Social Security benefits primarily older retirees, but it also benefits disabled people through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program provides additional assistance to those who are disabled or blind and have limited resources. In 2021, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will have paid $1 trillion to 65 million monthly beneficiaries.
If you receive benefits or intend to do so in the near future, it’s critical to understand how the things you do or don’t do can reduce your share of the pie. Continue reading to find out how you might lose some or all of your Social Security benefits.
By Filing Your Claim Early, You Could Lose Up To 30% Of Your Benefits:
The full retirement age is 67, but if you claim at 66 and 11 months, you will receive only 99.4% of your full payment. If you claim at 65, you will receive only 86.7% of your benefits. You can file a claim as young as 62, but you’ll only receive 70% of your full payment for life if you don’t withdraw your claim within a year.
You’ll Get Less if You Claim Early and Earn Too Much Money:
There is no income test for receiving full benefits once you reach full retirement age. However, if you file early and continue to work, your Social Security check will be reduced if you earn too much money. You can earn up to $19,560 without having your benefits reduced in 2022. Following that, the SSA will deduct $1 for every $2 earned above the threshold. You can earn up to $51,960 if you reach full retirement age later in the year. The SSA then deducts $1 for every $3 earned after that.
If you go to jail or prison, your SSA payments will be suspended:
If you are imprisoned for more than 30 days as a result of a criminal conviction, the SSA will suspend your Social Security benefits. Although it will not happen automatically, the SSA may resume payments the month after your release. Although the incarcerated person cannot receive benefits, spouses and dependents will continue to receive payments as long as they are eligible.
Taxes may cause you to lose some of your benefits:
If you earn more than $25,000 as a single filer or $32,000 as a joint filer, the IRS can take up to 85% of your Social Security benefits. Social Security benefits are also taxed as income in twelve states.
You Can Lose SSDI in Several Ways:
Most SSDI recipients will continue to receive benefits indefinitely, but certain life events may cause the SSA to discontinue payments. If you receive disability benefits, you may lose them for a variety of reasons, including:
- Returning to work: The beneficiary’s return to work is the most common reason for SSDI termination. SSDI benefits are only available to people who are unable to engage in “substantial gainful activity,” as defined by the Social Security Administration (SGA). The monthly SGA limit for 2022 is $1,350, but blind people can earn up to $2,260 per month without exceeding the SGA limit.
- When you reach full retirement age: You cannot receive both Social Security retirement benefits and SSDI payments. When you reach full retirement age, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will stop distributing SSDI benefits and begin making traditional Social Security payments. SSDI payments are typically identical to full retirement benefits, so recipients will see no difference in payments.
- Your condition improves: Although recipients typically receive SSDI benefits for as long as their disability prevents them from working, the law requires the SSA to review their cases and conditions on a regular basis. If doctors believe the disability will improve, the SSA will contact you six to 18 months after the claim is approved. If no improvement is expected but is possible, the SSA will review the case every three years. If no improvement is expected, the SSA will revisit the case after seven years. Finally, recipients must notify the SSA if their condition improves or if they return to work.
- You’re incarcerated: If you are incarcerated for more than 30 days, the SSA will suspend SSDI and SSI payments, just like traditional Social Security. Except for recipients who have been confined for more than 12 months, SSI payments can begin the month after release. Benefits are terminated in these cases, and the recipient must reapply. According to the SSA, recent parolees are ineligible for disability benefits.