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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13281
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I am 61 and currently receiving SSDI however I am also receiving

Customer Question

I am 61 and currently receiving SSDI however I am also receiving a structured payout from the company that I use to work for and pay self employment tax on that income.
Can I opt out of SSDI at age 66 and begin collecting my full SSI?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
You don't need to opt out of SSDIB to get your full retirement benefit at age 66. It is an automatic conversion. Since you are already getting your full retirement amount in the form of SSD, it is a seamless conversion, and the amount remains the full amount (i.e no reduction because you collected benefits early - that is because they were considered disability based benefits and not merely early retirement based benefits).
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mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;}I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service &ndash; if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it. Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.Your online legal resource!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'm now receiving the max SSDI amount of about $2600 per month however, my max SS benefit is over $3,500 per month and will increase each year until I'm 66 so no, I'm not currently receiving an amount equal to the SS benefit.
So in this regard, can I opt out of SSDI when I'm 66 and then apply for my SS benefits? These are two separate programs and two different benefit amounts.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hmm, no, I think you are mixing up your family max with you own benefit which is smaller. If you wish to send me your annual earnings statement, privately, I am happy to look at it, but you looking at your own should clear it up. I say this because 2600+ is actually close to the individual max. It is the family max that can be 150%+ higher.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My personal income is $98000 per year and I pay self employment taxes on that amount.
My estimated SS monthly benefit is $3500 per month, the top amount an individual is entitled to receive.
So my question is simple, can I opt out of SSDI which is paying me $2600 a month for my full SS benefit which will be the maximum allowed under the law.
Thank you,On Jul 28, 2015, at 9:21 PM, Stephanie O Joy, Esq on JustAnswer wrote:Stephanie O Joy, Esq has answered your question | If you are unable to view this message correctly, click here
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
You are correct. Thanks
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Again, no, at 66 you can not get 3500. The number I believe you are looking at is if someone earns "delayed retirement credits". This means taking NO retirement at all until age 70. And while there has been debate on the subject of whether a disabled person can, at full retirement age and the time for the auoto switch to retirement terminology (i.e. no more SSDIB benefits), suspend his retirement for the next for years, so he can increase that amount by virtue of delayed retirement credits, I see NO REASON why he can not. He is no longer "disabled" under the law. He can suspend retirement benefits, like anyone else who may have started, and he can then increase his PIA by 32%. If you are willing to forego your retirement from 66-70, this may be a viable option for you.
But a bigger concern for you if you are 61 and collecting SSD is that you are also reporting SE income of 98000. As you may now, SGA is 1090 for 2015 so any earnings above that, per month, will generally result in a reversal of disabled benefits and a potentially hefty overpayment. If you are NOT working for this income, you may want to correct your tax filings, because SE income, is, well, showing you CAN work substantially, and negates disabled status.
I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To Stephanie O Joy Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.
Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.
Your online legal resource!