Call Now! Call Now!
(717) 888-8888

How Long Can Social Security Disability Benefits Last?

man in wheelchair with dogThe answer to this question depends on the specifics of your claim. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may not be finished reviewing your disability after you are approved for benefits. Sometimes applicants are subject to continuing reviews to determine eligibility. This means your benefits could be stopped if your condition improves or you are able to return to work.

Below, learn more about the factors involved in the duration of disability benefits. Our Harrisburg Social Security Disability lawyers are available to discuss your application for benefits and answer your questions.

Reporting Changes in Your Condition

You will continue to receive disability benefits if you are considered sufficiently disabled – your disability must prevent you from engaging in substantial gainful activity.

As a condition of receiving Social Security benefits, you have the duty to report certain changes in your life, including the following:

  • Returning to work
  • Improvement in your medical condition
  • Working more hours than you did previously

You must report these changes as they occur and cannot simply wait for your disability review to occur.

Your disability benefits will automatically end when you reach full retirement age, at which point you will then begin receiving Social Security retirement benefits that are paid at the same rate as your disability benefits.

When Do Disability Reviews Happen?

Even serious medical conditions can improve due to advances in medicine and rehabilitation techniques. That is why the SSA conducts periodic reviews to determine whether claimants are still eligible to receive disability benefits. These continuing disability reviews occur every few years – the specific date depends on the severity of claimants’ condition and it will be listed on your Certificate of Award.

Medical conditions are put into one of three groups: Medical Improvement Expected, Medical Improvement Possible or Medical Improvement Not Expected. This classification determines how long your benefits may last and when you will be subject to continuing disability reviews.

If your condition is classified into the Medical Improvement Expected category, you will have a continuing eligibility review within six to 18 months of being approved for benefits.

If your condition is in the Medical Improvement Possible category, your continuing disability review will occur in approximately two to five years.

If your condition is classified in the Medical Improvement Not Expected category, you will still be subject to continuing eligibility reviews. However, these reviews will only occur every five to seven years.

If, during the review, the SSA determines your medical condition has improved to the point that you are no longer considered disabled, you will lose benefits. However, you can still appeal this decision.

If the SSA determines your medical condition has not improved, you will continue receiving benefits and be subject to another continuing eligibility review based on the timeline described above.

Many offices have a backlog of continuing disability reviews, so there may be a waiting period for your review.

Criminal Convictions

You can also lose your benefits if you are convicted of certain crimes. If you are confined, you will not receive your benefits while incarcerated. If your family members are eligible for benefits based on your work history, they may continue to receive benefits during this time of confinement.

You also will not receive Social Security Disability benefits if there is an outstanding arrest warrant for you for a felony charge of flight-escape, escape from custody or flight to avoid prosecution or confinement.

Contact Schmidt Kramer for More Information

If you have been denied Social Security Disability benefits or have questions about your application, contact the experienced attorneys at Schmidt Kramer.

Your consultation is free and there is no obligation to take legal action. We do not charge for representing applicants unless they receive benefits.

Call (717) 888-8888 today to set up your free consultation.