Ask Larry

Why Doesn't Your Benefit Rate Go Up When You Reach Full Retirement Age If You're Getting SSDI?

Why is it that your Social Security amount won't be higher than what you get for SSDI at 66 and 2 months. Especially when its monies you have worked and earned? I see no fairness in that!

Hi. Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits are calculated based on a person's Social Security covered earnings, as are Social Security retirement benefits. In other words, both benefits are calculated based on the same earnings and using the same basic calculation formula.

The only difference between the calculation formula for SSDI benefits vs. unreduced Social Security retirement benefits is that fewer calculation years are used to calculate SSDI benefit rates if a person becomes disabled prior to age 62. That acts to prevent a person from being penalized for not having earnings in years that they weren't able to work due to their disability.

Basically, qualifying for SSDI benefits simply entitles a disabled person to be paid their full unreduced Social Security retirement benefit rate before they reach FRA, which is why their benefit rate doesn't change when their SSDI benefits convert to regular Social Security retirement benefits when they reach their FRA.

Best, Jerry

Oct 31 2021 - 1:15pm
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