What is more, it is not mandatory to file for Social Security. Besides, you can do it when you are 62, 70, or even older. In order to collect these retirement checks you must have paid payroll taxes to the Administration as you worked. Moreover, there is a minimum of years you must have worked.
For example, if you have not worked for at least ten years, you cannot file for Social Security once you reach retirement age. In fact, you need 40 work credits to be eligible for retirement checks. As you can only get 4 per year, you will need at least 10 years. Let’s move on to see what SSDI is.
What is SSDI?
SSDI stands for Social Security Disability Insurance and it is a program from the Administration to give financial support because of a qualifying disability. Therefore, there is a condition or illness that prevents you from working for more than one year.
This condition can be temporary or permanent. Bear in mind, that there is a list of conditions that can make your application easier. If your condition does not meet Social Security‘s strict definition of disability, you cannot get payments.
Apart from that, you must have enough work credits to qualify for SSDI. It could be difficult to say an exact number of years because it depends on your age. So, SSA said you may need to have worked for about 6 years if you are 46 years old.
While you may only need 1.5 years of work to get SSDI if you are younger than 28. However, a 60-year-old almost needs to have worked for 10 years. This group of workers must have worked for 9.5 years to get these disability benefits.
Can I receive SSDI and retirement checks at the same time?
It is not possible to collect SSDI and Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. Basically, they are the same thing but for different purposes. Social Security Disability Insurance will be necessary when you are facing a disability.
Once you reach the age of 62 you can claim retirement benefits. However, if you are cashing SSDI you will stop collecting them when you reach Full Retirement Age.
From that moment onward, you will automatically start receiving retirement benefits. So, you change from one to the other and you do not have to do anything at all.
Nevertheless, you can always apply for SSDI and SSI at the same time. Supplemental Security Income will give you additional cash every month. But this only happens when your Social Security check is too small.