Overview of Disability
Disability Back Pay
Requirements for Disability
Applications for disability
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Winning Disability Benefits
Common Mistakes after a Denial
Mental Disability Benefits
Denials for Disability
Appeals for denied claims
Disability Benefits from SSA
Child Disability Benefits
Qualifications and How to Qualify
Working and Disability
Disability Awards and Notices
Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys
Social Security List of Conditions
What Social Security considers disabling
Medical Evidence and Disability
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSD SSI Definitions
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
If I am Awarded Social Security Disability Will My Benefits be Cutoff Later?
There is always the possibility that Social Security will cut off your disability benefits, if your continuing disability review (CDR) shows that either a) you are now earning the current substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount each month; or b) your medical records indicate significant improvement in the medical condition or conditions for which you were awarded disability.
The Social Security Administration likes to encourage recipients to rejoin the workforce if they feel up to it, and so it allows them to try working again without penalty. Social Security allows you a nine-month trial work period, during which you can earn as much as you are able, above and beyond the established SGA amount. (Keep in mind that this is not 9 consecutive months, but 9 months that could be scattered over a period of 5 years, so be sure to keep track. Even if you haven’t worked in 2 or 3 years and decide to try out a temporary job, if it is the tenth month out of the past 5 years in which you’ve earned the SGA amount, your benefits will be suspended.)
After 9 months of substantial gainful work activity, your benefits are suspended, and a 36-month extended period of eligibility (EPE) goes into effect. During the EPE, you can stop work if your medical condition once again deteriorates, and your disability benefits will be reinstated, regardless of your salary at the time. However, if after 36 months you are still able to work, your disability is cut off.
Yet even this termination of benefits is not necessarily final. You have five years to work “keeping one foot in the door,” so to speak. At any time during the five years from the date your benefits were cut off, you can apply for an “expedited reinstatement” of your benefits if the medical conditions for which you were originally awarded disability are now severe enough to prevent you from performing work at a substantial gainful level.
Social Security will honor an expedited reinstatement for 6 months, during which time you will continue to collect disability while the examiner reviews your current medical records for evidence of a worsening in your condition or a return of symptoms.
That said, the majority of people who are approved for disability do not return to work, and continue to collect benefits until they either reach the age of full retirement, or until their death. CDRs do not normally result in cutting off benefits to those who have already been approved unless there has been significant medical improvement or significant work activity on the part of the claimant.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria