Can I Get Both Social Security and Disability?

Picture of man getting Social Security Disability.

Receiving both Social Security retirement benefits and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is not common but possible. This often occurs when an individual reaches their full retirement age (FRA), marking the transition from SSDI to regular Social Security retirement benefits.

This transition is smooth, with SSDI benefits automatically converting to retirement benefits when an individual hits their full retirement age, typically between 65 and 67. The process ensures a continuous flow of monthly benefits, without the need for a separate application for retirement benefits.

It’s important to note that this transition doesn’t result in an increase in the total benefit amount. Social Security takes into account factors like work history and average indexed monthly earnings to determine the benefit amount. Essentially, you’re not receiving double benefits for the same period; rather, it’s a shift in the program providing the benefits.

Consider a scenario where an individual was receiving $1,000 per month under SSDI. Upon reaching their full retirement age, this amount might become the combined Social Security retirement benefit. The key lies in understanding that the total remains consistent, even though the source of the benefits changes.

Receiving both types of benefits is appropriate and common when individuals reach their full retirement age. Social Security seamlessly manages the transition to retirement benefits for those eligible for SSDI.

In some cases, a less common scenario involves concurrent benefits. For instance, if someone had opted for early retirement before being eligible for full benefits and later becomes disabled, they might qualify for concurrent benefits. This involves coordinating early retirement benefits with disability benefits, and Social Security assesses the overall situation to determine the most advantageous option.

However, it’s crucial to note that if someone is receiving disability benefits and decides to start Social Security retirement benefits before reaching full retirement age, the total amount may be reduced. Careful consideration is necessary when deciding to begin receiving benefits to maximize overall income.

In situations involving early retirement and disability benefits, seeking personalized guidance is advisable. Consulting with Social Security or a Fee-Only financial adviser or attorney experienced in Social Security matters can provide tailored advice based on individual circumstances. This ensures that individuals make informed decisions to optimize their Social Security benefits.

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