What happens to my SSDI when I reach full retirement age?

Q. I was placed on permanent SSDI due to medical issues. I was paid retroactively to the date of my medical disability and have been collecting monthly SSDI for years. I am now 65 years old. Do I have to enroll in Medicare or will it fit SSI at age 66 and seven months?

– Almost there

A. There is a lot to know about how your benefits have changed over time.

Before you begin, remember that it’s always a good idea to contact Social Security so they can advise you based on your specific situation. His number is (800) 772-1213.

Because you currently receive Social Security Disability Benefits (SSDI), your disability benefits are automatically converted to Social Security retirement benefits at your full retirement age, said Jeanne Kane, certified financial planner at JFL Total Wealth Management in Boonton.

She said the full retirement age (FRA) is between 66 and 67, depending on your age. As you noted, yours is 66 years and seven months.

“In most cases, the benefit amount will remain the same,” she said. “You have nothing to do.”

You only get one benefit — Social Security retirement benefits — when you reach full retirement age, she said.

“Anyone eligible for Social Security disability insurance benefits is also eligible for Medicare after a 24-month qualifying period,” she said. “At that time, you would have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B at the start of your twenty-fifth month.”

At that time, you would have had the option of refusing or delaying Medicare Part B, she says. Some people choose to do this if they want to continue benefiting from a spouse’s employer plan, she said.

“If you currently have Medicare Parts A and B, you don’t have to do anything because you’re already participating in Medicare,” she said. “Medicare Part B premium is paid from your SSDI today and will be paid from your SSI when you reach full retirement age.”

If you declined Medicare Part B when you became eligible for Medicare through SSDI, you can continue to use the company plan until there is a change in circumstances, such as your spouse’s retirement, she said.

“If circumstances change, you have a special eight-month enrollment period to enroll in Medicare Part B,” she said. “You will need to call the Social Security Administration to obtain the specific forms to complete with your Part B application.”

“If you don’t, you can pay a penalty of up to 10% for each 12-month period you could have had Medicare Part B but didn’t enroll,” she said.

Send your questions to [email protected].

Karin Price Mueller writes the Bamboos column for NJ Advance Media and is the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. Follow NJMoneyHelp on Twitter @NJMoneyHelp. To find NJMoneyHelp on Facebook. Register for NJMoneyHelp.comit is weekly e-newsletter.

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