Topic Categories:

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

SSI Benefits

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

Ask a question, get an answer

What determines how long I can keep my Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI?

Social Security disability benefits do not time out or have a set termination date. You can keep your Social Security disability benefits until you turn full retirement age. At full retirement age your disability benefits automatically convert to full retirement benefits. This will change nothing for you as far as receiving a monthly benefit. It does however relieve you of periodic disability reviews and there is no limit to the amount of work you can do.

However, there are no guarantees as to how long you can keep your disability benefits either. There are conditions or situations that could terminate your disability benefits. I can think of two common reasons for termination of disability benefits. They are medical improvement and work activity.

All Social Security disability claims are periodically reviewed for medical improvement. Social Security disability claims are set for review every three years at the time they are approved. Some disability claims receive diary review dates of less or more than three years if the disability decision maker feels that the person is more likely to improve sooner or there is very little or no chance for medical improvement.

If the decision maker sets a seven year diary for review it is considered a permanent disability.

During these continuing disability reviews, your medical records are examined to determine if your doctors or records indicate your disabling condition has improved. If the records show your condition or conditions have improved, your disability benefits may be medically terminated.

Social Security does allow you to appeal the disability medical termination, however your benefits will remain terminated if you do not win your appeal. This does not mean that you would not be allowed to file for disability again and if you are approved you may be able to resume disability benefits.

As I mentioned above, the other situation that might cause you to be unable to keep your disability benefits is work activity. If you have returned to work you should contact your local Social Security office for information. Work activity can cause your disability benefits to be suspended or terminated. Social Security performs work continuing disability reviews as well as medical reviews.

If Social Security becomes aware of earnings being reported to your record, your disability claim will be reviewed for work activity. Your work may not cause any change in your eligibility for disability or it could result in a termination or suspension of your disability benefits. Suspensions or terminations could not only cause you not to be able to keep your disability benefits but to be overpaid as well.

Social Security considers it your responsibility to know how work can affect your disability entitlement; consequently you may have to repay any overpayment of benefits caused by your failure to report your work activity timely.

It is just good policy to speak with Social Security when you are considering a return to work so that you can make an informed decision about returning to work. You are able to work some while on disability but it can be confusing so find out the information you need.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

Social Security Disability Re-evaluations
If I get disability, will they look at my case later?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security disability benefits?
How Long Do I Get To Keep My Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits?
What determines how long I can keep my Disability Benefits under SSD or SSI?
Does Social Security Disability Have a Time Limit?
For Social Security Disability or SSI, What Does It Mean When Your Case Gets Sent Out For Review?
How often will my disability claim be reviewed?
Do You have A Chance Of Losing Disability Benefits If Your Case Gets Reviewed?
Can You Lose Your Social Security Disability Benefits after You get Them?

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