Recipients of Social Security Disability benefits are often unsure how their income will be affected if their circumstances change. Find the answers to some commonly asked questions about SSDI benefits below.
I receive Social Security Disability benefits, and I just turned 67. How will that affect my payments?
Per the Social Security Administration, you are eligible to collect full retirement benefits at the age of 67. By law, you are not allowed to collect both retirement and disability benefits from the SSA. If you are currently receiving Social Security disability and reach 67 years old, your benefits will automatically change to retirement benefits.
Will my pension affect my SSDI payments?
If you’re entitled to a pension from your former employer, becoming eligible to receive that pension does not automatically disqualify you from receiving SSDI benefits, but may lower your monthly payments.
Can I receive SSDI payments and Worker’s Compensation benefits?
If your disability is related to a work injury, you may be entitled to worker’s compensation benefits. This doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from SSDI but may reduce the amount your eligible to collect.
If the amount of your worker’s compensation benefits plus your SSDI benefits exceed 80 percent of your average income before the disability, then your Social Security payments may be reduced.
My health is improving enough that I’m able to try working again. What will happen to my disability income?
Modern medical science is working every day to find new and better ways to treat a range of disabling conditions. For SSDI recipients whose health is improving, it can often be exciting and scary at the same time. You want to try to go back to work, but are afraid of how it will affect your health and whether you’ll be able to earn enough to cover your expenses.
With Social Security disability benefits, you can actually try working without worrying about losing your benefits. If you find you physically aren’t able to work as you had hoped, or just aren’t able to put in as many hours as you thought, there are rules and programs to protect you.
For instance, SSDI recipients have 9 months of Trial Work Period (TWP) to use to try out going back to work. These 9 months don’t have to be used all at once. So, for example, if you attempt to go back to work for a month and find you aren’t quite healthy enough yet, then you simply wait and continue to receive your SSDI benefits until you’re condition has improved further — and you’ll still have 8 Trial Work months remaining.
M. Stanley Whitehead is a Social Security attorney in Houston, Texas who focuses on helping clients who have been denied benefits.