Once you receive approval for benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will need to undergo regular reviews to keep those monthly cash payments. Many people wonder how long they can receive Social Security Disability benefits, but it is difficult to give a universal response. The answer is this: it depends.
If the Social Security Administration decides that you no longer meet the qualifications for disability payments, your benefits could stop. For example, this might occur when you reach a certain age, return to work, or if they review your case and you no longer meet the criteria.
Why Would My Social Security Disability Benefits End?
Each of the Social Security Disability programs has different qualifications, so the reasons your benefits may end could differ. In general, you should receive SSDI as long as you remain disabled, cannot work, and have not yet reached retirement age.
According to the Social Security Administration, SSDI continues for those who have a qualifying disability until they reach the current retirement age. At that point, SSDI would stop, and your Social Security retirement benefits would begin. For SSI, you may still qualify after reaching retirement age. However, you will need to meet the program’s strict income and asset requirements.
If you are incarcerated for 30 days or more, your SSDI or SSI benefits may be suspended; if you are incarcerated for 12 months or more your benefits may be terminated.
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Expect Continuing Disability Reviews to Occur Regularly
When you receive approval for SSDI or SSI, you should expect regular reviews. The Social Security Administration must review all claimants to ensure they still meet the requirements on an ongoing basis. This includes checking their symptoms, level of disability, ability to work, and other factors.
This process is handled through continuing disability reviews. How often the Social Security Administration reviews your case will depend on the severity of your condition and whether you are expected to get better. For example, those who will likely pass away from their disabling condition will not be reviewed as frequently as those with a long-term but temporary diagnosis.
The Social Security Administration says the agency reviews recipients as frequently as every three years, but it may be as long as five to seven years for some claimants.
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What Happens If I Return to Work?
The goal for many who rely on Social Security Disability benefits is to improve enough to return to work. To support this, the Social Security Administration offers the Ticket to Work program. This program allows those who receive benefits to return to the workforce on a preliminary basis to determine if they can work and earn a living.
If you participate in this program, you may be able to get a job and test your abilities without jeopardizing your Social Security Disability benefits. Through this program, your benefits will continue for up to nine months while you work. The Ticket to Work program is a good option for those who are not sure if they can handle the tasks required of their job because of their medical condition.
How Can I Prepare for Reviews or Challenges to My Disability Approval?
The best way to be prepared for continuing disability reviews is by seeing your doctor regularly and managing your condition as they recommend. You should also have an open dialogue with your physician about your diagnosis, prognosis, how it affects your everyday life, and any disabilities you experience.
The Social Security Administration will contact your physician about your health status, so you will want all this information in your medical records to show that you have a continuing disability.
If you receive a notice about a continuing disability review, be sure to respond as requested and by the required date. You could lose your Social Security Disability benefits simply by ignoring this notice.
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Do I Need a Social Security Disability Attorney?
A disability attorney can help if you run into any challenges in getting or keeping your Social Security Disability benefits. A lawyer for Social Security Disability appeal will know how to challenge a denial or help you fight for SSDI or SSI if you are at risk of losing it. Most Social Security Disability attorneys offer free consultations with no upfront payments or fees.
You can focus on your medical care and living with your condition while the law firm takes care of the necessary steps to get or protect your disability benefits.
Connect With Our Social Security Disability Lawyer for Free Today
At Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC, Andrea G. Farmer is responsible for managing Social Security Disability cases in North Carolina. She and her team are here to help if you have any concerns about getting or continuing SSDI or SSI payments.
Call (828) 286-3866 today for a free case assessment.