What Happens to My SSDI Benefits When I Reach Full Retirement Age?
SSDI eligibility ends at full retirement age, but other government benefits do not end at this point.
We hear this question often, mostly because many SSDI applicants are over 50, as outlined below. So, these individuals might start receiving SSDI benefits almost literally on the eve of retirement. The law clearly states that SSDI benefits automatically convert to SSI (Social Security Insurance) benefits when people reach full retirement age. The same government agency, which in this case is the Social Security Administration, does not allow double-dipping.
Regardless of the applicant’s age, the SSDI process is long and difficult. A Tampa Social Security Disability lawyer helps applicants get the benefits they need and deserve. Since disability victims are unable to work full-time, the monthly cash benefits that SSDI offers usually mean the difference between paying bills and making unwanted sacrifices.
Is it Easier to Get SSDI When I am Over 50?
Disability applicants in Florida must adhere to strict SSA rules. These rules are not quite as strict for people over 50, as follows:
- RFC: Residual Functional Capacity is the amount of work disabled individuals can perform. The categories range from sedentary (able to lift 10 pounds) to heavy (able to lift 50 pounds). The categories are not as rigid for over 50 applicants since, according to the SSA, these people are “closely approaching advanced age.”
- Expanded Blue Book Presumption: If the applicant’s combined impairments are as severe as a listed condition or even more severe, then the impairments are equivalent. Over 50 applicants may also have a single impairment that is the equivalent of a listed condition.
- Alternative Employability: Many lawyers call this factor the “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” factor. There is a presumption that it is difficult or impossible for over 50 applicants to acquire new skills through education and training.
Generally, applicants of any age are eligible for SSDI benefits if they have a sufficient amount of work credits, and their physical, mental, or other disabilities make it impossible for them to work and support themselves and their dependents.
State Disability Determination Services officers usually deny initial SSDI claims. A Tampa Social Security Disability attorney can usually overturn that denial in an appeal hearing before an Administrative Law Judge.
Social Security and Other Government Benefit Programs
A related question we hear a lot pertains to the relationship between SSDI and VA disability. The two programs are different and not normally related to each other. However, in some cases, people who are receiving VA disability benefits have an easier time receiving SSDI benefits.
P&T (Permanently and Totally) disabled veterans are eligible for expedited SSDI review. Officials are supposed to “red flag” P&T cases for expedited review. However, it is usually a good idea to bring this determination to the agency’s attention.
This point brings up another fundamental difference between SSDI and VA disability. SSDI is all or nothing. Applicants are disabled, or they are not. The VA uses a percentage rating system. Partially disabled veterans are usually eligible for benefits. A veteran’s illness or injury symptoms usually determine the disability rating.
Social Security programs are completely unrelated to workers’ compensation programs. SSDI compensates disabled individuals, SSI is an age-related benefit, at least in most cases, and workers’ compensation compensates injured workers. In fact, since Social Security is taxpayer-funded and workers’ compensation is insurance company-funded, many individuals are eligible for both workers’ compensation and SSDI or SSI.
Count on a Reliable Hillsborough County SSDI Lawyer
SSDI eligibility normally ends at full retirement age. For a free consultation with an experienced Social Security lawyer in Tampa, contact the Rooth Law Firm. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.