Q & A

After Taking Disability, Can I Suspend at 66?

Full Question: If you take disability from Social Security, are you permanently locked in to that benefit amount, or can you file and suspend at full retirement age (FRA) and wait until you are 70 to take the larger benefit? Is your benefit at 70 reduced for having taken disability? And second, if a disabled spouse takes the spousal benefit from their spouse’s account before the first spouse reaches FRA, are their benefits permanently reduced, even if they wait until 70 to take their own benefits? If so, then is it best to wait until FRA to take the spousal benefit on your spouse’s account when he or she has already reached FRA?

Answer: If you take disability, your disability benefit will convert into a full retirement benefit at full retirement age. At that point you are, indeed, able to suspend your benefit and start it up again at 70 inclusive of delayed retirement credits. (Just make sure you pay your Medicare Part B premiums by writing a separate check. Otherwise, Social Security may, without telling you, reactivate your retirement benefit to pay the premiums and, as a consequence, not provide you with delayed retirement credits.) Read more…

Source: Laurence Kotlikoff, Forbes Contributor

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