Depending on when you were born, your retirement age will be between 65 and 67. Your retirement age is the age when Social Security Disability stops. Once these disability benefits stop, they then get converted into Social Security retirement income.
Generally speaking, the Social Security Administration (SSA) does not provide disability income and retirement income to the same person at the same time. This applies if your benefits do not stop for other reasons, such as earning a certain amount of income or recovering from your disability.
Your Retirement Age Is Based on Your Birth Year
The SSA calculates an individual’s normal retirement age (NRA) based on the year they were born.
Here is how you know the age at which Social Security Disability will stop:
65 Years of Age
If you were born in or before 1937, your retirement age is 65.
Each birth year afterward increases the retirement age by two months until 1943. So, if you were born in 1938, your retirement age is 65 and two months. If you were born in 1942, your retirement age is 65 and 10 months.
66 Years of Age
If you were born between 1943 and 1954, your retirement age is 66.
People born between 1955 and 1959 increase the retirement age by two months. So, if you were born in 1955, your retirement age is 66 and two months. If you were born in 1959, your retirement age is 66 and 10 months.
67 Years of Age
Anyone born in 1960 or later has an official retirement age of 67.
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You Must Meet the Eligibility Requirements to Receive Disability Benefits
To receive Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the SSA’s eligibility criteria for income, age, and disability.
Many medical conditions and disabilities may qualify you for disability benefits, including certain cancers, sensory disorders, and blindness.
Your disability must be medically provable. It must also be serious enough to prevent you from working for at least 12 consecutive months or have a likelihood of terminating in death. Details on qualifying illnesses are provided in the SSA’s listing of impairments.
You must also earn less than the income level deemed by the SSA as being substantially and gainfully employed. This level is called the SGA, or substantially gainful activity. If you earn more per month than the maximum SGA allowed for a household of your size, you may not be eligible for disability benefits.
The age metric is based on your official SSA retirement age and is used to determine your eligibility for benefits. You must be below your official retirement age to be eligible for benefits. Your retirement age is the age when Social Security Disability will stop unless you start receiving benefits earlier, which we will discuss in the next section.
Your SGA Level May Determine Whether You Can Continue Receiving Benefits
You can receive Social Security Disability benefits as long as you meet the three criteria outlined above. If you return to work, earn more than the SGA level for your household, or recover from your disability to the extent that your illness, ailment, or condition can no longer be classified as a disability, you may lose your benefits. Your benefits may also stop irrespective of your age. Once you hit retirement age, your benefits will change to Social Security retirement income, and you will no longer receive disability benefits.
You may be able to start receiving Social Security retirement benefits earlier if you choose, and you may be able to receive them as early as the age of 62. Keep in mind that you are only entitled to your full benefits if you wait until you reach your full retirement age before you draw benefits. Taking your benefits early leads to a reduction in your benefits that will be maintained throughout the period during which you draw retirement. Also, if you opt to postpone taking your benefits until you reach the age of 70, your benefits will go up.
Other Key Points
There is no single formula used to calculate an individual’s Social Security Disability benefits. The benefits you may be entitled to collect may depend on:
- The severity of your disability
- The type of disability you have
- The size of your household
- Whether you have any dependents
- The ages of your dependents
Qualifying widows or widowers may also apply for benefits. You may also be able to continue receiving benefits for a disabled child until they reach the age of 18 or 22, depending on the case at hand.
In general, when calculating benefits for a single individual, the individual’s retirement age is the age when Social Security Disability benefits stop.
Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, for Further Assistance
Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, can be reached at (828) 286-3866. Please give us a call to discuss your case and learn more about the various benefits you may be entitled to receive. If you need help applying for benefits or appealing a denial notice, we may be able to help you.
A team member can also explain to you how to file for benefits, what kinds of proof you need to substantiate a claim, and how to plan your benefits leading up to and beyond your retirement age. Many factors come into play in determining your benefits, and we can help you make informed decisions regarding them.