Can Retirement Benefits, SSDI, And SSI Be Concurrent?
Three of the most important benefits that Americans can receive from the Social Security Administration (SSA) are retirement benefits, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). If you meet the qualifications, you may be wondering if you can collect two or more of these benefits at the same time. Here’s a guide on which benefits you can get simultaneously.
Can you get Social Security Retirement and SSDI at the same time?
Normally, you cannot collect disability benefits and retirement benefits at the same time. SSDI is meant to assist those who are no longer able to work but are too young to collect retirement. In fact, SSDI is typically equal to your expected full retirement benefits. If you are currently receiving SSDI, it will automatically be converted to retirement benefits once you reach full retirement age.
However, there is an exception if you retire early. Whether disabled or not, you can apply for early retirement starting from age 62, but this means you would be receiving 25 percent less than your full retirement monthly benefits. Some people try to augment this by applying for SSDI before taking an early retirement. This can lead to either of two outcomes:
Outcome 1: The SSA finds that you were already disabled before you retired early.
This means that you can now collect full SSDI benefits, plus back pay. This retroactive pay is meant to make up for the 25 percent reduced retirement benefits that you had been receiving while disabled (during the time when you should have been receiving full disability benefits).
For example, you applied for SSDI and then started receiving early retirement in January. Your early retirement monthly pay is only $750, instead of the full $1,000 (reduced by 25 percent, or $250). The SSA then approved your SSDI application in March, deciding that you were already disabled in January. From this point on, you would be receiving your full disability monthly pay, plus a back pay worth three months – that is, $250 x 3.
In addition to all this, your retirement benefits will immediately be adjusted to the full amount once you reach full retirement age.
Outcome 2: The SSA finds that you were disabled only after you retired early; or the SSA denies your disability application.
If this happens, you would not be able to collect any retroactive payment, and your retirement benefits would remain at a reduced rate for the rest of your life.
Can you receive Social Security Retirement and SSI at the same time?
Unlike SSDI, SSI is not based on your retirement benefits. It is intended to supplement those with extremely low income. If you are receiving SSI and are retiring, you may be able to receive retirement benefits on top of your SSI benefits (if you have enough Social Security credits). However, note that your retirement benefits are counted as unearned income, which means it can reduce the amount of SSI pay you may collect.
Can you get SSDI and SSI at the same time?
In most cases, you cannot draw SSI and SSDI simultaneously. However, if you are receiving monthly SSDI payments that are too low, you may be able to apply for SSI as a “concurrent benefit.”
There are various factors that can result in low monthly disability payments. It could be that you have worked very little in the last 10 years, earned low wages during your employment, or were disabled at a young age, before you could build a substantial work history. Whichever the case, if you believe that your monthly SSDI is still insufficient for your needs, you may consider applying for SSI.
Remember that SSI is intended for those with low income. This means that to be eligible for this benefit, your “countable income” must not exceed $750 per month (or $1,125 per month if you are a couple). The disability benefits that you are currently receiving are considered “countable income,” so these can affect your SSI application.
Applying for any kind of benefit from the SSA can easily get complicated, even more so if you are looking into more than one type of benefits. However, you have various options to find the assistance you need in your situation. To maximize the amount you may receive, it is wise to consult with a Social Security lawyer who can capably navigate the law and advocate for your best interests.
In Virginia, the Gillette Law Group is trusted by numerous seniors and disability claimants, not only in determining their Social Security options but also in fighting for them. Our firm has helped many of them successfully claim the benefits they deserve.
Call us at 855-806-4269 today for a free case evaluation.