What happens when I reach retirement age?

If you start receiving disability benefits at the age of 55, once you turn retirement age (65), then your benefits will continue. They will simply be called “retirement benefits” instead of “disability benefits.”

Do disability benefits subtract from retirement benefits?

Yes. You can pay money back to Social Security if you wish to increase your retirement benefit.

Am I ever required to pay Social Security back for disability benefits?

As long as you are entitled to those benefits, no, you do not have to pay Social Security back.

How long will I continue to receive benefits?

Social Security conducts periodic reviews every 3-5 years to determine whether a person is still disabled. If they find that you are still disabled, your benefits will continue. As long as you were still disabled under Social Security’s rules, your benefits would continue until retirement age, and then they would continue as retirement benefits until you pass away.

Is SSDI or SSI better than the other?

Typically, SSDI benefits are greater than SSI benefits. SSI is currently limited to a maximum of $674.00 per month.

Can I get both?

Yes, but only if your SSDI benefit is less than the federal SSI maximum amount ($674.00, as stated previously). For example, if your SSDI benefit was $300.00 per month, you would receive SSI payments of $374.00 per month to make your total benefit payment $674.00 per month. If your SSDI benefit is more than $674.00 per month, even by a dollar, you will receive only the SSDI benefit each month.

As for benefit payments, the first letter Social Security always sends is a letter saying SSI will pay [x] per month (again, only up to $674.00). They then send you a letter telling you how much SSDI you will receive per month. For example, if Social Security sent you a letter stating you would get $674.00 per month in SSI, and then sent you a letter saying you would get $974.00 per month in SSDI, you will receive $974.00 that first month of benefits, with $674.00 of it being SSI and $300.00 of it being SSDI. After that first month, SSI will send you a letter stating you will receive $0.00 in SSI in the future. This is not a problem. All this means is that you will receive the $974.00 from SSDI each month, rather than part from SSI and part from SSDI. In other words, there is no double pay for SSI and SSDI each month. You would never receive $674.00 plus $974.00. This is because SSI is supplemental in nature: it is meant to keep people just above the federal poverty line.

How do I know how much my SSDI benefit will be?

Social Security formerly sent out paper statements each year which listed your quarters of coverage and how much you could expect in retirement benefits and disability benefits per month. They will no longer send out these paper statements, but they post the information online (at http://ssa.gov) instead. The statements are generally a good estimate of what your SSDI benefit would be.

Am I eligible for Medicare or Medicaid once I get SSDI or SSI?

Once you are found eligible for SSDI, you will be eligible for Medicare in 2 years. Once you are found eligible for SSI, you are eligible for Medicaid the same month your SSI benefits begin.

What is a “back-award?”

A back-award is a lump-sum benefit that you receive because Social Security should have been paying you benefits for some time before your favorable decision.

Can I get a back-award for both SSI and SSDI?

If you are found eligible for both programs, both programs will pay back awards, but your SSI back award will be deducted from your SSDI back award. For example, if you were entitled to $10,000 for an SSI back benefit, you would receive that first (as SSI always pays first). If you were entitled to a $12,000 back award for SSDI as well, SSDI would pay you only $2,000, as you were already paid $10,000 by SSI. In this situation, you would not receive $22,000, but $12,000 total.  In other words, there is no double-pay for SSI and SSDI.

If you or someone you know has a question about Social Security Disability, please contact us.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.