Receiving retirement benefits can impact the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits you draw from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Your disability benefits will change if you have reached retirement age. In rare cases, another source of benefits—like private retirement or a pension—can affect your disability payments.
At Berger and Green, our disability lawyers understand how receiving retirement benefits affects SSDI/SSI. We can look at the details of your case and determine if your benefit amount is likely to change.
For a free consultation, call us at 412-661-1400 today.
What Happens to My SSDI Benefits When I Reach Full Retirement Age?
Usually, you cannot collect Social Security retirement and SSDI at the same time. This is because, when you reach your full retirement age, the SSA converts your SSDI benefits to Social Security retirement benefits. Your full retirement age could vary depending on the year you were born.
Once you reach this age, the SSA will automatically change your SSDI benefits to retirement benefits. Your monthly benefit amount will not change.
Will Retirement Change My SSI Benefits?
Retirement can impact your monthly SSI payments. SSI is available for low-income adults who do not have enough work credits to qualify for the SSDI program.
If your retirement benefits push your income over the limit, you might not be eligible for benefits from the program.
How Could Private Retirement Benefits Affect My Disability Benefits?
While any retirement benefit would impact your SSI benefits, these private funds should not change your SSDI eligibility. However, it is possible for private retirement benefits to change your SSDI payments, if your employer did not withhold Social Security taxes from your paycheck.
Your Job Did Not Withhold Social Security Taxes
If your pension or retirement plans come from an employer that did not withhold Social Security taxes, your monthly disability benefits might be affected.
Employers that do not pay into Social Security include:
- Some federal or military pensions; and
- Some state and local governments.
In this instance, a government worker who becomes disabled might still be eligible for some but not all their SSDI benefits.
How Does the SSA Offset Disability Payments?
Windfall Elimination Provision
The Windfall Elimination Provision applies to anyone who worked for a job that did not withhold Social Security taxes and:
- Turned 62 and became disabled after 1985; and
- First became eligible for a pension after 1985.
If you qualify under this provision, the SSA will use a different method to calculate your benefit amount. Using a specific formula, the SSA:
- Bases your benefits on your average monthly earnings adjusted for average wage growth; and
- Separates your average earnings into three amounts; and
- Multiplies those amounts using three factors to determine your full benefit amount.
If you believe the Windfall Elimination Provision might impact your disability benefits, contact us today. Our disability team can tell you how much this offset will change your other benefits.
Government Pension Offset
The SSA can reduce your benefits—and the benefits available to your spouse—through the Government Pension Offset. If you receive a retirement or pension from certain local, state, or federal government jobs, the SSA might reduce your benefits.
If you are concerned about a possible reduction of your federal benefits because of your pension offset, contact Berger and Green. We can answer your questions and offer legal advice regarding your disability benefits.
How Can I Talk to a Lawyer About My Benefits?
At Berger and Green, we can help you determine if your upcoming retirement will impact your SSI or SSDI benefits.
In some cases, disability recipients qualify for additional compensation, too. If your impairment was the result of someone’s negligence, our personal injury team might be able to help you recover money for your damages.
Call us today at 412-661-1400 for a free consultation.