When Do My Disability Benefits Stop?

This week we have been discussing some of the demographics behind disability benefits. A recent CBO analysis found that Baby Boomers have contributed a great deal to the growth in the number of disability beneficiaries. At the same time, though, the share of disability benefits going to younger Americans has been dropping. Young Americans are also the most likely demographic to get back to work and stop receiving disability benefits, a fact we discussed on Wednesday.

When disability benefits end is an important consideration for anyone applying for benefits or currently receiving them. Two events will end your benefits – either you are no longer disabled, or you return to work and earn enough to stop receiving benefits.

In the first case, if the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) determines that you are no longer disabled, you will have a three month grace period, and then your benefits will stop. The month that the SSA makes its determination counts as the first month. The frequency that the SSA evaluates your medical condition generally depends on the reason you were receiving disability benefits in the first place. For example, if doctors expect your condition to improve relatively quickly, the SSA will be evaluating your disability more often than it does for more severe medical conditions with little chance of recovery

Your benefits will also end if you return to work and earn too much money. First, if you return to work at all, you should notify the SSA. Each year, federal investigators catch and prosecute beneficiaries who have returned to work and continue to receive benefits without notifying the SSA.

The amount of work that suspends your disability benefits depends on several factors. Here we will discuss the general guidelines for SSDI beneficiaries. The SSA will let you have nine months (the “trial work period”) during which you can earn more than $720 a month. After the trial work period, you will have 36 months during which you can receive some portion of benefits as long as your earnings are not over $1,060 a month.

If your benefits stop because you earning too much, you have an additional five years during which you can ask the SSA to reinstate your disability benefits in the event that you find yourself unable to work again. The SSA will reinstate your benefits without your having to go through the entire disability benefits process again.

If you have been unable to work due to an injury or a medical condition, visit our website and fill out a form to speak with one of our Tulsa OK Social Security Disability lawyers.


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