My husband began drawing SSDI in late 2015 at the age of 63. A few months after he reached FRA he requested that his SS payments be suspended in order to qualify for DRC. When he did so one agent at the local SS office informed him he was not eligible for DRC. Another agent overheard the conversation and corrected the first agent, so his SS payments are currently suspended. We have since read in a newspaper column about SS that anyone who has been on disability is not eligible to earn DRC. I have also read that on some websites. So, having heard varying few points from others, including local SS agents, I am left with questions.
Is someone who has been a SSDI recipient eligible to suspend their SS payments after they reach FRA in order to receive DRC? If he did not qualify to receive DRCs would his application to suspend have been turned down? Is there any way to be sure that he is receiving DRCs? We don't want to find out at the age of 70 that he has not received DRC and we are out $100,00 by having suspended payments for almost 4 years just to receive no increase. Thank you for your help with this question.
Yes, a person who previously received Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits can absolutely earn delayed retirement credits (DRC) between full retirement age (FRA) and age 70 by voluntarily suspending their benefits. For confirmation of that fact, refer to the 3rd example in section A.1 of the following reference from Social Security's operations manual (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0202409110).
Anyone entitled to Social Security retirement benefits between FRA and age 70 is allowed to suspend their benefits and earn DRCs. That's true even if they previously received SSDI or reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to FRA. Furthermore, people who are eligible for Social Security retirement benefits but haven't yet applied for them earn DRCs for any months that they defer receiving benefits between FRA and age 70. In other words, It isn't necessary for a person to file for and suspend their benefits in order to earn DRCs. By the way, DRCs increase a person's retirement benefit rate by 2/3rds of 1% for each month that they aren't paid benefits between FRA and age 70.