Can I receive Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time?

woman_and_financesThe Social Security Administration (SSA) primarily pays disability benefits to people who cannot work and are too young to retire. Since disability benefits automatically transition into retirement benefits, most people cannot collect both Social Security (SS) retirement benefits and SS disability benefits at the same time.

However, some claimants may qualify for both types of benefits as well an additional amount of income based on their circumstances.

How Retirement Affects Your Social Security Disability Benefits

The SSA allows people to receive SS retirement benefits when they reach full retirement age, which is 65 or 67 years old, depending on what year you were born. Since a person who is retired is assumed not to be working, disability payments stop and retirement benefits kick in at one of those two ages. While the type of benefit changes, payments continue automatically and the amount stays the same.

Although this is the general rule, some retired claimants can receive multiple kinds of SS benefits if they:

  • Take early retirement. The SSA allows people to claim retirement benefits as early as age 62, but the amount these claimants received is reduced. However, if a person qualifies for both early retirement and disability, the SSA may provide a disability payment on top of their early retirement benefit that makes up the difference.
  • Receive back pay. A retired person who qualifies for disability will also likely be approved for retroactive disability benefits for the months in which they were disabled before application.
  • Qualify for Supplemental Security Income. If you're already receiving disability or retirement benefits, you could also qualify for Supplemental Security Income if you can demonstrate financial need and few resources.

If you're unsure what kinds of benefits you may qualify for, our attorneys can determine how much you've paid into Social Security during your past employment and see how your personal circumstances affect what you're owed. Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a consultation with our Social Security attorneys at no cost to you.