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

Submitted by Shane on Mon, 08/29/2016 - 15:18

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.

Blog comments

Henry Reed (not verified)

I started drawing social security benefits in September of 2010 which was one month before turning 65. Of course, since 2011 at age 66, the Social Security Administration states that I draw "regular" monthly social security benefits. I do not recall ever completing an application for SSDI though I have been disabled from the Army since 1988. How do I know that I received SSDI from Social Security prior to its becoming "regular" when turning 66? I would like to make sure that I am drawing social security based on disability, but I don't know..... Thanks for any advice!

Wed, 10/09/2019 - 16:33 Permalink
TT (not verified)

If you are receiving disability SSDI now at 62, when you turn 65 or 66 retirement age, do you automatically go to regular as and does your amount change higher or lower?

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 01:53 Permalink

In reply to by TT (not verified)

Hi TT,

Once you reach your full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert to retirement benefits. Nothing should change.

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 10:52 Permalink
bkillings (not verified)

if i am working partime making under the amount allotted for SSID,, will my payment change when I retire since I am still paying into Social Security funds?

Thu, 10/10/2019 - 18:13 Permalink

In reply to by bkillings (not verified)


Once you reach your full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will convert to retirement benefits. Nothing should change.

Fri, 10/11/2019 - 11:25 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm currently collecting SSDI Benefits and have been since 2003, in April 2020 I'll start getting a $200.00 monthly pension will that affect my SSDI?


Thu, 10/31/2019 - 14:45 Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

My boyfriend is recieving SSDI, has for 5-6yrs now . Is there a,way he can switch it to DDI ? He is 48 yrs old would he make more on DDI ?

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 15:11 Permalink

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)


Generally SSDI payments are higher than SSI benefits. However, without knowing his personal information, I would not be able to give you a definitive answer. I would call up the SSA and they will be able to give you a more precise answer.

Thu, 11/14/2019 - 16:26 Permalink
Martha E Metz (not verified)

I get. SSDI and get discounted $100 (due to overpayment, according to Soc.Sec.) once I retired would they continue to discount the same amount or would be more???

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 12:09 Permalink

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