Why Might Social Security Disability Benefits Stop?

social security disability benefits

It can be a challenging and draining process to be granted Social Security disability (SSD) benefits by the Social Security Administration (SSA), but whether it’s after your first applications or following an appeals process, receiving Social Security disability benefits can be very helpful and lift a burden off of your shoulders.

However, after undergoing the process, it can be upsetting and confusing if your Social Security disability stops. After being approved, most people will continue to receive their benefits for many years, but there are certain circumstances that can lead to your Social Security disability being revoked, so it’s important to know what can cause this to happen.

Medical Improvement

You receive Social Security disability benefits because you are a suffering from a medical condition – either physical or mental – that qualifies you as disabled by the SSA. This means that you meet the criteria for your given illness in the SSA Blue Book and that you are unable to gainfully work due to this disability.

However, if you medical or psychiatric condition improves, you may no longer be considered disabled, and it will lead to your SSD benefits being stopped. The SSA reviews the cases of Social Security disability beneficiaries every three to seven years to check and make sure individuals are still disabled, and while the continuing disability reviews (CDR) are not always as strict in their standards, it can still lead to a change in your approval status if there’s been an improvement in your mental and/or physical health.

If you are chosen for a CDR, the SSA will notify you by mail, and you may be asked to provide your recent medical information, treatment and daily activities. If it’s determined that you can return to work, you’ll have 60 days to file an appeal where you can present evidence, call witnesses and retestify about the current state of your condition in front of a hearing officer. If this gets denied, you have another 60 days to appeal for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.

Going Back to Work

Another reason your Social Security disability benefits may end is if you return to work. Part of you receiving Social Security disability is because you are disabled and not able to support yourself with full-time work. However, if you begin working again and the SSA determines that you are taking part in substantial gainful activity (SGA), they can stop your Social Security disability benefits.

To determine this, the organizations looks at the numbers and how much money you are making. If you are not blind and are making more than $1,220 or you are blind and making more than $1,970, then you are considered to be engaging in SGA.

If you are taking part in a trial work period (TWP), however, this may be considered an exception. A TWP allows someone receiving Social Security disability benefits to attempt to go back to work, and if you are making more than $771 a month, the SSA considers this the start of a TWP. You can work for up to nine months without losing your benefits, but if you are able to maintain your job for longer, you will not be considered disabled.

Retirement Age

If you reach the full retirement age and are receiving Social Security disability benefits, they will stop because people cannot receive both Social Security disability and Social Security retirement benefits. Instead, you will receive payments from this program.

Contact a Lawyer

Whether or not you employed a lawyer when you first applied for Social Security disability, if your benefits have stopped and you think this has been in error, it’s best to contact a Social Security attorney. An attorney or advocate can look at the facts to help determine if you have an appeal case, and if you do, they can provide you with a better chance of getting your benefits back.

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