How Long Do Social Security Disability Benefits Last?
Assuming your disability does not improve, and you remain unable to work, your benefits should last until you reach retirement age. At which point you'll switch over to your retirement benefits.
Social Security and SSI disability benefits are a form of social protection insurance that pays you income if you become disabled. Once granted, assuming you remain disabled, you will receive disability benefits for as long as you need them.
How Long Do You Receive Disability Benefits?
You must remain sufficiently disabled to continue to receive Social Security. If your disability prevents you from working, you are eligible to continue receiving Social Security disability benefits.
The SSA will conduct periodic reviews of your case to determine whether you are still eligible to receive benefits. These reviews are called continuing disability reviews (CDRs) and they generally happen every few years, although the time period in between depends on the severity of your condition and the likelihood that your impairment will improve. When your benefits are approved you will receive a “Certificate of Award” from the Social Security Administration (SSA) which should state when to expect your first review. You must also report changes in your condition to the SSA, even if those changes could result in the cessation of your disability benefits.
What To Do When Disability Benefits Stop?
There are three separate occasions when Social Security disability benefits could stop:
1. When you are no longer disabled. If your condition changes such that your disability is no longer considered to be severe or debilitating enough to preclude you from working, your benefits will end. For instance, if you qualified for disability for cancer but you have completely recovered, expect your benefits to stop.
2. When you reach retirement age. When you reach the age of 65, your Social Security disability benefits will stop, and you will automatically begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits instead. The specific amount of money you receive each month generally remains the same.
3. If you start to earn too much money. There are limits on the amount of income you can earn when receiving SSDI (Social Security disability insurance) payments or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). If you exceed these limits your benefits will stop.
What If I Want To Go Back To Work?
For the SSDI program, there is a trial work period, where you can work for a period of nine months. After the nine months, the SSA will decide if you're doing substantial gainful activity, that is, making more than $1,130 a month. After that, you get another 36 months where you can continue to receive benefits (assuming you're still disabled). It is designed to help you to try to get back to work without taking the risk of losing your benefits.
For the SSI program, there is a Plan for Achieving Self-Support (PASS). This is a plan to go back to work that you develop with the help of the SSA or a vocational rehabilitation worker. During the plan, the money you earn isn’t counted toward the SSI income limits and won’t reduce your SSI payments.
The SSA's Ticket-to-Work program can provide training to help you find a job you can do, even while disabled. Under this program, the SSA issues tickets to SSDI or SSI recipients who can turn in those tickets to an employment network to receive employment services, vocational rehabilitation services, or other support services necessary to return to work.
To learn more about Social Security Disability, to see if you qualify, or to appeal a denial, contact Renda Law for a FREE Consultation. At Renda Law in Tacoma, WA, we specialize is Social Security Disability and we’re here to help you get and keep, the benefits you deserve.