Social Security Q&A: What Happens to Disability Benefits at Retirement Age?

Sunday, October 18, 2015
Question: If I get Social Security disability benefits and I reach full retirement age, will I then receive retirement benefits?

Answer: Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries reach full retirement age.

In most cases, the payment amount does not change. The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits simultaneously on one earnings record. To learn more about Social Security, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov .

Q: What are Compassionate Allowances?

A: Compassionate Allowances are Social Security’s way of quickly identifying severe diseases and other medical conditions that qualify a person for disability benefits without waiting a long time. Compassionate Allowances permit Social Security to target the most obviously disabled individuals for allowances and faster payment of benefits based on objective medical information that can be obtained quickly. Compassionate Allowances are not separate from the Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income programs. Find out more at www.socialsecurity.gov/compassionateallowances.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.