developed pain when standing, walking and sitting that has spread to pain also in my back and knees. I am 62, and after reading one of your earlier responses I decided to first apply for disability, and then if that is denied to take my early retirement benefits so that I can support myself until the final decision is made regarding disability.

    I spoke with a law firm that said they would be happy to help me file my disability claim, but that they would NOT be able to help me if I planned to take early retirement. Although I asked several times, they would not give me a reason why they could not help me if I decide to take the “early retirement exception.”

    1. Do you have any idea why a law firm would refuse to recognize my taking this option?

    2. Also, do you advise that a person start out attempting to file disability on their own using the SocialSecurity.gov website, or is it a better idea to get an attorney for the very first attempt to file?

    Thank you.

    • 1. The fee that an attorney can receive directly from Social Security is 25 percent of the claimant’s back pay, up to a maximum of $6,000. (The back pay period is from the established onset date of your disability up to when your benefits are awarded.) When you have a disability case pending but are taking early retirement in the meantime, then your back pay is only going to be the difference between your early retirement amount and your full benefit amount, times the number of months in the back pay period, rather than, as in the usual case, your full benefit amount, times the number of months in the back pay period. A lower amount of back pay means less money to take 25 percent of, so a lower fee for the attorney. Perhaps that firm was not willing to take your case because they anticipated a low fee.

      2. There are different opinions about this. I often advise clients to start the application on their own, and if they get a denial letter, call me back. There are other attorneys who would advise having an attorney handle everything from the start.

  102. judith august // August 19, 2016 at 1:18 pm // Reply

    I am 65 years old and laid off. can I collect social security and unemployment without income income restictions?

    • First of all, it depends on whether you’re talking about Social Security retirement benefits, or Social Security disability benefits. I’ll discuss both.

      For retirement benefits, there is generally no problem with receiving both types of benefits at the same time, but you should inform both agencies about the benefits you receive from the other. Social Security does not reduce your retirement benefit due to you receiving unemployment benefits. As for whether your state reduces your unemployment benefits due to you receiving Social Security retirement benefits, you have to research your state’s laws. Most states do not reduce benefits, but Illinois, Louisiana, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia have a 50 percent offset.

      For disability benefits, there is a problem with trying to collect both unemployment benefits and disability benefits, because to be eligible for unemployment benefits you must be able and willing to work, and for disability benefits you must be unable to work.

  103. mr.conley,i was turned down by the first lawyer i called,i tryed to apply my self online,it would not except it,stating the information they had was different that the info in there system,would you drop it our continue to pursue? thanks,i guess he antisipated a low fee.like in paulettes situation,i already get early retirement,had i known i would have done it differeantly.thanks

  104. My mother was drawing ss disability. She has now reached retirement age and her check has converted to ss. She was married to my dad for 24 yrs before they divorced and she never remarried. My dad made a lot more income than she did. Can she draw off of his ss record? I was under the impression she could, but I believe someone at ss office told her she couldn’t.
    Thanks dawn

    • Yes, if her ex-spouse is eligible for retirement or disability benefits (or is deceased) and the amount that she would receive as a divorced spouse is greater than the amount she is receiving on her own record, then she would receive the higher amount (not both).

  105. thanks ,i wish you had a practice in louisville,ky.i will keep in touch let you know how it goes

  106. Fernando Quintana // August 22, 2016 at 10:41 pm // Reply

    I’m 63 been on disability last 5 years.S.S.office is putting me on retirement now.I will loose me Medicaid health ins.which I need.

    • It sounds like you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits and the Medicaid that comes with that. One of the requirements of the SSI program is that you must apply for any other benefits for which you are eligible, including early retirement benefits. If your early retirement benefits are less than the SSI amount ($733 in 2016), then you would still be eligible for some SSI and Medicaid. If your early retirement benefits are more than the SSI amount, then unfortunately you would lose eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. Medicare becomes available at age 65, and in the meantime you may have to explore other options such as purchasing health insurance at healthcare.gov.

  107. hi,mr.conley,i have a question,if you take early retirement the amount you recieve will stay the same ,and will not change ,even when you reach the age of full retirement?correct?

  108. Nancy Nazzaro // August 23, 2016 at 3:49 pm // Reply

    Im 55 years old and receiving disability $806 month.for the past 10 months. If I take early retirement at age 62 will that amount be in addition? I only worked a little so the amount will be around $300 or less a month, Thanks

    • No, once you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then what will happen is the disability benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach full retirement age. Nothing happens at age 62, and it is not possible to receive both benefits at the same time.

  109. mr.conley,if i had know before appling for early retiement that i could have quailified/applied for disibility would i have recieved full benifits instead of a lower amount.i have contacted another lawyer ,i have not heard back.thanks

    • The important thing is not so much your application date but the date that is eventually established as your onset date, meaning the date that Social Security believes you first became disabled. If the established onset date is before the date you started taking early retirement benefits, then you would get your full benefit retroactively and going forward, regardless of whether you applied for disability before or after applying for early retirement benefits.

  110. First of all I just wanted to start off by letting you know that I was born paralyzed from the waist down with spina bifida and I’m 27 years old. And my question is can I get Social Security disability benefits and have a good paying job at the same time? And I’m asking this because both of my sisters that I have been living with since both our parents died in 2003 said I couldn’t but I’m not sure if this is true or not. And no one has giving me an answer yet. PLEASE HELP I NEED ANSWER ASAP!!!!

    • Unfortunately, you cannot receive disability benefits if you do a substantial amount of work. Part of Social Security’s definition of disability is that you are not able to engage in substantial gainful activity (work). So if you earn more than a certain amount per month ($1,130 in 2016), then you’re not eligible for disability benefits.

  111. Debra Moore // August 26, 2016 at 2:03 pm // Reply

    I receive social security disibility since 2001 my husband is 9 years older than me, he is 67 took earily retirement at 62 due to poor economy. Would I be elgible to receive spouse benefits from my husband also?

    • Benefits for you on your spouse’s record are not available until you reach age 62. At that point, you can apply, and if your benefits on his record (which may be up to 50 percent of his benefit) are higher than your own benefits, then Social Security will continue to pay you your own benefit and then pay an additional amount to bring you up to the benefit amount you are entitled to under his record. However, you won’t receive double benefits, just enough to bring you up to the higher benefit amount.

  112. Debra Moore // August 26, 2016 at 2:48 pm // Reply

    Thanks so much for your answer. My benifits are higher than his retirement so I guess that means I will not receive any thing extra. Will he be able to benifit from mine since his age is 67?

    • It’s possible. If 50 percent of your benefit is higher than his current benefit on his own record, then he may apply for spousal benefits and his benefit amount could go up to that higher amount.

  113. Debra Moore // August 26, 2016 at 3:31 pm // Reply

    Yes I recieve $1818.00 after medicare and medical insurance and he recieves $303.00 after medicare.

  114. mr.conley,since i did not work much from 1970 to 1987,and always lived at my parents home, ,could i draw from my fathers account? he is deceased.

  115. I retired 2011, and started receiving retirement benefits and social security benefits at age 62. Now I am experiencing hearing loss. Am I eligible to receive disability benefits?

  116. I am 64 and already getting SS which is only around $700. My younger husband wishes to wait until he’s 66 and draw full SS benefits. He will be 62 next year. Can he apply for SS but postpone payments until he’s 66, and then after he applies may I apply for a spousal benefit according to his earnings since he will receive around $1900 a month?

    I really appreciate you and this website!

    • Unfortunately, what I believe you are describing, called “file and suspend,” was considered a loophole and it was closed effective April 30, 2016. Now, a person is still allowed to apply for early Social Security retirement benefits, and then suspend them (for whatever reason, such as changing their mind about taking early retirement), but while they are suspended, all other benefits payable on that person’s record are also suspended. So you cannot receive spousal benefits until your husband is actually receiving his own benefits.

  117. elaine saloka // September 2, 2016 at 11:30 am // Reply

    I applied for disability ss a year and a half ago with a law firm handling the case. We are now waiting for a hearing , which they said will be another 10-14 months. My concern i i will be 62 then, may want to apply for early ss .Im not sure what to do but they would like me to wait. How does this work . Thank you.

    • You have the right to apply for early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, while you are waiting to learn the outcome of your disability case. What would happen is that you would receive the retirement benefits in the reduced amount due to taking them early. Then, if your disability is proven, you will receive your full benefit amount, both retroactively and going forward. Of course, if your disability is not ultimately approved, you are stuck with the lower retirement benefit amount.

      As for your attorneys, they may not want you to take early retirement benefits because if you do, it may cut into their fee. Generally, attorneys receive 25 percent of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. However, if you are already receiving your early retirement amount, then for those months the back pay is only going to be the difference between your reduced early retirement amount and your full benefit amount, which is a lot less for them to take 25 percent of.

      Ethically speaking, your attorneys should put your interests ahead of their own, and it could be considered unethical for an attorney to withdraw from a case just because the potential fee may be lower than expected. But your attorneys withdrawing is still a potential danger to be aware of.

  118. I receive SSI and a widows pension from the Veterans Administration. (VA) I am going to turn 50 soon and they told me to call the day after to sign up for Survivor Benefits. They said I would get 71.2% of my husbands Social security benefits. My Question is this Right now they subtract what I get from the VA from my SSI. I was told when I get survivors benefits from them they will now subtract my VA pension. Is this true? If not I might as well not sign up for it because I will only get about a 100.00 a month from them.

  119. I meant they will not subtract the Survivors benefits from my VA widows pension

    • Yes, because SSI is a needs-based program, when you receive other benefits, then Social Security sees it as you having less need, so your benefits are reduced. Social Security survivor benefits, on the other hand, are not considered needs-based, so receiving other benefits will not cause anything to be subtracted from those benefits.

      As long as you are receiving SSI, Social Security may require you to sign up for survivor benefits and any other benefits for which you may be eligible. Then whenever the other benefits reduce your need, your SSI amount will be reduced. If your other benefits or other income bring you above the SSI amount, then you would stop receiving SSI.

  120. Hi!
    PLEASE HELP ME
    YOUR answer is greatly appreciated
    I am 36 years old I became disabled 4 years ago…I became disabled from car accident I have a lower back fusion (3 levels) now I am waiting for hip replacement.
    I apply for disability without attorney and I was excepted but I only receive $560 a month. I cant see that I will be able to work anymore… Do I have any other better option From disability?
    Can I now switch to retirement?
    Is it the retirement more beneficiary?
    Since I can’t live with $560 do I have any other option?
    Thank you!

    • If you are only receiving $560 per month in Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then you may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which could bring your total benefit up to $733 per month. You can call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to apply for SSI.

  121. Jim McMichael // September 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm // Reply

    Is it possible for a 62 year old to retire early drawing the social security and also receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI)? I am specific about the latter versus SSDI.

    • One of the eligibility requirements for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is that the person be disabled or be age 65 or older. So at age 62, if not disabled, then you would not be eligible for SSI. However, at age 65, if your Social Security retirement benefits are low enough that you qualify for SSI, then you could receive an SSI benefit that would bring your total benefit up to the SSI federal maximum of $733 per month.

  122. Will I lose my S.S.I.benefits when my benefits automatically become retirement benefits at age 62,since you say we only get the amount of S.S.D.benefits then?

  123. I only get $758 in S.S.D and S.S.I. benefits,my state pays my medicare income because I’m so low income,am I going to lose my Medicaid and my Medicare premium payments when my benefits are converted to retirement benefits?

  124. The state pays my Medicare premiums, I meant to say

    • Actually, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount at full retirement age, not age 62. As for your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, assuming there is no other change in your income, they should continue in the same amount as well. As for your state paying your Medicare premiums because of your low income, I don’t know what state you’re in or the specific rules for your state, but if your income remains low, it seems unlikely that the fact that your disability benefits convert into retirement benefits would cause a change in the state paying your premiums.

  125. can one get concurrent benefits -continue my disability SSI benefit and now as a single divorced person over 62 apply to receive divorced spouse benefits since I was married over 10 years?

    Thank you for your assistance

    • You may be eligible for divorced spouse benefits if your ex-spouse is eligible for retirement or disability benefits or is deceased. SSI, unlike SSDI, has income and asset limits. If your divorced spouse benefits are enough that you no longer meet the income limits for SSI, then you would no longer receive SSI. If the divorced spouse benefits are low, then you could still receive SSI to bring you up to the federal SSI maximum of $733 per month.

  126. I receive SSD. I’m 59, can I freeze my sis, will I be entitled to both st 60 or 63

    • If you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then you will continue to receive the same benefit amount. When you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. There is nothing you need to do and no reason to freeze your benefits.

