At almost any point in life, an Indiana resident may become disabled due to injury or illness. In that situation, you may qualify for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration (SSA). Depending upon your age of disability, you may receive monthly payments and perhaps Medicaid benefits for many years before you reach retirement age. When that time comes, however, you may wonder how the SSA will handle your benefits. The answer depends on your earnings from when you were able to work and whether you choose to retire early or wait to attain full retirement age.
Your Social Security retirement benefits
The SSA calculates the amount of money sent to retirees every month based on what they earned prior to retiring. As a disabled person, your monthly retirement benefit arises from your level of earnings before you became disabled. The agency uses the same earnings to calculate your Social Security Disability benefits. If you wait to full retirement age, your disability check transforms into your retirement check and remains the same amount of money.
People have the option to apply for their retirement benefits at age 62. The SSA will penalize you for collecting money early and reduce your retirement check. Because of the early retirement penalty, you are better off sticking with your disability check, which would likely be larger than your early retirement check.
The Social Security system allows some divorced individuals to collect an additional portion of benefits from their former spouse’s earnings. You should review the regulations to see if you qualify,