Understanding Social Security Disability Benefits at Age 62

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To better comprehend the impact of turning 62 on your Social Security Disability benefits, let’s first review the eligibility criteria for these benefits. To qualify for Social Security Disability benefits, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Medical Condition: You must have a severe medical condition that prevents you from engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA). This condition should be expected to last for at least 12 months or result in death.
  • Work Credits: You must have earned sufficient work credits by paying Social Security taxes. The number of credits required depends on your age when you become disabled.

Full Retirement Age vs. Early Retirement

When it comes to Social Security benefits, it is crucial to differentiate between your full retirement age and the option of early retirement. Full retirement age is the age at which you can receive your full Social Security retirement benefits, whereas early retirement allows you to start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 62.

  • Full Retirement Age: The full retirement age varies depending on the year you were born. For individuals born between 1943 and 1954, the full retirement age is 66. It gradually increases to 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
  • Early Retirement: If you choose to start receiving Social Security benefits at age 62, your benefits will be reduced compared to what you would receive at full retirement age. The reduction amount is based on the number of months you receive benefits before reaching your full retirement age.

Impact on Social Security Disability Benefits

Now, let’s explore how reaching age 62 affects your Social Security Disability benefits. It is important to note that the transition from Social Security Disability benefits to retirement benefits is automatic when you reach full retirement age. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Benefit Amount: If you opt for early retirement at age 62, your Social Security Disability benefits will not change. However, it is crucial to keep in mind that the reduction in benefits for early retirement will still apply.
  • Transition to Retirement Benefits: When you reach your full retirement age, your Social Security Disability benefits will be converted into retirement benefits. The amount will remain the same, but the disability designation will no longer apply.

Additional Considerations

While turning 62 may not directly impact your Social Security Disability benefits, there are a few additional factors to consider:

  • Other Sources of Income: If you have other sources of income, such as a pension or employment, it is important to evaluate how these may affect your overall financial situation.
  • Medicare Eligibility: As you approach age 65, it is crucial to understand the implications for your Medicare coverage. Social Security Disability beneficiaries are automatically enrolled in Medicare after receiving disability benefits for 24 months.


Reaching age 62 as a recipient of Social Security Disability benefits does not result in a change to the benefit amount. However, choosing early retirement will lead to a reduction in benefits compared to waiting until full retirement age. It is important to consider your financial circumstances, other sources of income, and future healthcare needs as you approach this milestone. By staying informed and making informed decisions, you can navigate the complexities of Social Security Disability benefits and ensure a secure financial future.


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