  127. My husband is receiving VA benefits at !00% disability, he is 65. He is also currently collecting Social Security, started at age 64. Can he apply for Social Security Disability and drop the Social Security early retirement? Would it be worth it?

    • Yes, he can apply for Social Security disability benefits. He does not need to drop the Social Security early retirement benefits in the meantime. What will happen is that if he is found disabled under Social Security’s rules, then he will receive the difference between the reduced retirement amount and his full benefit amount.

  128. I have been receiving LTD from my employer for about 25 years. I can continue to collect until age 65. I’m 62 as of April. I had to apply, years ago for ss disability per my company LTD benefits but I was denied. So now I want to know if I can apply for early ss retirement benefits? And also ss disability at the same time? Or should I wait to file ss disability once I turn 65 since I will not be receiving LTD anymore? Will it be retroactive back to my initial disability?
    Also since I don’t have enough credits can I file under my husband when he starts drawing ss benefits? (he still works at age 64). And once I officially retire at 66 will my pension or ss be affected? There’s so much to know it’s overwhelming. Thank you in advance.

    • I understand that it can seem overwhelming. I will just answer your questions in the order you asked them.

      1. Yes, you can apply for Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, and receive them at a reduced rate due to taking them before your full retirement age.

      2. Generally speaking, it is possible to apply for Social Security disability benefits at the same time that you apply for Social Security retirement benefits, and if you are found disabled you will receive your full benefit instead of the reduced benefit. However, if you have not been working while you were receiving long term disability benefits from your employer, then it is likely you are no longer considered “insured” under SSDI.

      3. Generally speaking, if you are eligible for disability benefits, there is no advantage to waiting to apply. You should apply as soon as you become disabled.

      4. Usually you can only receive 12 months of retroactive benefits. Your previous denial would now be considered final as of the time of the denial, and you could only receive benefits going back that far if a judge reopened the previous case, which happens only rarely and with a very good reason.

      5. Yes, you can file for spousal benefits on your husband’s record once he starts receiving benefits.

      6. Generally speaking, private pensions and Social Security retirement benefits have no effect on each other and you can receive both.

  129. I am 63 1/2 years old and on Disability Social Security since I was 55. I was married for 30 years. X husband is 4 years younger then me. He will be 62 in 2 1/2 years. Can I still get Disability SS and get part of his SS when he turns 62? I will be 65, 2 months before he is 62. Is my date of full retirement at 65 or 66? Birthday 2/1953. If He doesn’t retire at 62, can I receive my portion of his retirement amount when I’m 65? If I do collect at 65, off his that he’s 62, is That considered Early Retirement amount, since he’s 62? I would be at full retirement age of 65, I believe. But off of his, and he would be 62, then.

    • If the amount you would receive as a divorced spouse is higher than the amount you are receiving for your own disability, then you could receive the higher benefit, not both.

      You can use the full retirement age calculator to find out your full retirement age. For a person born in 1953, the full retirement age is 66.

      For you to receive benefits as a divorced spouse, it is only necessary that your ex-spouse be eligible for disability or retirement benefits, not that he or she be actually receiving them. Eligibility for retirement benefits starts at age 62.

      The reduction in benefits for taking them early applies to the person taking the benefits. So if you wait until your own full retirement age, you may receive your full divorced spouse benefit, which is half of his full benefit, even if he has not reached full retirement age. If you choose to take it earlier than your own full retirement age, then the amount will be reduced.

  130. My brother in law became disabled in 2015. He applied for SSDI and was denied due to not having enough credits. He was also said he did not qualify for SSI due to his wife’s high income. My question to you is the following:
    Does my brother in law qualify for early retirement due to his total disability?
    He is only 51 years old and I would like to know if he can apply for early retirement before the age of 62?

    • I’m afraid not. If he does not have enough credits for SSDI and has too high of an income for SSI due to his wife’s income, then there are no benefits available for his disability and he would not be eligible for early retirement until age 62.

  131. If you get ssi and ssdi and you sell a house or renting a house would your ssi or ssdi are you breaking the law. Are you breaking the law if you don’t report it would your money be garnish and get help from Philadelphia corporations of aging would the put a penalty in ur property will the person has to pay that money back when he sell the house

    • When you’re on SSDI or SSI or both, you have to report your income to Social Security. The penalty would not attach to the property sold but to the person who failed to report the income from the sale. And yes, the person’s payments could be reduced or they could become temporarily ineligible for the program because of a failure to report the income.

  132. I was found to be mentally disabled 5 years ago.
    In 2011.
    I was born 02/18/1955.
    I’m 61 now.
    09/24/2016
    Can I get regular Social Security on top of my SSDI payment of $830.00/month ?
    If so, when ?
    Would I get back payments ?
    I live in Virginia if that helps.
    Thank you.
    You can email me at my junk email address, if you please.

    medab1@gmail.com

    I don’t mind posting it because it was created for public posting.
    It is not my main account. :)

    • If you are already receiving SSDI, then it is not possible to receive Social Security retirement benefits on top of that. What will happen is when you reach full retirement age, your disability benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount.

  133. My husband started receiving SSI at age 62. He was approved for disability in Sept. 2016 with a increase of $100 to his SSI amount, but this is much less than the full disability amount he would of received if he had not received SSI at age 62. Why would receiving SSI for two years reduce the monthly SSID amount by $400? Your article copied below states that one would get full disability benefits. We have 60 days to appeal.

    However, if the disability is found to have started after the person began receiving early retirement benefits, then there are no retroactive benefits and no disability freeze. Instead, during the period between when the disability began and full retirement age, the person will receive his or her full disability benefit amount. Upon reaching full retirement age, the retirement benefit amount will still be reduced based on the number of months the person received early retirement benefits.

    • It’s hard to say without knowing all the details of your case, but the following may apply. In any case, if you think he was not awarded the benefits he is entitled to, you should consider an appeal.

      It sounds like you mean that he started receiving early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62 (not SSI, or Supplemental Security Income, which is a separate program). If that is the case, and the disability was found to have started after he he began receiving early retirement benefits, then the reduced amount may be the result of there being no disability “freeze.” So at age 62, his full disability benefit may have been a certain amount, but then the time that he was not working, and the fact that the disability freeze does not apply, would mean that his “full” disability benefit is now lower than it was previously.

      Thank you for your question, as it prompted me to add information to the paragraph you quoted to hopefully make it more clear.

  134. at work there is long term disability insurance . i am on old age ss and work part time 30 hours a week. does it pay me to buy the long term insurance i cant seem to get an answer on how long it lasts,

    • You could really only answer that question by looking at the terms of the insurance policy. You may want to ask for a copy of the policy and review it with an attorney or other adviser to see if it is a good deal for you.

  135. Can i get social security retirement benefits at age 55 (I have the work credits)? If so, is it a 10% deduction? If both answers are yes, can I file a month before age 55 (as I heard it takes 3-4 months to process, which is today). Any help is greatly appreciated..

  136. Kim Pleasant // October 4, 2016 at 9:16 am // Reply

    I am currently getting SSI. I have not worked in the last 20 years. I will be 62 in January and I am eligible to receive my ex-husband’s retirement. Will I be able to receive both SSI and the retirement benefit?

    • One of the requirements of the SSI program is that you apply for any other benefits for which you may be eligible, such as early retirement benefits on your own record, or benefits on someone else’s record. If the other benefits are greater than the SSI amount, then you will receive the higher amount (not both). If the other benefits are less than the SSI amount, then you will receive the other benefits, plus some amount of SSI to bring you up to the full SSI amount. So in that case the total amount of your benefits would not change; it would just be coming from two different sources.

  137. Nita Calvit // October 4, 2016 at 1:06 pm // Reply

    I am on private longterm disability insurance here in Texas. My husband has recently passed and wondering if i take widows benefit thru ss will i lose my disability thru the private insurance?

    • You should check the terms of your long term disability insurance policy. Different policies have different terms. Many policies have offsets that reduce your long term disability insurance benefit if you receive Social Security disability benefits, and they can have offsets for other types of benefits as well.

  138. I am 62 and have started receiving early retirement since Aug 2016. I have been diagnosis with osteoarthritis and Hep C, can I apply for Social Security Disability.

    • Yes. If approved, you would fall into the Early retirement exception described above and receive your full benefit rather than the reduced amount. If appropriate, it is better to allege an onset date (the date you say your disability began) that is before the date you started receiving early retirement benefits.

  139. Linda Ricci // October 6, 2016 at 3:32 pm // Reply

    OMG thank you so much for being here. My question is this:I was hurt in an accident in April 2015 and went out of work in April and collected temporary state benefits until they exhausted in late Oct 2015. Still not working …I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Nov 2015 had to undergo chemo for 6 months, 2 surgeries and radiation is still in progress.. applied for SSDI in December 2015 and got denied, applied for reconsideration of the SSDI and again got denied. I am 63 years old… In late June 2016 I applied and now receive early retirement. I have no feeling in my hands and feet due to the chemo drugs. I have appealed the SSDI decision and am awaiting a hearing. If I am approved for SSDI and I meet the exception rule (early retirement) what would my onset date be? Would I make the “freeze situation date” thank you in advance

    • If you are found disabled, at your hearing or otherwise, then your onset date is one of the things that will be decided at that time. Right now, you have an alleged onset date: whatever date you said you became disabled. Social Security will decide your established onset date. If they find you disabled, they may agree with the date you alleged, or they may say that you did not become disabled until later. Obviously an earlier date is better in terms of back pay, and the crucial factor is whether your established onset date is before the date you started receiving early retirement benefits. That is what will make the difference between the two situations describe under the Early retirement exception heading above. From what you describe about your situation, if Social Security finds you disabled, it seems like either the accident or the cancer diagnosis could be the event that they establish as when your disability began, and both of those are before you started taking early retirement benefits. Hope this is helpful.

  140. Nancy Mahoney // October 6, 2016 at 5:17 pm // Reply

    I am 63 1/2 and on workers comp. I am facing a fourth shoulder surgery and have other problems. My atty told me I should apply for SSD. My question is thus: If I am approved for SSD, it would be around $900 which would be offset by comp. However, if I get a lump sum settlement from comp, then I would continue to receive the $900/month. My big concern is that when I am 66 it would be better for me to receive 1/2 of my husband’s social security. Would I be able to convert my retirement to receive a spousal benefit. Someone told me I could withdraw my disability claim at 65 and 11 months and then apply for spousal benefits when I turn 66. True? The difference in my SSD and the spousal benefit would be $500/month. Thank you so much for your website, time, and answering my question.

    • Happy to help if I can. Assuming you are found disabled and begin receiving SSDI benefits on your own record, then when you reach your full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. Then if you apply for spousal benefits, and your spousal benefits are higher than your benefits on your own record, you will receive the higher amount. They will pay you your own benefits first, and then the difference, to arrive at the higher benefit (not double benefits). There would be no need to withdraw a disability claim to receive either type of retirement benefits; the conversion from disability to your own retirement benefits is automatic, and then you can apply for spousal benefits. This Social Security webpage has more information.

  141. I am terrified and really appreciate any advice. Sorry this is long. I am 58 yrs old and I have not worked in 8 yrs. My health was failing when my job of 20 yrs ended. ( Neither of us have a monthly pension plan) I have not received a diagnosis for my chronic fatigue, pain ( other than sciatica) migraines or my inability to sleep more than a few hrs at a time. I gave up on doctors who just wanted to push pulls with horrible side effects. I was fortunate that my husband could care for me, including my need for a wheelchair if I had to be on my feet for long. I am devastated, we just found out he has a rare, and agressive cancer with a very low survival rate. He is a year away from full retirement age, not sure if he will live that long. I am terrified, unable to work, and have no children or family, other than an elderly mother I try to care for. My husband has not taken SS or early retirement… yet… I assume I will be eligible for half of his SS, even if he should pass before he files for it? Will I be eligible to collect, even though I am not 65? If by a miracle I get a diagnosis from a doctor, is it too late now for me to apply for disability since 8 yrs have passed? With no family to live with I don’t know how I will survive, or pay for private health insurance. I have some savings and a home, but SS will not pay enough to stay in the home. How will the income from the home be taken into account if I pull early retirement at age 62? If I can collect half his SS before his full retirement age, then it will reduced forever, right? Should I deferred his somehow, and collect mine at 62, and his larger amount later? If he is diseased, can I even deferred his amount t until he would have been 70 if he had lived, giving me more later? Help, please.

    • I understand your fears and I hope this information is helpful.

