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Can I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits if I am Retired?

The Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program was created by Congress to provide monetary benefits to those persons that were not old enough to retire but had suffered from a disabling sickness or injury. When originally conceived, SSDI covered disabled persons between the ages of 50 and 65. Today, a person between 18 and 66 can apply for SSDI. SSDI was created as a sort of retirement benefit for those who had to retire early because of a disabling event.

I Accepted Early Social Security Benefits at Age 62 and Now I am Disabled

At age 62, workers can apply for early retirement Social Security benefits. If you wait to apply for benefits until age 66, your monthly benefit amount will be higher. So, what happens if you become disabled while you are accepting early retirement benefits? Can you apply for SSDI?

The answer is yes. If you have accepted early retirement benefits and then become disabled before the full retirement age of 66, you can apply for SSDI. If the Social Security Administration (SSA) approves your application, your benefits will be switched from retirement benefits to disability benefits.

SSDI Payment Quirks

If your disabling event occurred BEFORE you applied for early retirement benefits, SSA will pay disability payments that are approximately equal to what would have been your full retirement amount. If your disabling event occurred AFTER you applied for early retirement benefits, the SSA will not usually pay any difference between retirement at age 62 and full retirement benefits.

What Happens at Age 66?

At age 66, you will no longer be eligible for disability benefits, so the SSA will then switch your benefits from SSDI to normal Social Security retirement benefits. Therefore, you cannot collect SSDI and Social Security payments concurrently, since, again, SSDI was created as a sort of early retirement program for those that became disabled before standard retirement ages.

What About SSI?

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) was created as a type of low-income disability program. To qualify, you must:

Concurrent SSDI, SSI, and Social Security Benefits

If you have an extremely low income, it is possible to receive SSI concurrently with SSDI or Social Security payments. If you enjoy a moderate or high income, you would not be eligible for SSI payments, and as previously mentioned, SSDI payments cannot run concurrently with Social Security payments.

It’s Complicated

Government rules and regulations can be difficult to understand, and those rules and regulations that pertain to SSDI, SSI, and Social Security benefits can be especially confusing. If you require assistance navigating the government disability benefit landscape, be sure to consider the services of board-certified Florida lawyer Joseph Rooth. For a free consultation, call today at 727-849-3400 or book online.