Do Disability Benefits End at Age 65
Disability benefits are a program funded by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that provides financial assistance to those who are unable to work due to a disability. When you reach a certain age, called “full retirement age”, certain aspects of your benefits may change, but the amount itself will not.
How Your Benefits Convert
When you reach your age of full retirement, your benefits will not be interrupted or change in amount. However, the fund where the benefits come from will be different. The SSA changes your benefits from the Social Security Disability fund to a different retirement program fund when you reach your retirement age.
Note that this conversion happens automatically, and you don’t have to do anything when you reach your retirement age. The SSA will convert your benefits for you.
Full Retirement Age
For most people, the full retirement age described by the SSA is not 65, as you may believe. In fact, only those people born before 1937 have a full retirement age of exactly 65. Your retirement age is most likely a bit higher, and it depends on the year and date that you were born. Find your date of birth and full retirement ages in the list below:
- 1937: 65 years
- 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
Auxiliary Benefits for Spouses
Auxiliary, or spousal, benefits can be as much as half of the primary worker’s benefit amount, depending on the age of the spouse when they retire. A spouse can choose to retire as early as age 62, but the benefit amount will be reduced (unless they care for the worker’s child who is under 16 or receives their own disability benefits).
The benefit amount can be reduced by a certain percentage for each month before you reach full retirement age. If the spouse is eligible for their own retirement benefits, they are paid either the retirement benefit or the spousal benefit, whichever is greater.
When you reach full retirement age, another change to your benefits is that you are no longer subject to the income limits set by the SSA. This means that you can increase your wages from a part time job or another source of income and it will not have an effect on your benefits.
If you are unsure of how your benefits may be affected when you reach your full retirement age, consider seeking the assistance of a disability benefits lawyer or advocate. A lawyer or advocate can answer any questions you may have about how your benefits convert or early retirement to ensure a smooth process.