Questions About Benefits

4 Comments on Questions About Benefits

  1. Tim Zeinert // May 9, 2016 at 3:53 pm // Reply

    I am 49 years old, I have been disabled and on SSDI since 2004. My disease is not going to allow me to work again. Can I get an increase in benefits if I take early Social Security? I am receiving $1066.00/ month.

    • Unfortunately, no. If you are already receiving SSDI, then you are receiving your maximum benefit. Upon reaching full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically become retirement benefits, in the same amount. You cannot take early retirement benefits at age 62 (and it would not result in increased benefits anyway). More on this here.

  2. Gia Gambino // March 26, 2017 at 9:58 pm // Reply

    I will be 62 July 1. I have applied for Disability benefits. It is now in the post hearing review stage. Waiting for the Judges decision. My question is that I am entitled to SS benefits at 62. I know this is early retirement. In addition, I was married for 28 years.and now divorced. I understand I can apply for former spousal benefits as well. Can you please explain how my monthly dollar amount is calculated using these 3 variables. I am very confused!

    • I can give you an overview. First, there are the benefits on your own record. If you are approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, then you will receive your full benefit amount, which is similar to your full retirement amount. If you’re receiving SSDI, then when you reach full retirement age, your SSDI converts into retirement benefits in the same amount.

      Retirement benefits can be claimed as early as age 62, at a reduced amount. Or, you can wait until your full retirement age, and get your full amount. Or, you can wait as late as age 70, and get an even higher amount. This applies if you do not get SSDI, and you can also apply for early retirement while you are waiting for the SSDI decision. Then if you are granted the SSDI, you’ll get your full benefit amount and won’t get penalized for taking the early retirement.

      The best way to find out these amounts for you individually is to create or log in to a My Social Security account.

      You can also apply for divorced spouse benefits, and if the amount you would receive as a divorced spouse is higher than the amount you are entitled to under your own record (whether retirement or disability), then you’ll receive the higher amount, not both. As a divorced spouse, you would be entitled to half of your ex-spouse’s full benefit amount, at your full retirement age. (You can also claim divorced spouse benefits as early as age 62, for a reduced amount.) Social Security won’t reveal your ex-spouse’s primary benefit amount to you, so the only way to find that out is to ask your ex-spouse, or apply for the divorced spouse’s benefits.

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