      First, while your husband is living, you may be eligible for spousal benefits when you reach age 62, if he is receiving his retirement benefits or disability benefits. Spousal benefits can be as much as one-half of your husband’s benefit amount if you take them at full retirement age, but they are reduced if you take them earlier than that, such as at age 62. The reduction depends on your age when you take the benefits, not your husband’s age. With regard to income, before full retirement age, earnings from working in excess of a certain annual limit may reduce your benefit. After full retirement age, there is no deduction for other income.

      If your husband passes away, then you may be eligible for survivor’s benefits, which are available at age 60, or at age 50 if you are disabled. These can be up to 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit if you take them at full retirement age, but they are reduced if you take them earlier, such as at age 60.

      As far as your disability is concerned, since you say you stopped working 8 years ago, you are likely no longer considered “insured” in terms of disability benefits on your own record, but you should check with Social Security. However, the other important aspect of proving your disability is that, as mentioned above, if you are disabled then you may be eligible for survivor’s benefits at age 50 instead of age 60.

    • If my husband dies at or near full retirement age, can I, three years later take my own SS benefits early at 62, then later at age 66 switch to the survivor’s benefits from my husband, and get 100% of his ss amount? Or do I have to not collect anything until I am 66 in order to get his full amount? Thank you!!!

      • Quoting from this Social Security webpage: “In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate.” So, generally, yes, but you should talk to a Social Security representative to find out for sure about your specific situation.

  142. lisa hawkins // October 12, 2016 at 12:56 pm // Reply

    If I am drawing ssd and ssi and he has retired at age 64 can I draw from his retirement ?

  143. Steve Thornton // October 13, 2016 at 5:03 pm // Reply

    I was injured in a car accident a year-and-a half ago and it affected my job to the point where I was laid off when a new owner took over. I was at the point where I was able to start early retirement through Social Security because I was 62. I also am receiving unemployment in California. Can I receive California Short Term Disability instead of unemployment in addition to my Social Security? I just received a off-work notice through my doctor. Because of the accident, I’ve gone through 35 physical therapy treatments, three spinal injections and a pulse radio frequency treament. I’ve been on Percoset ever since the accident

    • Your Social Security retirement benefits should not be offset by either workers’ compensation or California short term disability. If you were to apply for and receive Social Security disability benefits instead, then there could be an offset limiting your total benefits to not more than 80 percent of your previous income.

  144. I am collecting SSDI from an accident in 2004. Also receiving Workman’s Comp, which should settle out by Dec 2016. My question – Can I work from home on the computer and receive an income while waiting for the Workmans Comp claim to be finalized? I live in Florida

    • I can speak to how working may affect your SSDI. (I don’t know how it would affect workers’ comp, but you may find workers’ comp answers here.) If you start working, you must inform Social Security, and generally speaking, if you work more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit, which is usually a set monthly income amount ($1,130 in 2016), then you would no longer be considered disabled under the SSDI program. However, under Social Security’s rules, you may be allowed a trial work period, during which time you would not lose your benefits even though you are working.

  145. Thank you for your answer. I know SS is convertible to the spouse’s record, but I wasn’t sure that once I am on SSD on my own record (if I do get approved) that it would be fixed or if they would allow me to apply for spousal benefits.

  146. I am 70, living in California, and working 30 hours a week without benefits. I started getting Social Security at 66. I will be off work for 12 weeks for hip surgery. Can I file for State Disability ? It is still being deducted from my paycheck.

  147. I am a 55 y.o that was injured at work on 9/15….I work in a ship yard and injured my foot ( born with a club foot that I have injured at work) after 28 years of employment….I have been receiving Workers comp and recently applied for and was accepted for SSDI….It is apparent that I can not work on steel or concrete and I may have to do an early retirement….can I collect SSDI, Pension, 401k, and workers comp?

    • It is possible to receive both workers’ compensation and Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. However, Social Security sets a limit on the total amount you can receive from both programs combined, which is 80 percent of your income when you were working. If the combined total is more than that limit, then Social Security will lower your SSDI amount until you are at the 80 percent limit.

      Normally Social Security would not lower your SSDI benefits because of income from a pension or 401(k). However, the terms of your pension policy may include an offset for SSDI benefits, so check the terms to find out.

  148. My mother is 64 and retired early at 63 due to medical issues. She was later diagnosed with Liver Disease. She has Cobra through work ($400/month) and is collecting social security. I want to get her on disability. What are the differences in pay outs? Does disability pay more to her than the early retirement from social security? I want to get her off Cobra but not sure if disability would cover enough of the medical expenses. We are getting to a new calendar year so her deductibles through Cobra/
    Cigna will have to be met again.

    • She can apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits and if she is found disabled, it would bring her up to her full disability amount rather than the reduced amount for taking early retirement. It is best to claim the earliest date possible for when her disability began, such as before the date she started taking early retirement benefits, if possible. She can find out what her disability benefit amount would be by creating or logging in to a My Social Security account or by calling Social Security at 1-800-772-1213. With SSDI, you also get Medicare after you have been eligible for SSDI for two years. So with an early claimed onset date for the disability, it is possible she could become eligible for Medicare earlier than age 65.

  149. My husband was found disabled at age 59, he applied for disability benefits because of my income he did not qualify for ssi, but he qualified for ssdi, but now we’re separated and my income is no longer an issue should he apply for ssi now?

    • It depends on how much he is receiving in SSDI benefits. If he is already receiving more than $733 per month in SSDI benefits, then he would not qualify for SSI, because SSI can only bring you up to $733 per month. If his SSDI benefits are less than $733 per month, then yes, he should apply to see if he qualifies for SSI.

  150. I am 67 years old. I am working full time. I also receive Social security because I am now eligible. I will be needing surgery soon. Can I receive temporary disability while I’m off work for the surgery/recovery and not affect my social security?

    • Since you have already reached your full retirement age, becoming disabled would not result in eligibility for any additional Social Security benefits. There are no temporary Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits anyway; it is only for permanent disability. However, if your state or your employer offers temporary disability benefits, then you should check the terms of those benefits; in most cases Social Security retirement benefits are not affected.

  151. I am 67 years old and have been collecting VA benefits for being permanently 100% disabled since 2013. I took early retirement at age 62. How should I file to get full retirement benefits from social security.

  152. nancy sitzlar // November 2, 2016 at 3:58 pm // Reply

    I was married to my ex spouse for about 36 years. I have become disabled and took early social security off his work record because I did not have enough work hours to qualify on my own record. I live in TN and I am 63 years old. I was told by the judge that I could get disability off my ex husband work record and when I applied the people at the social security office told me I could not. But I have read that you can draw disability off your ex spouse. I really need help and would be grateful if you could answer this question for me.

    Nancy S.

    • If your ex-spouse is receiving Social Security benefits (either retirement or disability), then you can receive divorced spouse benefits starting at age 62, and it sounds like that is what you are doing. Your own disability would only increase your benefits if you had enough of your own work credits to qualify for SSDI, or if you qualified financially for SSI.

  153. CHRIS ALEXANDER // November 3, 2016 at 12:50 am // Reply

    Dear Brendan
    Thank you for your answers to all the questions we have. I am a 63 3/4 year old state worker currently on IDL (industrial leave, work comp) in CA and supplement my IDL with addition hours to keep my payment higher to match my take home pay, IDL/S. My IDL in not taxed but the IDL/S is taxed. I went by chance to SS office and was informed I should apply for both SSDI and SS retirement. I was told I could continue my IDL and IDL/S, and get SS retirement without any reduction. I was stunned when told if approved for SSDI, I would continue on SS and My WC, and when WC payments were exhausted I would receive the higher SSDI amount until 66. The SS workers really encouraged me to apply and start SS early retirement NOW and said it was to my advantage because I can get both my salary and SS.

    I read SSA 05-10018 but not sure if what applied to my situation.

    Thanks
    CRA

    • It’s true that you can receive both worker’s compensation benefits and Social Security disability benefits at the same time, as detailed in the Social Security document (pdf) you referenced. However, your combined payments from such sources cannot be more than 80 percent of your previous income, so your SSDI benefits may be reduced such that your total payments are not above that level. I’m sorry I am not familiar with California IDL specifically, but I would expect the worker’s compensation rules to apply. As for whether receiving SSDI would reduce your IDL, check the California IDL rules. I note that this IDL document (pdf) mentions benefits being reduced if you get SSDI.

  154. Hi. I have been on state disability for the last 3 months due to not beeing able to work because of chronic back pain and other medical issues..i applied for permanent. disability and is pending….can i apply for early retirement at the same time ?

    • You are entitled to apply for early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, and those benefits should not be affected by state disability payments based on work for a private employer (as opposed to a public pension). As to whether the state disability payments would be reduced, you would have to check the rules for that program.

      You also may be eligible for Social Security disability benefits, and it is possible to receive Social Security disability benefits and state disability benefits at the same time. However, Social Security will offset (pdf) your benefits such that you do not receive more than 80 percent of your former income. Whether there is an offset from the state disability program is something you would have to find out by researching your state’s program.

  155. Sharon Weiss // November 7, 2016 at 10:52 am // Reply

    So I am totally confused after reading all the posts, so decided to ask my question. I retired at 62 (early retirement) in part due to stress causing medical issues. This year age 64 I went back working part time/temporary assignments for financial reasons. I had to stop due to having a medical condition called IC. Can I apply for disability benefits and still receive my early retirement benefits. I live in California. Appreciate any advice ou can give me.

    • Yes, you can apply for disability benefits and continue to receive early retirement benefits. If you are found disabled, then your benefits will increase to your full disability amount instead of the reduced amount for early retirement.

  156. Karole Spraker // November 9, 2016 at 5:29 pm // Reply

    I have a friend who is 62. She is currently receiving ss from her divorced husband’s record who is deceased. They were married more than ten years before the divorce. Can she get disability as well as her ex’s ss?

    • If she has worked recently enough to still be insured for the purposes of Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, and she is found disabled, and the amount of her benefit on her own record is higher than the amount she receives as a divorced spouse, then she would receive the higher amount (not both).

  157. I have been recieve ss retirement at 62 for 2 years. I was just awarded ss disability. my early ss was 1471.00 per monthm How much should ss disability be per month now

  158. 62 took early SS been dealing with illnesses over 10 years now they seem to be getting worst I am working part time I want to apply for disability can I do it ? If not what are my alternatives

    • Yes, you can apply for disability benefits while you are taking early retirement benefits. It is usually better to allege the earliest possible onset date for your disability, especially if it is before the date you started taking early retirement. If you are eligible and found disabled, then you would receive a higher benefit amount. Regarding part time work, the first requirement for disability eligibility is that you are not able to engage in “substantial gainful activity.” So if you earn more than a certain amount per month ($1,130 in 2016; $1,170 in 2017), then you will not be considered disabled.

  159. My father is 65 and apply for social security since July and not receive any benefit yet and it is November. He need his benefit he need to buy food

  160. Hi, I took early retirement SS 3 months ago at age 62. I want to try for early retirement exception, due to many medical problems. I get $1590. per month now, not sure what amount ssdi will be. I have not worked in 4 1/2 yrs due to my medical problems, since 2012. would that be a good starting date, or should it be later?

    my husband took early SS retirement at age 62. he just turned 65. Has diabetes, before and still. Is he able to apply at age 65? He only gets 1/2 of what I get, less than $800. per month. Thank you

    • It’s a good idea to claim an onset date that has some reasonable relationship to your disability, and the date you stopped working makes a lot of sense. It could also be the date of a certain diagnosis, or just when your disability made you unable to work. (You can generally only receive benefits for 12 months before the application date, but there is no problem with claiming an onset date before that.)

      Yes, if your husband has not reached his full retirement age, then he could still apply.

  161. Hi Brendan,

    I apologize in advance if you’ve already covered this but there were far too many comments to read through however, I read your article, but still could use some clarification. My Father is a Disabled Vietnam Vet & has been receiving disability for as long as I can remember. He will be 65 in March of ’17. Since he’s receiving disability as a Veteran, is it classified the same as the early retirement option? Since what I’ve read says nothing about Veteran disability falling under any exemptions, should I assume his current benefits will remain unchanged or is it possible that he could lose money when he’s 65?

    • No problem, I don’t think I have answered this exact question before.

      You say your father has been “receiving disability.” If that refers to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, then the article above applies: his disability benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount when he reaches his full retirement age (which is 66 for someone born between 1943 and 1954).

      If he is receiving only veterans disability benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA), which are separate from Social Security benefits, then he may apply for Social Security retirement benefits.

