Due to changing needs or personal preferences, a person may go back to work after retiring. In this case, it is possible to get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. A worker who is of full retirement age or older may (with spouse) keep all benefits, after taxes, regardless of earnings. But, if this worker or the worker’s spouse are younger than full retirement age and receiving benefits and earn “too much”, the benefits will be reduced. If working under full retirement age for the entire year and receiving benefits, Social Security deducts $1 from the worker’s benefit payments for every $2 earned above the annual limit of $15,120 (2013). Deductions cease when the benefits have been reduced to zero and the worker will get one more year of income and age credit, slightly increasing future benefits at retirement. For example, if you were receiving benefits of $1,230/month (the average benefit paid) or $14,760 a year and have an income of $29,520/year above the $15,120 limit ($44,640/year) you would lose all ($14,760) of your benefits. If you made $1,000 more than $15,200/year you would “only lose” $500 in benefits. You would get no benefits for the months you work until the $1 deduction for $2 income “squeeze” is satisfied. Your first social security check will be delayed for several months—the first check may only be a fraction of the “full” amount. The benefit deductions change in the year you reach full retirement age and are still working—Social Security only deducts $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above $40,080 in 2013 for that year and has no deduction thereafter. The income limits change (presumably for inflation) year by year.
Benefits for People with Disabilities
The Social Security and Supplemental Security Income disability programs are the largest of several Federal programs that provide assistance to people with disabilities. While these two programs are different in many ways, both are administered by the Social Security Administration and only individuals who have a disability and meet medical criteria may qualify for benefits under either program.
What Is Social Security Disability Insurance? An SSDI Primer
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is the federal social insurance program that provides monthly cash benefits to disabled workers and their families. In 2014, the Social Security Administration provided these benefits to nearly 11 million people, including spouses and children. Disabled workers receive an average of about $1,150 per month from SSDI; for many, it is their main livelihood. The program is in dire need of change: Without congressional action, SSDI’s trust fund will run dry by 2016, threatening its beneficiaries with a nearly 20 percent indiscriminate benefit cut. Understanding the program is a necessary first step to instituting reforms that can put SSDI on a fiscally sustainable path. This Heritage Foundation “primer” provides an account of the application process, benefit formulas, work incentives, and financial structures of SSDI in order to assist policymakers in identifying areas ripe for reform.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides payments to workers with disabilities who have paid into the Social Security trust fund through FICA taxes over the years. When you and your employer pay into the Social Security program, you are essentially buying long-term disability insurance coverage. Once you have paid into the program for a specified period, you are eligible for benefits, should you become unable to earn a living. (SSDI payments are usually higher than payments from SSI (Supplemental Security Income), a need-based program for low-income elderly, disabled, and blind people.)
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
It is important to make your intent to file a claim known to the Social Security Administration (SSA) if you even suspect that you might be permanently disabled. This is because your protective filing date will be determined by when you first notified the SSA of your intent to file. There is nothing lost if you file an intent to claim Social Security Disability but then don’t need to actually file for SSDI because your condition improves, but you could lose out on a considerable amount of back pay if you don’t make your intent to file known when you are first injured or otherwise disabled.