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Do Social Security Disability Benefits Switch to Retirement Benefits When You Turn 65?

Many people wonder what happens to their Social Security Disability benefits when they reach retirement age. Do they stop receiving disability benefits? Do disability benefits continue? Are they converted to Social Security Retirement benefits? It can be confusing to understand how the process works and individuals who receive SSDI benefits want to ensure that they are not left without an income once they reach retirement age. If you are wondering what happens to your SSDI benefits once you reach age 65, the following information will help.

The Benefits Do Convert

The first thing you need to understand when receiving SSDI benefits is that the benefits do convert from Social Security Disability benefits to Social Security Retirement benefits once you reach retirement age. Nothing will change. You will continue to receive a monthly check and you do not need to do anything in order to receive your benefits. The SSA will simply change your disability benefit to a retirement benefit once you have reached full retirement age. When you reach that age, however, can vary depending on which year you were born in.

It’s Not Automatically 65

Many people think that their SSDI benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits when they reach age 65. Some of these people are correct, but only those who were born before 1937. Anyone born after 1937 does not reach full retirement age at exactly 65 years of age so their SSDI benefits will not change to retirement benefits as soon as they turn 65 years old. When will these benefits convert? It depends on the year you were born. The following outline will help you understand at what age your SSDI benefits will convert to retirement benefits:

  • 1938 – 65 years and 2 months
  • 1939 – 65 years and 4 months
  • 1940 – 65 years and 6 months
  • 1941 – 65 years and 8 months
  • 1942 – 65 years and 10 months
  • 1943 through 1954 – 66 years
  • 1955 – 66 years and 2 months
  • 1956 – 66 years and 4 months
  • 1957 – 66 years and 6 months
  • 1958 – 66 years and 8 months
  • 1959 – 66 years and 10 months
  • 1960 and later – 67 years

By reviewing the age breakdown above, you can see at what age your Social Security Disability benefits will convert to Social Security Retirement benefits. Once you begin receiving Social Security Retirement benefits, you will receive your benefits without any limit on your earnings. This means that you will begin receiving your monthly benefits regardless of your income, unlike when these benefits were simply SSDI benefits. When your SSDI benefits convert to retirement benefits, the SSDI rules no longer apply to the benefits as the benefits now fall under the retirement guidelines.


If my ex is receiving some of my Retirement from my will she receive any more when my Social Security convert to Social Security Retirement?

Hi Rodney,
I do not believe so. She would be able to earn more from working in addition to receiving retirement benefits, but that is all.

I'm getting ssdi I will be 62 this July I received Medicare card in the mail what do I need to do will my benefits continue

Hi Marilyn,
Yes, your benefits will continue regardless of your age, so long as you still are disabled and aren't working.

I would also call the Social Security office and see if you need any other insurance along with your new Medicare benefits so that you do not get any penalties. For example, some people can be penalized (monthly) if they do not have Part D coverage along with their MedicareA and B. Part D is prescription coverage. Part C is supplemental coverage which sometimes includes part D and is usually a Medicare recipients best bet. Tip: If you call, let them know right off the bat, that you are calling because you are a NEW Medicare A and B recipient and would like to talk to someone about what other coverage you NEED to have. Best of luck. It sounds much more complicated than it actually is.

I am on sad. When it converts to as retirement will I get the same or more or less income.

Hi Sharon,
Your income will stay the same when it converts to SS retirement benefits.

I've been on social security benifits since I was 43, I turn 66 September 2016, will my benifits increase? Can I collect according to my husbands social security . He is already collecting, he will be 70 in june.

Hi Susan,
Your benefits would stay the same when the convert to retirement benefits, but you may be eligible to get benefits on your husband's work record, if you'd get a lesser amount on your own work record

Hi Julia,
It would generally stay the same if you did not have any income that would cause the SSA to re-calculate your benefits amount.

Hi Marina,
Your benefits amount may not change once it converts to retirement benefits.

Will my Disability Social Security income check change in $$ amountil once I reach month....if so More or less income...I can't work an extra job...

Hi Etta,
Once you hit your FRA you will be able to work as much as you want. Your SS check amount will not change.

