Social Security helps millions of retirees, but the program provides more than just retirement benefits. Social Security disability payments also help many workers who have lost the ability to earn income for themselves by working, and it's important to know how those benefits work and what can make them stop.

In this installment of our Social Security Q&A series, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, answers a question from Ronald, who currently gets disability benefits and wants to know when those benefits will end and turn into regular retirement benefits.

Dan notes that disability can happen at any age and goes through some of the requirements for Social Security disability coverage, including the previous work requirements and the need for a long-term disability that keeps you from working. Dan then points out that disability benefits can end if you're able to go back to work on a regular basis, but if you reach retirement age, your disability benefits automatically convert to retirement benefits. Dan answers the biggest concern that many people have about their benefits, noting that even if your work history would ordinarily lead to a much lower retirement benefit, you'll still receive what you got on disability.