People with certain disabilities will receive Social Security Disability benefits for the rest of their lives, particularly those with a disability that will result in their death. However, everyone’s situation is different, and benefits could stop for a variety of reasons.
Below, learn more about why benefits could stop, including what you should know about periodic reviews of your situation by the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you are concerned about your benefits ceasing, contact one of the knowledgeable Harrisburg Social Security disability lawyers at Schmidt Kramer.
General Rule on Disability Benefits
Generally, there is no expiration date on how long a recipient will be able to receive Social Security benefits. These benefits typically continue for as long as you are considered disabled. However, there are some exceptions that may prematurely end eligibility for benefits. Additionally, the SSA will conduct reviews to determine if a claimant is still considered disabled.
Reporting Changes in Your Condition
While you are receiving disability benefits, you are under the obligation to report changes and medical improvement to the SSA. Failing to provide this information can result in the loss of your benefits, as well as requiring you to pay back past benefits you received when you were not eligible for them.
Working While on Benefits
Your disability benefits might end prematurely if you earn too much money while you are receiving them. If you earn more than the substantial gainful activity limit, you can lose benefits. In 2019, the substantial gainful activity limit is $1,220 for non-blind claimants and $2,040 for blind claimants.
However, you may be able to work without losing your benefits. The SSA has various work trial programs that encourage disability recipients to try to work for a limited time without jeopardizing their disability benefits.
What to Expect with Medical Reviews
The SSA retains the right to have your case evaluated to determine if you are still disabled and eligible for benefits. You will be subject to continuing disability reviews when these determinations are made. When you are first awarded Social Security Disability benefits, your case is placed into one of the following categories:
- Medical Improvement Expected – This category includes cases that the SSA expects will ultimately result in medical improvement and the eventual loss of benefits.
- Medical Improvement Possible – In this category of cases, the SSA believes that it is possible that your condition will improve but that it is not likely to.
- Medical Improvement Not Expected – In these cases, the SSA does not believe that your medical condition will ever improve.
The category that your claim is placed in will dictate when you will receive a continuing disability review. In Medical Improvement Expected cases, the continuing eligibility review will be scheduled six to eighteen months after the award of benefits. If the claimant is found to still be disabled, the next review will occur in another six to eighteen months.
For Medical Improvement Possible cases, the continuing eligibility review will be scheduled in two to five years. For Medical Improvement Not Expected cases, the continuing eligibility review will be scheduled every five to seven years.
If the SSA determines that you can return to work, you can appeal this finding.
To prepare for a continuing disability review, complete the following steps:
- Keep all correspondence from the SSA
- Seek follow-up treatment for all your medical conditions
- Keep copies of medical records and tests
Another way that a Social Security Disability recipient can become ineligible for benefits is if he or she is convicted for a crime. If the person is incarcerated, he or she will not receive benefits while in jail. Additionally, a recipient will not receive benefits if he or she has an outstanding warrant for these felonies:
- Escaping custody
- Fleeing as you attempt to avoid confinement or being prosecuted
Contact a Knowledgeable Lawyer for Assistance
If you are concerned that you may not be eligible for benefits, it is important that you work closely with an experienced Social Security Disability lawyer for assistance with your claim.
At Schmidt Kramer, our dedicated attorneys will work with you to try to obtain all the benefits you deserve. Our knowledgeable lawyers can review the circumstances of your case and any communications you have received from the SSA to determine your eligibility and address any concerns.
Set up a free case review right now by calling us at (717) 888-8888.