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Can You Collect Social Security and Disability?


Wondering whether you can collect Social Security and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) at the same time? The short answer is probably not. The long answer, however, is maybe. Social Security and SSDI serve similar purposes, but the requirements vary for each. Social Security is for those who’ve reached early or full retirement age, while disability insurance typically serves younger individuals who cannot work due to serious medical conditions. However, an exception may apply. Here’s what you need to know.

A financial advisor can help you manage your Social Security benefits and create a financial plan for a long-term retirement. 

Social Security and Disability Eligibility

Also known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you can receive Social Security retirement benefits until you reach full retirement age. The full retirement age varies depending on when you were born. For instance, the full retirement age is 66 if you were born from 1943 to 1954, according to the Social Security Administration (SSA). Full retirement age is 67 for anyone born after 1960, but you can opt for early retirement benefits at age 62.

For disability, the age requirements are quite different. You only need to be at least 18 years of age to qualify, and SSA guidelines require you to prove that:

  • You can’t do the work that you’ve done before
  • You can’t adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s)
  • Your disability has lasted or will last for at least one year or result in death

For example, if you are working in 2023 and making more than $1,470 ($1,350 in 2022) a month, you won’t be considered disabled. Those who are blind, however, could make up to $2,460 in 2023 ($2,260 in 2022).

The Exception to the Rule

SmartAsset: Can You Collect Social Security and Disability?

You may be able to get both benefits if you opted for early retirement before you received disability benefits. These are also known as concurrent benefits. This exception would be applicable in a situation where an individual retired early due to serious medical conditions. If that individual can prove that they developed the disability prior to receiving early retirement income, they’ll be able to earn both benefits.

Bottom Line

In most cases, you won’t be able to receive concurrent Social Security and SSDI benefits. And if you haven’t yet reached early or full retirement age and you’re receiving SSDI, those benefits will be replaced with Social Security income once you reach full retirement age for your bracket. But exceptions apply to those who take early retirement before being approved for SSDI benefits.

Tips for Getting Retirement Ready

  • A financial advisor can help you prepare for retirement. Finding a financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Relying on Social Security alone may not be the best option when it comes to saving for retirement. As you approach early retirement age, it’s best to save as much as you can along the way. Our retirement calculator can help you determine how much money you need to retire comfortably.

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