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

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.

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.

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