Will you lose your disability benefits when you get to retirement age?

(Visit the Social Security Disability Resource Center) –

If you are approved for disability, you will remain eligible to receive benefits until you are full retirement age. What happens when you actually reach your full retirement age?

At this time, your disability benefits will convert to retirement benefits. This is simply because when a person is approved for Social Security Disability, they are simply being given what would have been their retirement benefit early on the basis of being disabled, for physical or mental reasons, or both in many cases.

However, there are a couple of things that could affect your eligibility prior to full retirement age: medical improvement and/or a return to substantial gainful activity (SGA).

In the course of continuing disability review, or CDR, there is always the possibility that Social Security will review your medical records and determine that your condition has improved. If this is the case, you may lose your disability benefits. However…in the great majority of claims, a review will not find to be the case and a person will have their disability benefits continued. Medical improvement can be difficult for Social Security to prove.

In the case of a return to SGA, this simply means that a person may lose their disability benefits if they go back to work and earn more than the allowed limit, which is known as SGA. Not all work that is at the SGA level will count, because SSA allows for something known as unsuccessful work attempts. SSA also allows all individuals to have nine trial work months in which they can earn more than the SGA limit without it resulting in disability benefits being stopped.

However, it is important, even vital, that individuals who are working and receiving disability keep the Social Security Administration fully aware of their work activity and earnings. This is so that they can avoid an overpayment situation but also so that they themselves can keep track of their earnings to avoid ineligibility.

For more information about SSD and SSI on this site, please refer to the pages and sections linked below.