Can I Receive Social Security Retirement and Disability Benefits at the same time?
Generally, one cannot draw both Social Security retirement and disability benefits at the same time. Disability benefits provide support for those that can no longer work but have not reached retirement age. The full benefit amount for disability is based on the full amount of retirement benefits one is eligible for. When someone on disability reaches retirement age, they are automatically switched to retirement benefits.
The lone exception to this is when someone takes advantage of the early, reduced retirement benefits at age 62. If someone is found to have a disability that began prior to receiving the early retirement benefits, then that person would receive retroactive benefits equal to the difference between the full benefit amount and the reduced amount he/she was receiving. This person would then also receive full retirement benefits once reaching the full retirement age because they should have been receiving disability benefits rather than early retirement benefits. This will never result in the ability to draw double benefits.
This person would also receive the benefit of a “disability freeze.” Retirement benefits are calculated based on earnings and the amount paid into the system. So when someone is found to be disabled, there is a disability freeze so that the period of low or no earnings does not reduce the benefit amount.
If, however, someone is found to have a disability beginning after the start of receiving early retirement benefits, there will be no retroactive benefits and that person will not get the disability freeze. This person will receive his or her full disability benefit amount. Upon reaching the full retirement age, the retirement benefit amount will still be reduced based on the number of months they were receiving the early retirement benefits.
A Rainwater, Holt & Sexton social security disability attorney can help review any case and make sure all the proper benefits are being paid.