Social Security Disability Resource Center

Overview | How to Qualify | Applications
Requirements | How long it takes | Back Pay
Mental Disability | What is a disability? | Tips
SSI Benefits | How to Win | Disability Awards
Hearings | Appeals | List of Disabling Conditions

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 before you get to retirement age and they convert over. 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.

  • What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

  • What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

  • Which conditions will social security recognize as a disability?

  • Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

  • SSDRC Homepage:

    Social Security Disability and SSI Resource Center

    The Most Basic questions about Getting Disability Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI and whether or not you can work

    Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

    Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    More Social Security Disability SSI Questions and Answers

    Common Questions about Social Security Disability and SSI

    Winning Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    The SSI Disability Benefits Program

    Medical exams for disability claims

    Applying for Disability in various states

    Social Security Disability SSI and Doctors - Yours and Theirs

    Social Security Disability and SSI Claim Reviews

    Social Security Disability SSI System and Benefits for Children

    Denials, Appeals, and Getting a Disability Lawyer or Representative

    What you should know about Social Security Disability and SSI Denials

    Questions about Disability Lawyers and Hiring a Disability Attorney

    Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits

    FAQ on Disability Claim Representation

    Disability hearings before Judges

    Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers

    Various Types of Benefits including SSI, Mental, and Child benefits

    Social Security and SSI based on Mental Disability

    Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits for Children

    Disability Benefits through Social Security

    Filing for Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits

    Social Security Disability SSI: Medical Evidence and Records

    Filing your claim for disability benefits

    Eligibility for receiving disability benefits

    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

    Resources on this site

    Social Security Disability, SSI Terms and Definitions

    Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

    For Individuals living in North Carolina

    Applying for Disability in North Carolina

    North Carolina Disability Lawyer

    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?
    Getting a Disability Lawyer in Minnesota
    Will I need a Social Security Disability Lawyer in Michigan?

    These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

    How to file for disability, SSD or SSI
    How to file for Disability and what medical conditions qualify
    How long will it take to get disability?
    What if your disability gets denied?
    How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
    How to get disability with a mental condition
    How long for Social Security Disability Back pay
    Social Security Disability SSI eligibility