Will My Disability Benefits Change When I Turn 65 – How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Will My Disability Benefits Change When I Turn 65

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) serves as a crucial safety net for individuals with disabilities, ensuring financial support based on previous contributions to the Social Security system.

To be eligible for SSDI, individuals must have worked in jobs covered by Social Security and have a medically-recognized disability.

The substantial gainful activity limit, a measure to ensure that recipients are not working above a certain income threshold, is set at $1,470 per month ($2,460 if blind) for 2024 and $1,550 per month ($2,590 if blind) for 2024.

Transition to Full Retirement Age

SSDI benefits When I Turn 65

A significant question for SSDI beneficiaries is whether their benefits change upon reaching 65 years old.

The answer is nuanced. Your disability benefits will continue until you reach your full Social Security retirement age, which is between 66 and 67, depending on your birth year.

At this point, SSDI benefits automatically convert to Social Security retirement benefits. The key aspect here is the seamless transition with no change in the benefit amount.

Factors Affecting Benefits Post-65

While the transition at full retirement age is straightforward, certain conditions can affect your benefits.

If you start receiving a pension from a job where you didn’t pay into Social Security, such as a federal civil service system or a nonprofit, your SSDI benefits might decrease.

This is an important consideration for those who have diverse income sources.

The Role of Medicare in SSDI

Medicare eligibility is another important factor for SSDI recipients. After 24 months of receiving SSDI benefits, individuals are typically enrolled in Medicare, providing crucial health coverage alongside financial benefits.

Additional Considerations

  • Claiming Early Social Security Benefits: If you opt for early Social Security retirement benefits at age 62, your amount would be lower than your full retirement age benefit. However, if you qualify for SSDI, this benefit amount will be higher than taking early Social Security until you reach full retirement age.
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI): You may be eligible for both SSI and Social Security retirement benefits simultaneously. However, if eligible for both, your SSI benefits may be reduced based on your Social Security retirement benefits.
  • Benefit Review Process: SSDI recipients undergo periodic reviews by Social Security. If improvement in your condition is possible, reviews typically occur every three years; if not, about every seven years.

Payment Schedules and Adjustments

Social Security Disability Benefits Payment Schedule

SSDI Payments Schedule

The payment schedule for SSDI benefits is determined by your birth date and when you started receiving benefits.

For instance, if your birthday is from the 1st to the 10th of the month, you can expect your payment on the second Wednesday of each month.

Those born between the 11th and 20th receive payments on the third Wednesday, and those from the 21st to the end of the month, on the fourth Wednesday.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA)

The Social Security Administration applies a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to disability benefits each year. For 2024, the increase was 8.7%, and for 2024, it’s set at 3.2%. This adjustment ensures that benefits keep pace with inflation.

Handling Late or Missing Payments

If your disability payment is late or missing, the first step is to contact your bank for potential delays.

If the bank isn’t the issue, the next step is to contact the Social Security Administration.

It’s important to know that Social Security benefits are typically paid electronically, either through direct deposit or a Direct Express Debit Mastercard.

Disability Benefits and Social Security at 65

One of the most important aspects to understand when discussing the transition from disability benefits to retirement benefits is the concept of full retirement age.

For individuals born in 1960 or later, the full retirement age is 67.

This is the age at which your Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits will automatically switch to Social Security retirement benefits, and it’s important to note that this transition happens automatically.

Impact of Other Benefits on SSDI


An essential consideration for SSDI recipients is the impact of other retirement benefits on their SSDI amount.

If you begin to receive a pension from employment not covered by Social Security, such as certain federal civil service or nonprofit jobs, this can lead to a reduction in your SSDI benefits.

This is due to the Windfall Elimination Provision, which is designed to prevent individuals from receiving a disproportionately high amount of benefits.

We’ve also covered the topic of what the elimination period for SSDI is, so check it out for more information.

SSDI Benefits vs. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

While SSDI and SSI are both designed to assist individuals with disabilities, they are distinct programs with different eligibility criteria and benefits.

SSDI is based on your work history and contributions to Social Security, whereas SSI is a needs-based program for individuals with limited income and resources.

It’s possible to receive both SSDI and SSI concurrently, but receiving both may result in a reduction in SSI benefits.

Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLA) and Benefit Increases

The Social Security Administration adjusts disability benefits annually to account for inflation through the cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

For 2024, the COLA was 8.7%, and for 2024, it is set at 3.2%. This ensures that the purchasing power of the benefits remains consistent over time, protecting beneficiaries from the effects of inflation.

Payment Schedules for Disability Benefits

The payment schedule for SSDI benefits depends on your birth date. If your birthday is from the 1st to the 10th of the month, you will receive your payment on the second Wednesday of each month.

For birthdays from the 11th to the 20th, payments are made on the third Wednesday, and for the 21st to the end of the month, on the fourth Wednesday.

Dealing with Late or Missing Payments

If your disability payment is late or missing, the first step is to contact your bank. If there are no issues with the bank, the next step is to contact the Social Security Administration.

Typically, Social Security benefits are paid electronically, so it’s crucial to ensure that your bank or financial institution has the correct details for direct deposit or the Direct Express Debit Mastercard.

Key Takeaways

  • Full Retirement Age: SSDI benefits automatically transition to Social Security retirement benefits at full retirement age, which is between 66 and 67 years, depending on the year of birth.
  • Impact of Other Pensions: Receiving a pension from non-Social Security-covered employment can reduce your SSDI benefits.
  • SSDI vs. SSI: These are distinct programs, and receiving both can affect the amount of SSI benefits.
  • COLA Adjustments: Disability benefits are annually adjusted for inflation, ensuring the stability of their purchasing power.
  • Payment Schedules: These are determined by your birth date and can vary based on when you started receiving benefits.
  • Handling Payment Issues: Contact your bank or the Social Security Administration if there are issues with receiving your benefits.


Can I continue to work while receiving SSDI benefits at 65?

Yes, you can work, but there are limits to how much you can earn. The Social Security Administration has specific rules regarding substantial gainful activity (SGA), which set income limits for those receiving disability benefits.

What happens to my SSDI if I receive other government disability benefits?

Receiving other government disability benefits, such as workers’ compensation, can affect the amount of your SSDI benefits. The total amount cannot exceed 80% of your average current earnings before you become disabled.

Does my SSDI benefit amount increase with age after 65?

No, your SSDI benefit amount does not increase simply because of your age. However, annual cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) may increase your benefit amount over time.

What should I do if I suspect an error in my benefit amount after turning 65?

If you believe there is an error in your benefit amount, you should contact the Social Security Administration immediately. Keep detailed records and any relevant documents to support your case.

Are my SSDI benefits taxable after I turn 65?

Yes, they may be taxable. Whether or not you pay taxes on your benefits depends on your total income and filing status. You should consult with a tax professional for advice specific to your situation.

Can I receive both SSDI and VA disability benefits at the same time?

Yes, you can receive both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Veterans Affairs (VA) disability benefits simultaneously without any reduction in the SSDI ones due to the VA benefits.

Final Words

Navigating the transition from SSDI to Social Security retirement benefits at the age of 65 involves understanding several key aspects, including the seamless transition of benefit amounts, the potential impact of other income sources, and the role of Medicare.

Staying informed about these factors can help ensure a smooth transition and continued financial support.