      It is also possible to receive both SSDI and VA benefits, in which case the SSDI would convert automatically to retirement benefits.

  162. Shirley Morotti // November 30, 2016 at 2:24 pm // Reply

    My husband started receiving his ss retirement when he was 67 which was full retirement age for him, he is now 73 and has become disabled. He has a small auto repair shop and is unable to work on cars now, we have only 1 employee. Can he file for ssdi if even if he is receiving his ss payment?

  163. So what we are drawing on our disability is the amount we would draw on social security ?

    • If you’re receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, then they will automatically convert into Social Security retirement benefits, in the same amount, when you reach full retirement age.

  164. My mom become blind and stop working and wait until 62 get her early retirement now she’s 80 yrs old can she apply for ssdi

  165. I am a 100% disable veteran from VA. I will be turning 62yrs in august of 2017. Can I file for early retirement and SSDI at the same time. Or if I decide to file for early retirement, can I file for SSDI later on down the road. Thanks

    • Yes, it’s possible to receive both VA disability benefits and Social Security benefits at the same time. And yes, you can file an SSDI claim and then take early retirement while you wait for a decision. If you are found disabled under Social Security’s rules, then your benefit will increase. If you may qualify for SSDI, you should apply as soon as possible and claim the earliest onset date possible.

  166. Kenneth Moxley // December 7, 2016 at 4:31 pm // Reply

    If i am receiving social security and i am work disability benefits thru work insurance will effect my social security benefits amount

    • If you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, Social Security should not reduce your SSDI because of your private disability benefits through your work insurance. (More info here.) However, your private insurance may reduce those benefits based on your SSDI. That depends on the terms of the policy.

  167. Fernando Quintana // December 8, 2016 at 2:17 pm // Reply

    I was given s.s.disability with medicaid 4 years ago.Now I am 62 s.s.put me on early retirement and no longer have medicaid.I had knee surgery 3 wks. ago and can’t recieve anymore medicaid help,for therapy and followups.

    • It sounds like you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits and the Medicaid that comes with that. One of the requirements of the SSI program is that you must apply for any other benefits for which you are eligible, including early retirement benefits. If your early retirement benefits are less than the SSI amount ($735 in 2017), then you would still be eligible for some SSI and Medicaid. If your early retirement benefits are more than the SSI amount, then unfortunately you would lose eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. Medicare becomes available at age 65, and in the meantime you may have to explore other options such as purchasing health insurance at healthcare.gov.

  168. I am almost 53. My ex is 44. I have been disabled since 1997. We were married for 13 years. Can I collect his benefit now since it is more than my own work record benefit amount? If not, what age can I start collecting his benefit amount? I did not remarry.
    I cannot find this answer anywhere. I see that I can collect his benefits around retirement age, but nothing about collecting his benefit amount now. What is the *actual age* I can start collecting his higher benefit amount based on his work record? Can I do this for retirement benefits only- not disability? Any help clearing this up will be appreciated.
    Thank you.

    • You can receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record if you are age 62 or older and your ex-spouse is receiving Social Security disability benefits or is eligible for Social Security retirement benefits, by having himself reached age 62, even if he is not receiving them yet.

      If you are already receiving SSDI, then Social Security would only pay on your ex-spouse’s record if those benefits are higher than what you are already receiving. You would receive the higher amount, not both.

      This Social Security webpage has more information about divorced spouse’s benefits.

  169. Neva Kennelly // December 14, 2016 at 9:59 am // Reply

    I’m 54 I’m a widow and I’m retiring. I need to purchase health insurance as well. Is there any benefit that I would qualify for? I’m diabetic so would preexisting conditions be a factor in preventing me qualifying of affordable healthcare? Thanks for your time.

  170. James Fields // December 14, 2016 at 7:37 pm // Reply

    I made 62 this past summer and my questions are can I file early retirement and receive back pay and if so how far can I go back?

    • You can file for early retirement, but not retroactive payments. Retroactive payments can only be paid after full retirement age (for instance if someone was planning to wait until age 70 to get a higher benefit but then changed their mind), and even then you can only get six months of retroactive pay. The good news is that for every month you wait after you turn 62, your benefit amount gets higher. See this Social Security webpage for more information.

  171. James Fields // December 14, 2016 at 7:42 pm // Reply

    If I am working for an employer who offers a 401 k or something other than social security, am I allowed to additionally contribute to my social security via paying both portions myself as I have done while self employed in past?

    • Unless you work for a state government that has its own plan or in other very limited circumstances, you and your employer must pay into Social Security. An employer 401(k) may be optional, but paying into Social Security is not. You can check your paystub to make sure Social Security and Medicare taxes are being withheld. Assuming the correct amount is being withheld, it is not possible to make additional voluntary contributions to Social Security.

  172. Sandra Norman // December 17, 2016 at 4:41 pm // Reply

    What is the process to get benefits after being diagnosed with a medical disability of myopathy at age 61

  173. I am currently receiveing SDDI and I will be 62 in 2017 I want to retire early. Will the amount of SDDI I am receiving now be reduced based on what I am getting now or will it remain the same? How do I go about applying for early retirement before I turn 62 in just a few months? I am not sure how to go about this .

    Need your help in florida

    • If you are already receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then you are already receiving your maximum benefit. What will happen is that at your full retirement age, your disability benefit will convert automatically into a retirement benefit in the same amount. You don’t need to do anything for this to happen. Also, there is nothing for you to do at age 62, as it is not possible to receive any additional benefit.

  174. Gavino Berardesco // December 20, 2016 at 7:06 pm // Reply

    I have just started receiving a VA disability benefit of 10% and am going to take early retirement of social security at age 62 in Aug of 2017. My question is does the va disability benefit affect what I will receive in early retirement from Social Security?

  175. Kenneth Adams // December 21, 2016 at 11:31 am // Reply

    My wife has been on disability for a few years now and is going to be 64. First I would like to know if she was automatically put on early retirement at 62? My second question is when she was first disabled we did not pick up Medicare that was offered due to the fact I had good insurance at work. Now I am 65 and plan on retiring at 66 and I wonder if she will be charged more for not taking Medicare when it first was offered to her?

    • If she is receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then she would not be put on early retirement benefits. What would happen is that when she reaches her full retirement age, her disability benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. If she declined Medicare because of your work insurance, there should be no problem with applying for Medicare when it is needed. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for more information.

  176. Dawn Hitchings // December 25, 2016 at 3:35 pm // Reply

    I retired from my federal job at age 60 in 2015. I started collecting widows benefits immediately of around 1570.00 a month in Jan 2016.. I was just approved for disability month dec 2016 but wont collect until March of 2017. They approved me for 1295.00 for disability. So in March how much will I collect between them both? Appreciate your help.

    • Generally speaking, someone who is eligible for disability benefits on their own record and surviving spouse’s benefits will only receive the greater amount, not both. In the case you describe, you would get your own disability benefit, and then what is known as an excess survivor benefit, which would be the difference between your own disability amount and your surviving spouse’s amount.

  177. I am age 64 and receiving SSDI benefits. My husband is 61, working, and plans to wait until full retirement age to get SS benefits. When I reach full retirement age and my SSDI is changed to retirement benefits could I seek SS spousal retirement benefits (it will pay more than my benefit) even though at that time my husband will be 63 and not taking his SS retirement? If so, how will SS figure my benefit?

    • No, you can no longer receive spousal benefits unless your spouse is receiving his benefits. Previously, a strategy called “file and suspend” permitted this, but that was considered to be an unintended loophole and was closed by law beginning in 2016. More information is here under the heading Voluntary Suspension of Benefits.

  178. I am a 62 yr old male, I applied for early retirement and I just received my first check this month. I don’t have health insurance and I am needing to get knee surgery because it’s really bad. Can i apply for disability? If so will my social security amount go down if I am approved?

  179. If I’m currently receiving SSA retirement about a year ago and still working. I’m 69yrs old. Also, I have a hearing impairment before I started collecting SSA retirement. I want to full retire and not work as its always been hard not hearing the machines running and wearing the hearing aid, depending on the volume I adjust its too loud or too low to hear. Its hard when people are talking to me from afar at work and I can’t hear. If I fully quit my job will I get SSI? I don’t get enough SSA to support my wife and that why I still work. I don’t want to double dip, but my wife doesn’t work and she has no income. Can I apply after I quit my job or does it matter?

    • Since you have already reached your full retirement age, becoming disabled would not increase your benefit. However, your wife may be entitled to spouse’s benefits based on your work record.

      • If I quit my job and just have my social security retirement money and my wife does get a portion of my retirement money. Its not enough bc our monthly income will only be $860.00. Its not enough for 2 people to live off. Can my wife or I apply for SSI?

        • Yes, generally speaking, if your and your wife’s Social Security benefits and any other income are less than $1,103 per month total, and you have resources of less than $3,000 (a house and car do not count), and you are both over 65, then you may qualify for SSI based on age. For an eligible couple, the SSI would pay enough to bring you up to the federal benefit rate, which is $1,103 per month.

          • Thank you for the information. My wife is not 65 yrs old yet. She is 62 yrs old. She gets 200 per month from my retirement and never worked. Will I be the only one who qualify for SSI, if we both apply? or can we each apply separately?

            • Yes, unless your wife is disabled, she would not be eligible until age 65. You could apply for SSI for yourself, but for an eligible individual the maximum is $735 per month. Generally speaking, if you receive more than that from Social Security retirement or other sources, then SSI would not pay anything.

  180. Hershel G. Tanner // December 28, 2016 at 3:31 pm // Reply

    I am approaching 71, drawing social security and working full time. I am developing some physical problems that may prohibit me from continuing to work. Will I be eligible to draw any additional compensation (SSDI) if I am ruled medically disable to continue to work?

  181. Greta McCalla-Evans // December 28, 2016 at 5:19 pm // Reply

    I was receiving disability benefits of $443 per month because of COPD and because the chronic condition I was forced to file for early retirement which I am now receiving..is it possible to also file for disability even though I am receiving retirement benefits

    • It sounds like you were receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, and a requirement of that program is that you must apply for any other benefits you may be entitled to, including early Social Security retirement benefits. If your Social Security retirement benefits are less than the SSI amount ($735 per month in 2017), then you could still receive SSI to bring you up to that amount, assuming you are otherwise eligible. However, if you are asking about Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, you would have automatically applied for SSDI when you applied for SSI, and you may not have been eligible, as you have to have worked a certain amount in the years just before applying. So that ineligibility would still apply now.

  182. When I turn 65 I will get a pension from Owens Brockway, a plastic bottle plant I worked at.
    Will this pension affect my SSDI ?
    My SSDI is 833 $/month.
    I was born in 1955.

  183. Thank you. My social security retirement is about 660.00 per month. So for both my wife and I we get about 860 monthly. That not even to libe on a day to day. I will apply for SSI and see where it goes. Thank you. Do you think I should apply now or after I leave my job?

    • If you’re currently working, your income is probably over the limit. SSI is only intended to bring people up to the federal benefit rate of $735 per month for an eligible individual or $1,103 for an eligible couple.

  184. My wife receives disability from her insurance company as well as CPP disability. Is her disability income considered part of family income and should it be combined with mine, thus making me ineligible for old age supplement payments?

    • Generally speaking, some of the income from a spouse living in the same household will be “deemed” to the individual who might otherwise be eligible for SSI. The formula is a bit complicated and there are certain exclusions, so it is worth applying if you may be near the income limit.

  185. David Guensch // December 31, 2016 at 5:12 pm // Reply

    If I am already receiving disability payments from my employer, can I also start my early SSI benefits at 62 without having a reduction in either of those income sources?

    • Generally speaking, disability payments from private sources such as pensions or insurance do not affect your Social Security benefits. However, it is possible that the private disability policy may have terms that lower your private payments if you receive Social Security. To find out, you would have to check the policy.

  186. Laurie Mendoza // January 1, 2017 at 5:39 pm // Reply

    My son gets SSI because he has sever mental illness. He went to jail for a day and half. We have given the SSA representive the booking sheet show his booking date and release date. Now the Representive is charging him an overpayment of $1,300.00.
    He could have appealed but his payee service didn’t notify him until itvwas to late to file an appeal. Now the payee service is filing a waiver. Who can he go to and explain that you have to be in jail for one full calendar month before your benefit is stopped, reinstated, reduced, reinstated, given back pay and now overpayment. Because that’s the chronological order how its been for my son. He has schizophrenia and this is really interfering with treatment and medication he is taking for his illness. Who is the watch dog for social security bad behavior. Thank you

    • Generally speaking, if you have a good reason for missing the deadline to appeal, then you can still file an appeal along with a statement of why you missed the deadline. If your son was not informed by the payee service, then he may still be able to file an appeal along with a statement of why the deadline was missed.