Hi Fran,
The amount will stay the same, the benefits will just change from SSDI benefits to retirement benefits.

how much can i expect to receive at retirement age 67 in 2034 with current ssdi gross16546.80 ?
what is the formula for that ? thank you

Hi Max,
We actually cannot calculate that. The SSA changes its formula slightly every year, so you won't know until your year of retirement.

I have an opportunity to accept gainful employment and am currently receiving SSDI. I will be 65 in December and want to drop SSDI and begin receiving Social Security which will allow me to earn more than I legally can under SSDI. I know I will lose $1 for every $2 I earn over $15,700. My question is, can I do this and will I receive the same amount of Social Security I would have normally received if I had become age 66--less the penalty which I figure would be 7.3%?

Hi Billy,
I believe your retirement percentage would be significantly lower if you have been receiving SSDI for a number of years. Wouldn't the SSA take your unearned income years as 0s towards your work history if you work enough to become disqualified from SSDI benefits and then just take full retirement benefits? Hopefully someone else knows a lot more about this than I do! I would personally advise waiting until you hit full retirement age and have your full SSDI benefits, plus the opportunity to work as much as you please.

you can make up to 700.00 per month , and still be on Disability, with out it effecting your disability income. Just watch your earnings and don't go over 700.00 , there is a penalty if you go over , put I don't know how the penalty works. And of course there the Ticket to work program , if you work passed 9 months , it could cut your disability, it' s just a trial to see in you can hold down a full time job under pressure under a hi demanding supervisor. I have panic attacks when anyone rushes me and I become dis functional .plus about 6 other disorders

Hi srt,
It's true, you can work without losing benefits, though the amount you can earn really depends on if you're getting SSDI or SSI

The amount is an average of $1,060.00/mo. of earned income before SSDI is reduced. Even after the trial work period of 9 months, you still are able to pay to stay on Medicare for 7 more years. Also, if you need to return to disability, all that is required is informing your local SS Office. It is an automatic thing and does not require a re-application until you have been working for 3 consecutive years. So, the reality is is that it is best to determine what you really can do physically and if it makes sense to earn just over the maximum each month to eliminate your benefits.

I believe that your SSDI turns into "retirement" Social Security automatically at your personal SSA retirement age (66years old) and the amount stays the same unless I am misunderstanding the question.

I was determined disabled in, I believe, 1995. I am told however that I'm receiving SSI even though I was born in 1950. This is confusing to me. Can someone explain to me why?

Hi Sharon,
SSI is available for people of all ages. I do not believe your SSI benefits would convert if you hit full retirement age.

If someone has been receiving social security benefits for 10 years and therefore only has 25 years of earnings at age 65, will the amount of retirement benefits he receives be lower than the amount of disability benefits he had been receiving?

Hi Lindsey,
They actually won't. When an applicant is approved for SSDI, his/her earnings statement goes through what's called a "disability freeze." This means that the amount of SSDI benefits earned monthly will remain the same, even throughout retirement after the recipient has not been working.

At 62 can I do a sit down job or will I still loose everything including my medicare. Been disabled since age 56? Just got bills from drs pilling up and cancer

Hi there,
You can earn up to $1090 per month and still qualify for benefits. Hopefully that can help you make ends meet.

I receive Medicare and ssdi payments monthly I am forced financially to take part time work will i loose my payments and Medicare I am 60 will be 61 in April 2016

Hi Jackie,
It's possible to work while receiving SSDI, however if you earnings are too high you would lose your benefits.

If someone currently receives Disability since 1982, and they are to begin SSI in November 2016, will they stop receiving Disability or will they receive Disability and SSI? Thanks

Hi Tammy,
What is probably happening is this person's SSDI benefit is less than $733, the SSI maximum payment. So he or she can receive an SSI payment in addition to the SSDI payment, but the combined total of both payments cannot exceed $733. I hope that helps.

i turned 65 this past august and i am receiving disability payments.should i which to retirement benefits.i need to know this information as soon as possible.

Hi Theresa,
Your disability benefits will convert to retirement benefits automatically. There isn't a way for you to expedite the switch or anything like that.

I'm currently receiving ssdi. I will hit retirement in March of 2016 when I turn 66. Will the date I receive my retirement check be the same as the ssdi check date? All of my bills are centered around the date I currently receive the ssdi check.