Can I Draw Retirement Benefits For A Few Months And Then Suspend Them?

Jan 25 2018 - 7:25am

I will be getting SSDI starting in March, at age 65, with backpay for 3 years. I will turn 66 end of June, and the SSDI will convert to SS retirement benefits automatically. Question: Can I agree to receive the converted Social Security retirement benefits for a few months, and then suspend the benefits for a while, possibly up to age 70? Am I right that if Ii suspend, I won't have to pay back any retirement benefits I have received? Do I have to suspend the benefits right before they convert from SSDI to retirement benefits, or can I collect Social Security retirement benefits for a while, and then suspend them? Question #2: My birthday is end of June, when do my disability benefits end, do I get my first retirement check in June or July? Question #3: I was awarded disability I assume based on the assumption that I cannot work for the next 12 months, although please remember that I am 65 and my full retirement age is exactly 66.When the disability benefits end in June, can I start to work after the benefits end? I might want to try to work from home a few hours a week, if my strength permits, is that permissible after the SSDI benefits end, and is there a limit to how much I can earn after the benefits end, and would it be considered fraud as it would be within the 12 months after I was awarded the SSDI? Thank you so much for all your help!

Hi,

Yes, you could voluntarily suspend your retirement benefits any time between full retirement age and age 70. You must request the suspension no later than the month before the month that you want to suspend your benefits, though. And no, you shouldn't have to repay any of the benefits you receive prior to the month of suspension.

If you turn age 66 at the end of June your first retirement payment will be for the month of June, which is the payment that you would normally receive in July.

There will be no limit on your work and earnings once you reach full retirement age, nor would that cause any issues to be raised with regard to your disability benefits. You've apparently already been unable to work for several years now, so you would have already met the 12-month disability duration requirement.

Best, Jerry