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Glossary of Social Security Disability Law Terms

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Representative Payee: If you receive Social Security benefits or Supplemental Security Income and become unable to handle your own financial affairs, a relative, friend, or an interested party is appointed to handle your Social Security matters.

Retirement Age – Full Benefits: Full retirement age was 65 for many years. However, beginning with the year 2000 (for workers and spouses born 1938 or later, or widow and widowers born 1940 or later), the retirement age increases gradually from age 65 until it reaches age 67 in the year 2022.

Retirement Age – Minimum: The minimum age for retirement-age 62 for workers, and age 60 for widows or widowers. You can choose a reduced benefit anytime before you reach full retirement age.

Retroactive Benefits (Back Pay): Monthly benefits that you may be entitled to before the month you actually file an application, if you meet the entitlement requirements.

Replacement rate: The amount of pre-retirement earnings that Social Security benefits replace. A way to gauge the adequacy of retirement income.