Can You Voluntarily Terminate Disability Benefits Just Before FRA In Order To Claim Widow's Benefits Instead?

Mar 13 2019 - 9:39am

If a person receives social security disability -- then I understand that his social security disability converts into his regular retirement social security at FRA (full retirment age) rate at FRA. The person is also a widow (his widow benefits are 1/2 of his own). Can then the person just before reaching his FRA age voluntarily get off disability so he can start receiving survivor (widow) social security benefit until age 70 and then switch to his own retirement regular social security benefit at age 70 (which is higher than FRA social security)? I think the main question here -- how is it possible to voluntarily terminate the disability benefit just before FRA age? Would a self declaration that one is considering himself not to be disabled suffice? Or there are some other means? is there a form to fill out to get off social security disability at specified time?

Hi,

No, you can't voluntarily terminate Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. SSDI benefits can be terminated only due to medical improvement and/or a person's work and earnings. If a person reports to Social Security that they've medically improved and are no longer disabled, Social Security could decide to do a medical review which could potentially lead to a termination of benefits. However, whether or not to terminate benefits or to even do an unscheduled review would be solely up to Social Security's discretion.

A person can withdraw their claim for SSDI benefits, but they would then be required to refund any SSDI benefits that they had been paid.

Best, Jerry