  187. I get short term disability from work and I just got approved for social serurity disability but I want get check for 3 moremail months will I still be able to get the short term disability for the 3 month

  188. I am 62 and was diagnosed HIV when I was 48 and applied and received Social Security not SSI. What what happens if anything at 64 or 65.

  189. barry surles // January 6, 2017 at 5:23 pm // Reply

    I am a retired federal law enforcement officer at age 54 (full retirement), max age for feds 57. I receive FERS (retirement annuity) plus an additional supplement….the supplement ends at age 62 as I would be eligible for early SSI. I went back to work the same year I retired from the FEDS to a state law enforcement agency. I have almost 8 years there. I had a heart attack and other complications. My doctor wants me to stop working this job and has documented that i cannot fulfill the law enforcement job any further. If I apply for the state employer medical disability; would my social security benefit be reduced? what are the options, I see 3 checks but how would each be effected? Is there a better way to pursue or what are the best options to make the most income? I am divorced with no survivor benefit. So it is just me

    • Yes, it’s possible that disability benefits from a state employer would affect Social Security disability and/or retirement benefits. Check the SSA publications linked here for more information. The interaction of these different types of benefits is too complex for me to advise you on the specifics of your situation.

  190. I got lung cancer in Oct. 2015. Have been receiving LTD through AIG through former employer from Feb. 2016 today. I applied for Social Security in October, and they are not looking into whether I should be getting disability as well. I just got a check for 3 grand while they make that determination. Will by LTD provider be entitled to that money? Will SSA notify them about my retirement and payment or should I. Thank you, Jim

    • That would depend on the terms of your long term disability policy. Some policies may require you to apply for any other benefits for which you may be eligible, and may include offsets. Check the terms of your policy to find out.

  191. Karen Brantley // January 11, 2017 at 4:50 pm // Reply

    Can you recieve death benefits with ssi and disability with ssi at the same time?

    • If you’re already getting disability benefits based on your own work, and your spouse dies, you can apply for survivor benefits. If you can get more money as a survivor, then Social Security will pay you a combination of benefits to equal the higher amount (not both). There is more information here.

  192. Karen Brantley // January 13, 2017 at 11:42 am // Reply

    Can you recieve ssi death benefits and ssi disability at the same time?

  193. My husband is on ssi and is turning 62 this year so they are switching him to ss retirement. He is receiving medicaid right now, will that also be switched to medicare or will he get to keep his medicaid until he is 65?? thank you

    • Usually you can’t get Medicare until age 65. The SSI program (which comes with Medicaid) does make you apply for any other benefits for which you may be eligible, including early Social Security retirement at age 62. If the Social Security retirement benefits are less than $735 per month, then the person would still be eligible for SSI so would still receive Medicaid. However, if the early retirement is more than $735 per month, the person may no longer by eligible for SSI and could lose Medicaid. If that is the case, check with your state Medicaid agency to see how you can stay on.

  194. My job can not accommodate me and is going to give me a early retirement,should i wait to apply for ssdi

    • In most cases, there is no reason to wait to apply for SSDI, and you should apply as soon as you become disabled and are no longer able to work. It is possible that a private employer’s early retirement program could include an offset for benefits such as SSDI, so you should check the terms to find out.

  195. My dad is receiving social security at age 70 but cannot get another job due to his disability, can he now file for disability?

  196. Kenneth Knott // January 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm // Reply

    I collected SSDI from when I was 51 due to spinal prblems until I reached retirement age of 62 whereas I was notified by SS that my SSDI was converting to regular retirement benefits and would remain at the same amount. ( I’m 65 now)
    My question is I really need to be earning more money as my medical bills have increased and I’m barely making it on what I get per month. Can I legally possibly get a job say like a UBER driver for a few hours a month and not be jeopardizing my SS benefits?

  197. First of all THANKS for helping so many people with such a difficult and confusing process!

    Our situation is as follows….
    My boyfriend turned 62 in June 2016 and he applied for early retirement. He started receiving the reduced rate retirement in November 2016 and then was diagnosed with stage 4 esophagus cancer in December 2016. Should we go ahead and apply for disability so it raises his amount to full retirement amount? Is there a time frame in which we have to do this? Currently he is not on Medicare and his medicaid wont cover the cost of all the treatments but I was told that once you receive disability you automatically qualify for Medicaid as well. Is this a lengthy process or can they process things faster since its terminal?

    • Yes, he should apply for disability to receive his full benefit amount. It’s in his interest to apply right away and claim an early onset date. Yes, be sure that Social Security knows that it is a stage 4 terminal case, and they will process it quickly. Although Medicare comes with SSDI, unfortunately it does not kick in until two years after your onset date. The only exceptions to that rule are for ALS and permanent kidney failure.

  198. If you are collecting SSDI and get another disabling condition such as terminal illness for which you will never be able to return to work should it be reported.

  199. My husband died 7 years ago. I was on disability at the time of his death. Should I be getting addiction money for being on disability at the time of my husbands death. I’m now 60

  200. my 30 year old adult son is currently receiving SSDI of $786 per month, in the State of Alabama can he also receive SSI benefits? He works a small part time job of 10 hours per week, making about $250 per month. I worry for his future, how will he live when I am gone?

    • Unfortunately, generally speaking a person receiving more than $735 per month in SSDI will not be eligible for SSI. I sympathize with your situation. Social Security benefits are too low and need to be expanded. Make sure he has applied for any other benefits he may be eligible for, such as SNAP.

  201. Donnie Zamora // January 30, 2017 at 3:33 pm // Reply

    I am 51 and on ssdi I was wonder ing I could get ssi I worked all the way up to 50 but have RA and have had my hips replaced 4 times wich makes it hard for me to get around and hard to lift things from the gourd up . My hips are hurting me non stop but I was wondering if I could get ssi in the state of Utah as I have paid in to it since I was 13

  202. Renee Manson // February 2, 2017 at 3:17 pm // Reply

    Im receving ssdi since march 2016, ill be 62 in november 2017. Will my benefits increase or decrease or remain the same?

    • They will remain the same. Actually, nothing will change at age 62. When you reach your full retirement age, your Social Security disability insurance benefits will automatically convert to Social Security retirement benefits, in the same amount.

  203. If I am collecting my husbands SS because my husband is now deceased, can I also collect early retirement benefits?

    • You can contact Social Security to ask whether collecting benefits on your own record would increase your benefit amount. When a surviving spouse is eligible for surviving spouse benefits and also eligible for benefits on their own record, they can receive the higher amount, but not both.

  204. I am a retired marine. I will turn 62 years in august 2017. I been 100% disable Permanent and total by the Veterans Administration since 2007. My question is which one is better to do first. Early Retirement at 62, or file for the SSDI first. Thanks

    • Filing for the SSDI first is better. You can do that right away. Then if you need to take early retirement while you wait for a decision, if you are ultimately successful, then you would get your full benefit amount retroactively and going forward.

      (If you end up seeking help from a lawyer to get your SSDI, keep in mind that the lawyer’s fee comes out of the back pay. If you have already taken early retirement, then for those months, your back pay would only be the difference between your early retirement amount and your full benefit amount. It may be harder to find an attorney at that point, since the back pay and therefore their fee would be lower. )

  205. my husband is 55 and has been receiving ssdi for a year and has recently put in for early retirement with his job. will he continue to receive ssdi and his retirement and if so will the amount change

    • If you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, Social Security should not reduce your SSDI because of your private insurance or pension. (More info here.) However, your private insurance may reduce those benefits based on your SSDI. That depends on the terms of the policy.

  206. I became disabled in 2000 and had to stop working. I did not know about SSD. I started collecting my SS at age 63. I am 64 now and learned recently I could apply for SSD and get Medicare also if I were deemed disabled. My question is, could I receive retroactive payment from 2000 when I became disabled? I appreciate your time. Thank you kindly.

    • Generally speaking, Social Security will only pay benefits from one year before the application date at the most. But yes, you should apply now and claim the onset date of when you became disabled. You will need to have Social Security obtain your medical records from that time. If successful, you may be able to get your full benefit amount retroactively and going forward, as well as Medicare.

  207. Michael Gonzales // February 13, 2017 at 12:16 am // Reply

    Thank you for all the help you have been giving a lot of great information to all. SS can get very confusing at times.

  208. Joseph Sugrue // February 13, 2017 at 8:29 pm // Reply

    Hi, I am 64 1/2 I am on SSDI since 62 1/2 I did not take early retirement. I plan on retiring at age 65. I’m receiving $1.388.72 a month, that’s what i would receive if I retired at age 62. I went to your site and found at age 65 retirement i should receive 93.3 % of my Social Security. My questions 1) will my SSDI increase to this higher income. 2) Will I still be on SSDI, if not what happens to my disability benefits are they gone or changed?

    • Since you are receiving SSDI, you are already receiving your full benefit amount, and when you reach your full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. There is nothing you have to do to make this happen.

  209. Debbie Potter // February 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm // Reply

    Hi, my husband had to take ssdi, thank goodness it exists, anyway his life insurance is sending him money, monthly, he gets about 1,300. From ssdi. And this check is about 537. Will that affect his ssdi benifits?

  210. I will be 64 in March, Can I file at the same time for SSDI (social security disability insurance) and social security benefits, ILLINOIS

    I just can’t afford to be without a paycheck for 5 months which is the period that disability doesn’t pay.

    what would you recommend, i know i will be approved for disability

    thanks

    • Yes, you can apply for both at the same time. Make sure you claim an onset date of your disability that is earlier than the date you apply for retirement benefits. That way if/when you are approved for disability, you will get your full benefit retroactively and going forward, as if you had never taken early retirement.

  211. Christine Hansen // February 16, 2017 at 4:51 pm // Reply

    Hello, I have worked for the State of CA for 33 years. I fractured my leg 2 years ago in an accident which was not my fault. However, my ankle has never been the same. I worked out every day for 45 years and at 60, could complete with 30 years old. My exercise routine has totally stopped since this incident. I can hardly walk from my car to the office. I kept hoping it would get better but I just sprained it again and hurt my back during the fall. My back has never given me problems. Anyways, I plan on retiring in approximately 6 months, but due to this condition, I don’t know if I can make it anymore. Can I go on disability retirement. If so, what would that do to my pension and social security benefits. I am a little confused with your scenarios above because I am due to retire very shortly.

    Thank you so much for your time!

    • Generally speaking, in order to qualify for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, you must have paid into the system, and you must have a medical condition that prevents you from working that is expected to last for one year or more. If that is the case, you should apply for benefits. If you are approved for SSDI benefits, then you will receive them until you reach full retirement age, at which point your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount. Most private pensions do not affect either type of Social Security benefits, but some government benefits do. See here for more information.

  212. Christine Hansen // February 17, 2017 at 6:51 pm // Reply

    Thank you so much! Just was wondering if I claim disability, could I postpone my retirement and if so, for how long. When you get disability, I heard you get approximately 75% of your tax because it is not taxed.

    Are you available to retain as an attorney?

    Sincerely,

    Christine Hansen

    • If you apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits and receive them, then when you reach full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount, without you having to do anything.

      If you are considering taking early Social Security retirement benefits for a reduced amount, you can do that while your disability claim is being decided. If your disability claim is later approved, you would get the full benefit amount rather than the reduced amount.

      I am available as an attorney to help people who have been denied their Social Security benefits in the Tampa Bay area, but I believe you mentioned you are in California, so you should seek an attorney in your area. To find one, I recommend the NOSSCR referral line: 1-800-431-2804.

  213. hi,mr conley,i spoke with you a while back,from ky,i files for disibiity in oct,of 16,i recieved 2 envelopes with questions conerning my health issues,and how i live etc,in early jan.2017 sent it all back,along with all the doctors records i had already gotten and all info regarding others she/[ person handling my case} could contact,its been 6 weeks ,i have not heard anything ,what can i expect next?when i go to ss sight and look at my file there is nothing there about it,i filed with social security which is federal, but the state id handeling the case? is this normal

    • You may still want to look for an attorney in your area to represent you, but as things stand, it sounds like you are doing everything you can while representing yourself. It is not unusual for them to take 60 or 90 days to make a decision. Yes, it is normal for the state disability determinations department to make the decision; they must follow Social Security’s federal rules. If you are denied, you should appeal, with a lawyer’s help if possible.

