Situations for which my disability benefits could be stopped

In which situations can my disability benefits stop?

If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSDI, or Social Security Disability Insurance), there are two situations in which your disability could be stopped.

All disability claims are set up for medical reviews every few years. If you are found to have medically improved, your disability benefits may be ceased. Medical improvement can be shown by your ability to go back to substantial gainful activity (SGA) for a sustained period of time, or your doctor indicates that you have had medical improvement to the point you are no longer disabled.

The second situation involves the work I mentioned above. When you are approved for disability, you have a 9-month trial work period in which you can earn what you wish without it affecting your disability.

The trial work months do not have to be consecutive and they can occur any time over a five-year period. Once you have used them up, though, if you are earning over SGA on the 10th month your disability benefits will be suspended and you will begin an extended period of eligibility known as the EPE.

During this 36-month period, your disability can be reinstated for any month you are not earning over SGA or your work ends due to your disabling condition. Once the EPE is completed, any month you earn over SGA will cause your disability benefits to be terminated.

If you are receiving SSI disability, your disability benefits could be terminated for a variety of reasons. Your SSI could be terminated if you are found to have medically improved to the point you no longer meet the Social Security Disability requirements. Your SSI benefits can be terminated if you are consistently over the income or resource limits.

If you are in a terminated status for more than a year you will have to file your disability claim again.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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