October 31, 2011

How Long Will I Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Indiana Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients often wonder how long they will receive these disability benefits.  Many SSDI or SSI claimants are under the assumption that their disability benefits will last until retirement age. Although many disability recipients will receive benefits until they reach the retirement age, this is not the case for everyone. For those individuals who do receive Social Security disability benefits until retirement age, Social Security disability benefits will not just stop altogether, but they will simply change from Social Security disability benefits to Social Security retirement benefits. On the other hand, there are some instances in which a disability recipient will have their disability benefits end prior to reaching the retirement age.

The most common reasons for a stop in disability benefits are:

  • improvement of one’s disabling condition,
  • incarceration, or
  • return to work.

As stated above, improvement of someone’s condition is just one reason why the Social Security Administration (SSA) may revoke benefits.  The SSA reviews the SSDI or SSI claimant’s disability benefits on a regular basis. These reviews are called “Continuing Disability Reviews” and these reviews are given to everyone who receives disability benefits. The time between these reviews may depend on whether or not your condition is expected to improve. Benefits may be reviewed by the SSA anywhere from every 18 months to several years depending on your condition and your chances of improvement.

Another reason the SSA may revoke disability benefits is incarceration.  If an individual who receives disability benefits ends up in prison or is put in jail for more than 30 days, it is likely the disability benefits will stop. However, incarceration does not permanently end an individual’s disability benefits. When the individual gets out of jail, it is possible to this individual to get their SSDI or SSI benefits reinstated.

One misconception people have is that going back to work automatically disqualify a person from receiving Social Security disability benefits.  This is not necessarily true.  Although. an individual that decides to go back to work who earns a substantial income may no longer be entitled to disability benefits.  In this case, you may be entitled to Social Security retirement benefits once you reach retirement age. If you do decide to return to the workforce, benefits will not stop immediately. An individual can earn income on a “trial” basis for up to nine months before your Social Security disability benefits are revoked. If you try to return to work and find that you are unable to cope with it, your Social Security benefits will not end.

Individuals who remain disabled until retirement age will be able to keep their disability benefits until retirement age. However, it is important to understand that you need to take steps to ensure you are actually able to keep your Social Security disability benefits.  Attorney Scott D. Lewis likes to remind his disability clients to continue stay on top of their disabling condition. Continue to schedule regular doctor’s visits. Continue to explain to your doctor how your condition prevents you from performing normal daily activities so that there is documentation of your continuing disability. This may be beneficial for your “Continuing Disability Reviews”.

It is also very important for an individual to comply in a timely manner to the “Continuing Disability Review.”  Individuals who refuse to respond to a review may potentially cause you to lose your benefits. Additionally, the SSA may arrange for you to meet with a physician for a medical examination.  It is important to make this appointment.   Indianapolis Social Security disability lawyer, Scott Lewis informs all of his potential clients and his current client’s to be cooperative and timely with all requests by the SSA.

If you are disabled and are seeking disability benefits, contact Attorney Scott Lewis for a free case evaluation.  Mr. Lewis and his staff would gladly discuss your disability claim with you.  Call (317) 423-8888 for you free consultation.

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