How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

How Long Do I Get To Keep My Social Security Disability or SSI Benefits?

Social Security has no set length of time that you can keep your disability benefits. You may receive Social Security Disability benefits for a lifetime provided your medical condition has not improved or you have not gone back to work earning above the substantial gainful activity monthly earnings limit. (current SGA monthly earnings amount).

Periodic reviews of your claim

All Social Security Disability beneficiaries have periodic continuing disability reviews. These continuing disability reviews are to ascertain if you have had any medical improvement since you filed for disability benefits or since your last continuing disability review. If you have been unable to work and have no medical records that suggest your disabling condition has improved, you will continue to receive disability benefits.

If you have worked some but your earnings have not been over the SGA monthly earning amount, there is little chance that your disability benefits will be stopped. Social Security will initiate a continuing work review for all disability beneficiaries who have worked since their last decision, or are currently working at the time of their continuing disability review, as well as those who are not scheduled for continuing medical reviews.

Going back to work can trigger a review

This, of course, means that work activity can cause you to have a continuing disability review earlier than the normal periodic review date. To complete a work review, Social Security contacts all employers since your last disability decision for a monthly breakdown of your earnings. They allow nine trial work months (they do not have to be consecutive) in which your earnings can be any amount during a five-year period.

If your earnings are over the SGA monthly amount in the tenth month, your monthly disability benefits will be suspended from that point on for any month that your earnings are over the SGA monthly earnings limit.

Performance of SGA in the tenth month also begins a thirty-six month extended period of eligibility in which your disability benefits can be reinstated for any month you are not working over the SGA monthly limit. However, if you are not earning over the SGA limit in the tenth month, your disability benefits will continue and your extended period of eligibility will begin if you perform SGA at any time in the future.

Once you are out of the extended period of eligibility or EPE, any month in which your earnings are over SGA will cause your disability benefits to be terminated.

Still, Social Security allows you to file for expedited reinstatement of disability benefits with provisional payments for six months if you file within five years of your disability benefits being terminated due to work activity--provided you have the same disabling conditions.

Most individuals keep their benefits following a review

The vast majority of disability beneficiaries are not able to return to work activity at SGA level, nor do they have medical evidence that would suggest medical improvement. Therefore, most disability beneficiaries keep their disability benefits for a lifetime. At full retirement age, your disability benefits will become full retirement benefits (there will be no change in your monthly monetary amount). This simply means you are treated like a retiree with regard to work activity.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

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?

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

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Getting a Disability Lawyer in Arkansas

If you apply for disability in Arkansas

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.