  214. Brenda Ann Loden // February 18, 2017 at 4:12 pm // Reply

    I started getting disibility benefits in 1998. I will be 64 in May of this year. Wasn’t I able to bring my benefits up to the full amount when I reached 62?? If so why haven’t I been getting the higher benefits paid??

    • If you are receiving SSDI, you should already be receiving your full benefit amount. When you reach full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will be converted automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount, without you having to do anything.

  215. i tryed before filing my self,they all said contact them if i get turned down? wait and see. thanks for your time.

  216. My husband retired at 65 had disability several years ago but went back to work now that he is retired can he apply for disability being fully disabled with a terminal illness? Also if not full diablity how about his Medicare getting paid under disability or does it come out of it?

    • As long as he is claiming a disability onset date that is before his full retirement age, then yes, he can apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. If approved, his benefit amount will increase. Medicare premiums are usually deducted from your Social Security check.

  217. mr.conley,if i am approved for disibility,since i took early retirement at 62,and i recieve a pension,will the amount i recieve be reduced,my on set date was stated after retirement in oct 2014,i filed for disibility in oct 2016 that is 28 mths since retirement,how wil this effect any benifit i get? i will be 65 in nov 2017,if i get 903 early retirement what would the new amount be.the same or an increase.thanks

    • If you are found to be disabled from your onset date, then from that date until your full retirement age, you would get your full benefit. After full retirement age, your benefit amount would still be reduced somewhat, because you did have some months when you were taking early retirement and were not disabled, but it would not be reduced as much, because the time from your onset date until your full retirement age would not count against you as early retirement months.

  218. cedric murphy // March 1, 2017 at 9:27 pm // Reply

    I’m 59 yes old at age 57 I stop working due to many health issues will I be able to still retire and get disability. Thank you

    • If your health issues prevent you from being able to work and your condition has lasted for a year or more, then you should apply for disability benefits. Retirement benefits are generally not available until age 62.

  219. cedric murphy // March 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm // Reply

    Thank you for your reply I did applied for disability and was denied twice now I’m waiting to go in front of the judge which I been waiting for almost two years now be glad when I do

    • If you don’t have an attorney, you may want to consider it. An attorney can help you prepare, gather the right evidence, and represent you at the hearing. Typically attorneys in this field are not paid unless they win the case for you, in which case they get 25% of your back pay up to a maximum of $6,000. You can find an attorney in your area by calling the NOSSCR referral line at 1-800-431-2804 (or call me if you are in the Tampa Bay area). Best of luck to you.

  220. Mary Sanchez // March 5, 2017 at 3:36 pm // Reply

    Our friend just took an early retirement from his job due to needing a kidney transplant. He was told if he files for SS Disability he would not qualify since he has his 401K money? We are in Texas & I have never heard of this can you please help with this?

    • There are two types of disability benefits: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). You earn your right to SSDI (and Social Security retirement benefits) with the Social Security taxes withheld from your paycheck. So your friend probably qualifies for SSDI, and his other income and resources won’t count against him. The SSI program is for people who have not paid enough into the system to qualify for SSDI, and there are income and resource limits to qualify for SSI. So he should apply for SSDI, and his 401(k) money should not be a problem.

  221. I had received SSDI at age 38 and when I got to age 67 they converted my benefits to retirement benefits. My disability benefits were not taxable income but I think my retirement benefits are, I’m still disabled and I will be the rest of my life. I have no earned income. I think I’m being penalized because now I think I have to pay federal taxes on my Social Security benefits, where they used to be tax exempt the net difference is lower available money. Why is it like this? Am I correct in my assumption?

    • Some social Security benefits can be taxable income in some cases. It depends on any other income the person has. Usually if someone’s only income is Social Security benefits (whether disability or retirement), they would not be taxable. This Social Security webpage has the details.

  222. Sandra Kroupa // March 12, 2017 at 1:53 am // Reply

    Question I’m currently on both ssdi for a work injury and ltd. Is it possible to try to return to a part time job or will I lose my ltd benifits permanently? I live in wisconsin if that matters. Thank you

    • Regarding SSDI, you can try returning to work for a period of up to 9 months, without losing your benefits, if you follow the rules of the Trial Work Period. Regarding any private or state long-term disability (LTD) benefits, I wouldn’t know; you would have to check the terms of the policy or program to see what the rules are.

  223. I am 52 years old and I’m on Disability in Utah I have been on it a little ove 1 year can I apply for my social security early or do I have to wait till I’m 65 . I’m just not making enough to live on with just disability and would love to live just a comfortable life of what I have left I have worked since > was 15 years old a little extra would help thank you and I sure hope I could put in for it be caused who know if I will make it till 65

    • If you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, then you are already receiving your full benefit amount. What will happen is when you reach your full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount. You don’t have to take any action, and there is no option to do anything early.

      I understand that it is difficult to get by on just Social Security benefits. If your SSDI is lower than $735 per month, then you can also apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If it has been two years since your onset date then you will be able to get on Medicare which is an additional benefit. Another often overlooked benefit is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which can help with food costs.

  224. Betty Cain // March 12, 2017 at 3:14 pm // Reply

    Hubby took early SS retirement at age 62 due to a medical disability (the payments were predicated on our combined income and are very low). He is now 74 yrs old and still disabled. His SS benefits have not increased. Is he eligible for retirement & disability benefits?

    • If he had a disability at age 62, then the best course of action would have been to apply for disability (rather than early retirement) at that time. Now that he is well past his full retirement age, being disabled now does not change anything, and it would be very difficult to prove that he was disabled that long ago.

  225. I will turn 60 in late december. SS said I will qualify for 71.5 of my deceased husbands benefits. He died 9 years ago this month. I was told 2 weeks ago to come to the SS office in Sept to apply for his benefits. However I just found out from my doctor that I have COPD. I am struggling to go to work because of the COPD issue. I will have to stop working. Should I apply for disability benefits ASAP? If I understand I cannot receive both benefits. I am quite confused.

    • You can sign up for surviving spouse benefits and also apply for disability benefits. You don’t have to prove anything to get the surviving spouse benefits, other than your age and the marriage. To get disability benefits, medical evidence has to show that you can no longer work. If you were found disabled, then you would get the higher of the two benefits, not both. So you may want to find out how much your disability benefits would be. (It depends on how much you worked and paid into the system.) You can find that out by creating or logging into a My Social Security account or by asking Social Security. (Even if you were not found disabled, starting at age 62, you would be eligible for Social Security retirement benefits on your own record, and again you would receive the higher benefit amount, not both.)

  226. Marcus Monteiro // March 15, 2017 at 2:19 pm // Reply

    My SSDI recently converted to retirement benefits. As an SSDI recipient, SSDI was not considered income under certain guidelines, e.g., qualify for FAFSA school benefit determination. Since the conversion, will I have to now report the retirement benefit as income for qualifying for such matters as applying for Med-Cal benefits?

  227. I was a remodeling contractor that was injured due to a fall 13 years ago and have been receiving social security disability benefits since 2006 when my case was first approved. I have turned over responsibility for the management of the business to a business partner and family members but must remain as the qualifying agent in order for the business to exist. That requires that I have general knowledge of the operations and pass an online exam every 2 years.

    My accountant for the both the business & personal taxes said that she had to report some income for 2015 as self employment income (approx. $6700.00) which I believe is below the annual amount to be considered as SGA.

    I have since received a form SSA-820-BK form asking if I have had any self employment income since January 1st 2015.

    I returned the form stating that I did not have any income from self employment from that that date but explained that the compensation that was received from the business was for maintaining the business license but others were responsible for the management of the Business.

    If they determine that I am no longer eligible for benefits based on this form will I be able to then apply for retirement benefits at my current age of 62 and if I can will the benefits that I am receiving now be reduced.

    • You did the right thing by reporting the income and making the circumstances clear. This should not affect your benefits. For one thing, the monthly substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount is $1,170 per month in 2017, and you are below that. Also, even if your countable income did average more than the monthly SGA amount, I would certainly argue that you are not rendering significant services to the business. The issue is whether you are working, not whether you have income. If Social Security says this affects your benefits, you should appeal that decision.

      To answer your other question, yes, if your SSDI benefits were cut off due to substantial gainful activity, you would still have the right to your retirement benefits, which can be taken as early as age 62, at a reduced amount.

  228. Miriam Marrese // March 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    I have been receiving SSDI on my record for over 5 years and never remarried. I had enough credits due to my work earning 30K per year for a few years. I divorced in 2004 after a 20 year marriage. My former spouse’s yearly income consistently averaged 150K throughout the marriage and increased every year. Question: When I reach full retirement age at 66, will the monthly amount increase by 50% of former spouses retirement amount? Should this have already been included? Do I have to apply? I tried asking SSA several times but they just say it’s your retirement and it’s not going to change.

    I would like to remarry but do not want to lose any benefits I may be entitled to.

    • Yes, you can apply for divorced spouse benefits at your full retirement age (or as early as age 62 at a reduced amount). Assuming you applied at your full retirement age, if 50% of your ex-husband’s primary insurance amount is greater than the benefits you can receive on your own record, then you would receive the higher amount, not both. In most cases, if you remarry, then you would no longer be eligible for divorced spouse benefits.

  229. Jerry Luker // March 22, 2017 at 11:11 pm // Reply

    How can I raise my benefit amount if I already receive monthly payments

    • That would depend on what kind of benefits you’re receiving and in what amount. For instance, if you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or retirement benefits, and they are less than $735 per month, then you can apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to bring you up to that amount.

  230. Ana Leveron // March 23, 2017 at 11:56 pm // Reply

    I was injured in my job on October 23 2015,i have a surgery in my right shoulder and still i have a lot of pain, my worker compensation said i cannot comeback to do my job they give me permanent disability. I been receiving state disability, i want to know if i can apply for social security benefits. I gonna be 63 next july.

  231. if you lose your job because the company closed, can you continue to pay ss tax both employer and employee portion using your last pay? this way you would not have zero income and reduce your pension. I am 62 years old and prefer to collect pension at full retirement.

  232. Ive been on worksmen comp since june 2016…its labeled as temporally total disabilty..i need a total knee replacement but dr. Refuse to give it to me until my blood pressure goes down..how long can i continue being on worksmen comp..without getting surgery done..or sh ou ld i go and apply for another benefit befir this goes away..i was enjured in june if 2012..took four years To get first surgery..and it just made my knee worst..i have no information on how long i will b getting worksmen comp..i dont want to be dropped not being prepared

    • I’m sorry, but I do not know the answer to your question. Workers’ comp is not my field, and the laws vary by state in any case. I recommend contacting your state workers’ compensation department.

  233. Rhonda Roland // March 29, 2017 at 12:08 am // Reply

    Thank you so much for this wonderfull service. I am 64 years old and was just awarded disability due to cancer and neuropathy. I took partial retirement at 63. I will receive a monthly amount equal to my full retirement amount. There was no date on my award letter for a medical review nor one in my record when i called social security. Will my monthly payment revert back to the early retirement amount when i turn full retirement age..or stay the same amount? How can i apply to discharge my student loans without at least the 5 year or unexpected return to work ever date?

    • To answer your first question, if the established onset date of your disability is before the date you started taking early retirement, then you will continue to receive your full benefit amount. (It will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach your full retirement age.) If the established onset date is after the date you started taking early retirement, then your benefit will be reduced somewhat, depending on how long you were taking early retirement and not disabled.

      For your second question, according to this page on disability discharge you can request a Benefits Planning Query from Social Security by calling 1-800-772-1213.

  234. Will I still have medicad on 62 early retirement. Being on SIS already?

    • One of the requirements of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program is that you apply for any other benefits for which you may be eligible, including early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62. If your early retirement benefits are low enough that you still qualify for SSI, then you will still qualify for Medicaid as well.

  235. Angelle Dean // March 29, 2017 at 4:21 pm // Reply

    I’m 56 and receive ssd my ex husband who is 64 also receive ssd i’ve been divorce for over 2 yrs and was married 14 yrs. Can I get ss from his record and when. Half of his ssd is more than what I get on my record..

  236. Dannette COOPER // March 30, 2017 at 10:05 pm // Reply

    My husband receive social security benefits from full retirement and now is on dialysis 4 days a week for full kidney failure and he also has Diabete type 1 do he qualify for SSI or social security disability.

    • Unfortunately, becoming disabled after reaching full retirement age does not result in any additional benefit. If his retirement benefit is less than $735 per month, then he may be able to get SSI to bring him up to that amount.

