Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Disability Requirements

Disability Applications

Disability Advice Tips

How long do cases take?

How to win Disability

SSD Mistakes to avoid

Disability for Mental

What if you get denied?

How to file Appeals

Disability through SSA

SSI Disability Benefits

Disability for Children

How do I qualify for it?

Working and Disability

Disability Award Notice

Disability Lawyer Q&A

Disability Conditions List

What is a disability?

Your Medical Evidence

Filing for your Disability

Disability Eligibility

SSD SSI Definitions

Recent Questions

SSDRC Disability Blog

Does Social Security Disability Have a Time Limit?

Social Security has no set time limit on receiving benefits. You can receive Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI for as little as a year or as long as the rest of your life, depending on your current medical condition and how it progresses over time.

Social Security determines if there has been any change in your medical condition by performing continuing disability reviews (CDRs). If you are awarded disability, the disability examiner or judge in your case sets your review date based on the prognosis in your medical records (how a physician thinks your condition is likely to progress over time), as well as his or her own expectations.

Since disability claims are awarded only to those whose medical records show they have a severe ongoing physical or mental condition that either could result in death or is unlikely to improve over the course of a year, and which prevents them from engaging in substantial gainful activity (earning a certain amount each month), most cases are scheduled, or diaried for review at the one, three, or seven-year mark.

Again, the date of your own review depends on your particular condition or combination of conditions, the diagnosis and prognosis indicated in your medical records, and the adjudicator’s expectations regarding your potential for improvement.

There is another factor that influences when a case will be reviewed, and that is the current caseload within Social Security. CDRs can be delayed for years from their scheduled date if the claims representative (CR) at your local social security field office is too busy to process them (forward them to DDS for review).

CDRs typically do not result in a claimant losing SSD or SSI benefits, although there is always the possibility that this could happen. If, at the time of your review, your medical records indicate improvement in your condition, or that you are now earning more than the current SGA amount, you could be denied further compensation.

Those who are awarded disability benefits should continue to see a treating physician on a regular basis, so that when it is time for a CDR their medical records establish that they are still currently disabled, still unable to perform substantial work activity, and therefore still meet the disability criteria for receiving SSD or SSI payments.

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