  237. I recieve Social security disabity. Since i was fort y give. So can i be a le to apply from my husband rietirement beneficia been Maried 40 yearsdali

  238. Took early retirement ( ssi) at 62 i was injured on the job im now 64 can i receive ssd also

  239. I was receiving SSI,it started a few years ago. My husband retired in 2009,I kept receiving SSI,in the amount of $67.00,up until a few months ago. Then all of the sudden,they say I am under my husbands retirement record and can no longer,get medicaid. I get a little more money,but what good is that? I can’t pay any of my medical bills,my illnesses and other things,have gotten worse. Now I sit here with no insurance at all and if I have to pay for insurance,then I’ll have no money anyways. So I’d actually,rather have no money and have medicaid. For one thing,no insurance company will accept me,because of my current health issues,which like I say are getting worse as I age.

    • I sympathize with your situation. Unfortunately, one of the requirements of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, which comes with Medicaid, is that you must apply for any other benefits you may be eligible for. If this results in your income rising above the limits for SSI, then you will no longer receive SSI and may lose Medicaid as well. When you turn 65, you can receive Medicare. In the meantime, you may want to see whether there is a medical care program for low-income people run by your state, county or municipality. If not, you may be eligible low-cost insurance through healthcare.gov. The Affordable Care Act is still in place, so insurance companies cannot deny you insurance because of pre-existing conditions.

  240. I’m currently collecting early retirement survivor’s benefits and I’m working pt. I need foot surgery which will put me out if work at least 3 months. Can I collect disability benefits?

  241. Preston Jemmott // April 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm // Reply

    I am 62 became disabled in 2010. Can I make 100 dollars a week without losing my disability. I have gotten many different answers from you can make nothing to you can make 500 per month which is true confused and worried

    • If you are receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, you generally cannot work at the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) level ($1,170 per month in 2017) and still receive benefits. However, there is a program called a trial work period during which you can engage in SGA for up to nine months and still receive benefits.

      If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, then income you receive from working, even below the SGA level, will reduce your benefit amount.

      You should make sure you follow the requirements to report your income to Social Security.

  242. Can I receive state disability benefits while receiving regular social security

    • Social Security disability benefits may be reduced if you receive state disability benefits (generally speaking, you can receive no more than 80 percent of your average pre-disability earnings), but there is no such reduction for Social Security retirement benefits.

  243. gabriella moran // April 12, 2017 at 11:30 am // Reply

    my father went to the disability office today to apply for disability he retired at 62 and is 69 now his disability started before retired but was denied disability and did not appeal, he does have extensive medical records that we can use to provide his disability began prior to him retiring early and that’s why he had to retire( he has 2 herniated disks in his back as well as arthritis) they told him that this disability converted to full retirement thing does not exist what exactly should he say when he goes in to apply?

    • This would be a difficult claim. Since he is already past his full retirement age, he would be applying for a “closed period” of disability, beginning when he became disabled, and ending when he reached full retirement age. However, the rule for a closed period is that you must apply within 14 months of the end of the closed period (which would be when he reached his full retirement age) unless he can show that he did not file a timely appeal because of an impairment, in which case he may be able to apply up to 36 months after his full retirement age.

      The only other option I know of would be to reopen the prior application. In general, if you don’t appeal within 60 days, the denial becomes final. When it has been more than 4 years since the denial, you can only reopen the case if there was an “error on the face of the evidence,” in other words a very clear error in the decision.

      I would recommend consulting with a Social Security disability attorney in your area if you want to try to move forward. You can find one by calling the NOSSCR referral line at 1-800-431-2804.

  244. Gregory Hancock // April 17, 2017 at 8:54 pm // Reply

    I filed for disability in May of 2016. I was just denied and my appeal case has been turned over to Dugan and Associates, a legal firm. They informed me today that my appeal could take 1-1 1/2 years. I have no income and turn 62 in September 2017. I checked with the Social Security Administration website and it shows I am able to get $848.00/ month for early retirement. When awarded disability what would my payout look like? The SSA website shows if awarded SSDI the monthly payment Would be $1,378.00. Would I retroactively get the difference of the SSDI amount and the early retirement amount? Would I still get all back payments from the date of file of my disability? Would the amount of back pay be based on SSDI or early retirement amount?

    • Many people begin taking early retirement at age 62 while their disability case is pending. Then if you are later approved for disability, you would get your full disability amount retroactively, but for the months when you received your early retirement benefit, you would just get the difference as back pay. Then going forward you would begin receiving your full disability amount rather than the early retirement amount.

  245. Bruce Miller // April 19, 2017 at 9:42 am // Reply

    If I am collecting retirement benefits at age 62 and find a job that pays more money, can I freeze my benefits? Then when I am ready to retire, can I restart the benefits? Thanks.

    • There are a few options that may help in this situation.

      First, within 12 months of claiming early retirement benefits, you can change your mind, withdraw your application, pay back all the benefits you received, and it will be as if you never claimed early retirement benefits. You are only allowed to do this one time, and of course the major drawback is you have to pay back any benefits you have received so far.

      Another factor is the earnings test. Before your full retirement age, Social Security will withhold some of your benefit if your earnings are within certain limits. (See here for details.) The amount withheld can then increase your benefit when you reach full retirement age.

      Also, if your annual earnings after you take early retirement are greater than past years, this can increase your benefit amount.

      Finally, once you reach full retirement age, if you have some savings, you can choose to suspend your benefits. Every year between your full retirement age and age 70 that you choose not to take benefits increases your eventual benefit amount, so this can nearly make up for having taken early retirement.

  246. Brenda Wilson // April 19, 2017 at 11:34 am // Reply

    My date of birth is 8/12/52. I had a mishap so took early Social Security. My spouse indicated I should file for SSD. When the Social Security office received the letter from my doctor I was switched to SSD. I have now found a position and am working. I was notified by the Social Security office that I was making too much money. They told me I needed to reduce my income or I would be penalized. I then asked if I could switch back to my early Social Security and was told No. That I would have to wait until I was off the SSD and then I could reapply but that I would also have to repay all the SSD. No determination has been made to indicate I no longer qualify for SSD other than what I have indicated here – nothing other that I work 6 hours a day. What are my options? Thanks

    • Generally speaking, if you are earning more than the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) amount ($1,170 per month in 2017), you would not be considered disabled. However, if you are already receiving benefits, you may test your ability to return to work during a period of 9 months (which do not have to be consecutive). This is a trial work period and it is triggered by earnings over a certain limit ($840 per month in 2017). During the trial work period, you can continue to receive SSDI benefits. After the trial work period ends, if Social Security determines that you were working above the SGA level, then your SSDI benefits will end. However, you will still be entitled to an extended period of eligibility for three years after the trial work period ends. During this time, you can still receive your SSDI benefit for any month in which you do not work at the SGA level. If you work at the SGA level for a month or more, more than three years after the end of your trial work period, then you would no longer be eligible for benefits, but you can still re-apply for expedited reinstatement within five years of having received SSDI benefits.

      Once you reach full retirement age, then your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. At that point, disability is no longer at issue, and you can work without any effect on your benefits.

  247. Gregory Hancock // April 20, 2017 at 7:14 am // Reply

    Thank you for your quick response.

  248. Elena Tijerina // April 20, 2017 at 11:08 am // Reply

    I am receiving disability retirement . Am I elugable to receive SSI also monthly or am I wrong or confused. Cause I was informed that I was eligible to receive SSI monthly but I checks started last August. I have not heard any news from Social Security on that matter. Can I get an answer on that question?

    • It depends. Some people do receive both Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The SSI program uses the same definition of disability as the SSDI program, but there are additional income and resource limits. So for instance if your SSDI payment is more than $735 per month, you would not be eligible for SSI. If your SSDI payment is less than $735 per month, then you may be eligible for an SSI benefit that would bring you up to the $735 per month amount, if you meet the other requirements of the program, like not having excess resources. There is more information at this page. You may also want to contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to ask about your individual situation.

  249. Linda Godowsky-Bilka // April 20, 2017 at 3:21 pm // Reply

    Thank you! That was the Clearest and complete answer, to a question I think I ever looked up! Written perfectly, with no need to read between lines or ponder about. Thank you again!

  250. Robert Brown // April 23, 2017 at 4:34 pm // Reply

    if i am already getting socail security benefits but now i have renal failure can i put in for disability

    • It depends on your age. If you are past your full retirement age, then becoming disabled has no effect on your benefits. If you took early retirement and have not reached full retirement age yet, then you can apply for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, and if you are approved, your benefit amount will increase.

  251. Sherri Shaw // April 24, 2017 at 5:18 am // Reply

    I will be 65 this November 2017. My full retirement age is 66, however, I plan to wait and take the increased (Social Security) amount upon turning 70. If I were to apply, qualify and start receiving Disability, would there still be a way I could get the increased amount at age 70?

    • If you were approved for Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits now, the amount would be similar to your regular retirement amount. You would get SSDI benefits until reaching full retirement age, at which point they would convert automatically into retirement benefits, in the same amount. At that point, you would be able to voluntarily suspend the retirement benefits so you can earn delayed retirement credits and get a higher benefit amount at age 70.

  252. Karen Brown // April 26, 2017 at 6:08 pm // Reply

    When I filed for divorce I stated that I didnt want to pursue collect some of my husband retirement benefits. I just wanted to get things over with. Now I have changed my mind. I just want to know can I do this even after the divorce decree has been signed and complete.

    • In general, an ex-spouse may be eligible for divorced spouse benefits at age 62 if the marriage lasted for more than 10 years and the person they were married to is eligible for benefits. You would submit a copy of the divorce decree to Social Security to apply.

  253. Angelique Cnota // April 30, 2017 at 9:19 pm // Reply

    Hi my parents adopted my children before my parents died. My son is disabled and I was told that he will receive my parents survivors benefits for life-time. He turns 18 in July I just applied for his disability income as an adult. Can he receive both the survivors benefits as well as his own disability. My friend said no. But I don’t see why he wouldn’t receive bothg

    • There are a few different types of benefits that may apply here. Survivor benefits are typically only available to children under age 18. After age 18, he should qualify for Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits based on his disability, on his adoptive parents’ record. Separately, he may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which are available to disabled adults regardless of their parents’ record. However, SSI is income-based: the maximum federal benefit is $735 per month (in 2017), so he would only receive an SSI benefit if his DAC benefits are less than $735 per month, and he would only receive an amount from SSI to bring him up to the $735 per month amount. If his DAC benefits are more than $735 per month, he would not be eligible for SSI.

  254. Janet Diamond // May 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm // Reply

    I am on SSI and approaching age 62, if I were to get married before my 62nd birthday, would my increase in SSI for a couple be the amount that social security converts my retirement be the same. And would my $1103. be reduced to $735. if I got divorced?

    • Getting married can affect your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. It will often result in benefits being lowered.

      The first way your benefits can be affected is that your spouse’s income (if any) can be “deemed” to be your income, and if the income is too high, your SSI benefit will be reduced.

      Second, as you mentioned, the SSI benefit amount for a couple is $1,103. However, this is for a couple where both individuals are eligible for SSI. So if two people who are separately eligible for SSI (and so able to receive a maximum of $735 per month each) get married, they will now only receive $1,103 per month total (not each).

      • Janet Diamond // May 10, 2017 at 6:48 am // Reply

        I should have been a bit more clear about my fiancé, he is disabled also but is still pursuing his Social Security SSDI which he qualifies for and is age 60. I had read that my SSI will convert to my early retirement when I turn 62 next month, if we got married before that would not my payment go up from $735 to $1,103 because I am already classed disabled and he is waiting on his final hearing now for his SSDI. And, if we did get married and my pymt goes to $1,103, if we were to get divorced would that pymt be reduced back down to $735 or would it remain $1,103 as early retirement now.

        • There are a lot of possibilities with this situation, and I would recommend that you call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to ask them about your specific situation. In calling that number, sometimes you get a very knowledgeable and helpful person and sometimes not. You can just call again until you get someone who can actually answer your questions. But I can give you general information here.

          OK, before addressing the marriage issue: what happens when you are on SSI and turn age 62 is that the SSI program requires you to apply for early retirement. Then it depends on how much your early retirement benefit would be. If it is more than the SSI benefit amount, you would receive only the early retirement amount and not be eligible for SSI anymore. If the early retirement amount is less than the SSI amount, then you would only receive enough SSI to bring you up to the federal maximum ($735 for a single person).

          As for getting married, it does not increase your benefit from $735/mo. to $1,103/mo. The $1,103 number is the total benefit for a married couple who are both eligible for SSI. It sounds like your fiancé is pursuing SSDI. I don’t know if he is also eligible for SSI. (He might be, if his SSDI amount is lower than $735 per month.) If he was eligible for SSI, then $1,103 per month represents the total amount that you as a couple would receive.

          So for people on SSI, marriage often results in a lower total benefit, not higher. But since your fiancé is applying for SSDI, by getting married you could be eligible for spousal benefits (after one year of marriage), which could possibly be higher than what you would get on your own record for early retirement or for SSI. That depends on your fiancé’s primary insurance amount. So I recommend calling Social Security to ask them about your specific situation.

  255. I am age 63 and started receiving my social security benefits early. Recently, I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer late in 2016 and had surgery. Could I file for disability benefits?

  256. So, it’s my understanding that when I receive my disability money per month at age 59 that the only way to get more per month after working all these years is to see if my ex husband of 20 years Ss benefits are more? Then apply for that at age 62 since I never remarried?

    • Yes, if your ex-spouse is eligible for benefits (retirement age or receiving disability benefits), then you can apply for ex-spouse’s benefits at age 62. If your benefits as an ex-spouse would result in a higher benefit amount than you receive on your own record, then you can receive the higher amount, not both.

  257. I receive Social Security right now but it’s not enough to pay my bills and survive I was wondering if I can apply for SSI and get more money to help me

    • The SSI maximum for an eligible individual is $735 per month (in 2017). So if your Social Security is less than that, you can apply for SSI, and if you are eligible, the SSI will bring you up to that amount.

  258. Carolyn Vallese // May 18, 2017 at 9:14 am // Reply

    I’m almost 68 and I still work full time. When I became.66 I began drawing my social security. I now need surgery and will be temporarily totally disabled. I still pay disability each week deducted from my pay check. I’m still working because I need to work. Will I be able to get disability compensation ?

  259. Ernie Foulenfont // May 21, 2017 at 1:08 am // Reply

    I have applied for SSDI and was denied last week. I want to file a request for a review of judge’s decision and or appeal. I want to file for retirement, I’m 67, because I can no longer live on nothing. Will filing or receiving SS retirement affect my claim in a negative way?

    • You can take your retirement benefits and still continue to appeal the decision about whether you were disabled during the period before your full retirement age.

  260. Michael prinz // May 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm // Reply

    i am 61 and will turn 62 sept 14 2017.
    i now receive V.A disabilty.when i turn 62 can i receive my SSI

    • Yes, anyone who has worked enough to earn Social Security retirement benefits can start taking them at age 62 for a reduced amount. The benefits will be higher if you wait until your full retirement age, and even higher if you wait until age 70.

  261. Jane Vinzo // May 30, 2017 at 10:15 pm // Reply

    If I’m on sad and turn 65, am I eligible for my dead husbands ssbenifit

  262. SHERIF L ELBERRY // June 2, 2017 at 9:37 am // Reply

    I HAVE DIABETES AND HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE ,I WILL BE 62 IN DECEMBER SO WHAT IS MY CASE

    • It is possible to get Social Security disability benefits for those conditions, depending on how severe they are and how they limit your ability to work. Also, at age 62 you can apply for early Social Security retirement benefits at a reduced amount, regardless of disability. What many people do is file an application for disability benefits, and then, while it is pending, they take their early retirement benefits. If the disability case is finally decided in your favor, you would get your full benefit, retroactively and going forward.

  263. Karen Sweeney // June 4, 2017 at 9:00 pm // Reply

    May I transition from SSDI to early retirement at 62 in order to work and not be hindered by the substantial gainful activity laws and requirements?

    • Yes, if you are able to engage in substantial gainful activity and therefore no longer disabled, you can voluntarily terminate your SSDI benefits. You would then be able to take your early retirement benefits beginning at age 62, for a reduced amount. Keep in mind that if you wait until your full retirement age, then your SSDI will automatically convert into retirement benefits in the same amount, with no reduction, and you can start working then, because disability is no longer an issue. If you do decide to try to start working before your full retirement age, it may be to your advantage to use the Trial Work Period program, which allows you to keep receiving benefits for up to nine months while you attempt to return to work.

      • Karen Sweeney // June 14, 2017 at 1:20 am // Reply

        Thank you very much for your timely response to my question. At least I know what options are available to me and can choose according to which would be the best option for both my health and my financial well-being. Thank you for all the others who’s questions you have answered informally and easily understood language. You really are a blessing to many of us. God bless you for the work that you do and for your assistance to others.

  264. I’m on SSD. I work part time and do according to the SSD law and make what I can. I make under the SGA. I claim Everything to SS. Now I’ve been asked to possibly participate in medical research. I would be paid a stipend for this. Would this go against my SGA for the month I got the payment?

    • You would have to report it, and I think it would be a fact-based decision for Social Security to make. You can research the special employment situations to see what is most similar to what you would be doing. As an example, volunteer work (even with no pay or a small stipend) can count as SGA (except specific government volunteer programs that are excluded). I think the primary consideration would be how much activity you must perform to participate in the research. If you have to do a lot of activity such as going to a location and performing tasks or taking tests, it is more likely to be considered SGA. If it is more like for example just taking a certain medication or changing your diet, then the stipend is less likely to be counted as SGA income.

  265. I’m almost 65 yrs old and recv disability I have to retire from my work I have a 403b account will taking funds out of my 403b effect my disability should I inform SS dept of my retirement decision also I’m still legally married but have been separated for over 30 yrs am I going to recv any of his SS..this is all so confusing

    • If you receive Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, you do have to inform Social Security of any changes in your work situation. For instance, if you work at or above the substantial gainful activity level, then you would no longer be considered disabled and would no longer be eligible for SSDI benefits. But I assume you must have been working only part-time. At any rate, passive income such as payments from a 403b account do not count as income from work, so it would not affect your SSDI benefits or your Social Security retirement benefits.

      If you are receiving SSDI, then your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach your full retirement age.

      As for your spouse, if you are still legally married, then Social Security considers you a spouse despite the separation. That means that whether you can claim spousal benefits depends on whether your spouse is actually receiving retirement or disability benefits. (For divorced spouses, the ex-spouse only has to be eligible to receive benefits, not actually receiving them.) So if your spouse is receiving benefits, you can apply for spousal benefits as early as age 62. If the amount you would receive in spousal benefits is higher than the amount you would receive on your own record, then you would receive the higher amount, not both.

  266. Russell Bearinger Jr // June 12, 2017 at 12:30 am // Reply

    I Have Viewed A lot of the Q and A here and find this link Very Very helpful . The Best ive Found !

  267. Russell Bearinger Jr // June 12, 2017 at 9:14 pm // Reply

    I took Early retitement at 62 Oct 2014 and my SSDI was Approved 2 Weeks ago May 2017, How Badly is it going to affect my benifit amount? Before age 62 It Said ied get $1900.00 will that amount be Less ? If About How Much Less ?

    • The crucial factor is when your Established Onset Date (EOD) was determined to be, which is the date Social Security says your disability began. If the EOD is before you took early retirement, then your retroactive pay and your benefit going forward will be for the full amount, as if you never took early retirement. If Social Security says your EOD is after you took early retirement, then your benefit will still increase, but your retirement benefit will be reduced based on the number of months that you were taking early retirement before the EOD, at the same reduction rate that applies to early retirement in general.

      • R Bear Jr // July 8, 2017 at 7:31 pm // Reply

        This May Be Helpful for others ! May 25th 2017 hearing date . The Judge stated I was approved there. June 15, 2017 I Received a ” Fully Favorable ” notice From On Set Date of Jan 7 2015 to forward ………………… I Checked my Account at the the SSA Site on July 7th 2017 and Showed a Chicago Ill Processing Center . Today I Checked Bank There Was a BP Deposit ! So Happy !! Total Time 2Years and 6 Months it took . Thanks For Your Ans. to my Questions !

  268. ernestine lyons // June 13, 2017 at 11:44 am // Reply

    i get my husband ss since he died. im 64 i am now diabled and have been approved for ssid can i draw both.

  269. I have a job, and i applied for early retirement this year and I am receiving it.Recently My Dr.discovered that I need prostate surgery and said that I should apply for state disability.
    Am I still entitled to receive my retirement and Receive my disability benefits until I get better?

    • I don’t know what state disability program you’re referring to, so couldn’t tell you for sure, but generally speaking, Social Security early retirement benefits are not affected by those types of benefit programs (unlike SSDI, which may be offset due to state disability benefits). Most types of other income do not affect Social Security retirement benefits. This webpage shows a list of exceptions.

  270. My friend, age 60 has been told he qualifies for SSDI. He was also told that if he takes SSDI he cannot delay SS retirement income until his preferred age 70.

    In an earlier response you said, “If you are receiving SSDI, then your SSDI benefits will convert automatically into Social Security retirement benefits in the same amount when you reach your full retirement age.”

    Please clarify the meaning of, “in the same amount”. Does this mean the same amount as SSDI or the same amount as age appropriate SS retirement income?

    Also, if collecting SSDI, can he be forced into early retirement income or even full retirement age income…or can he wait until age 70?

    Thank you!

    • It is true that someone receiving SSDI cannot delay taking retirement in order to earn more. Instead, the automatic conversion happens, and there is no choice in the matter. The only exception would be if someone received SSDI but voluntarily terminated their SSDI benefits before reaching full retirement age. Then they could delay taking retirement until age 70, but of course they would have no benefits from full retirement age until age 70.

      By “same amount,” I mean that when the conversion from SSDI to retirement happens, the benefit amount does not change. (This is also usually close to, but not exactly, what someone’s projected retirement benefit at full retirement age would be if they never got disability.)

  271. I currently receive Ca. State disability payments ( to expire mid August 2017) I recently applied for and received early soc.sec.retirement at age 63. My soc.sec.case worker said I will receive both benefits overlapping for about 2 months. He told me I need not do anything. Is this true?

    • I don’t know much about California SDI specifically, but generally speaking Social Security early retirement benefits are not usually affected by such benefits (unlike SSDI, which may be offset due to state disability programs), so people are able to receive both.

  272. I am going to apply for social security at 62 but also divorced can I draw part of my ex wifes social security disability?

    • Yes, if you were married for 10 years or more, and your ex-spouse is eligible for benefits, then you could receive benefits based on her record, if that benefit amount is higher than you would receive based on your own record. There is more information here.

  273. mike avila // June 23, 2017 at 9:28 pm // Reply

    I have a friend that started collecting ssi at 62,he works part time and now need time off for surgery. Can he then also collect disability or perhaps employment benefits while he is not ably to work?

    • Unfortunately, Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits are only available when a medical condition is expected to prevent someone from working for one year or more.

  274. hi my name is Ann, i will like to say my dad is 66 years of age, he also, receive his disability benefits, i would like to understand if he can apply for his social security benefits cause he reach 66 years of age, can he apply for his social security benefits?

    • When he reaches full retirement age, his disability benefits will convert automatically into retirement benefits in the same amount. He does not have to do anything to make this happen. It is not possible to get double benefits.

  275. gresilda collins // June 30, 2017 at 12:30 pm // Reply

    HI my brother is 64 years old and gets a SS check. He use to get a SSI check but once he turned 62 he began to get the SS check. He now has been diagnosed in the last month with dementia. Is he able to receive a disability check now or just his SS check. Thankyou

    • If he was getting an SSI check before he turned 62, then I assume it was because of a disability. So probably what happened at age 62 is the SSI program requires you to apply for any other benefits you may be entitled to, and that includes early Social Security retirement benefits, available at age 62. So, if he had already been found disabled, then the new diagnosis of dementia would not result in any additional benefits.

  276. David Vickery // July 8, 2017 at 12:43 pm // Reply

    I’m single with no dependents with SSI disability as my only source of income. Being forced to take retirement at 62 …only $75 per month more, leaving me at poverty level. My Medicaid will be dropped but aren’t I still considered disabled and therefore qualified to continue Medicaid?

    • Medicaid comes with SSI, but the SSI program makes you apply for any other benefits you may be eligible for, including early retirement at age 62. Unfortunately, if your early retirement amount is above the SSI amount, then you will no longer get SSI. This could endanger your Medicaid, and Medicare is not available until age 65. But you should check with your state Medicaid agency and see if you can stay on based on your disability.

  277. My husband has been receiving SSDI benefits for 1 year. He has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer stage 3, and still doing PET and CT scans, Drs .every 4-6 months.. We do not know the extended prognosis. He turned 63 in June. Is he automatically in early retirement? Do we have to file for early retirement? We owned our own business which we are finalizing the closing this year. Just wondering if we have to file or do something else.

    • His situation falls under the situation described above under the heading “If you are already receiving SSDI disability benefits and approaching retirement age.”

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