How long will my Social Security disability benefits last?

Whether you are applying for social security disability benefits or have just been approved, you may wonder how long it will last. The truth is, there’s no definite answer to this question — it all depends on the unique circumstances of your case.

The most important thing you need to know is that social security disability benefits do not last forever. You will continue to receive these benefits as long as you are disabled. However, when you reach age 65, and you are still disabled, your retirement benefits will replace your social security benefits.

How Does the Social Security Administration Decide to End Disability Benefits?

The SSA looks at different factors before deciding to end disability benefits for a particular recipient. For example, if you are disabled, the nature of your disabilities will determine when the SSA will end your social security benefits.

If you are expected to recover from your disability, the SSA will conduct reviews periodically to check the status of your disability. They will end the benefits if they determine that you have recovered from your disability.

Will the Social Security Administration End My Benefits If I Return to Work?

Returning to work does not necessarily mean that the SSA will terminate your benefits. You can actually work as many hours as you want. However, you cannot earn more than the earning limits provided by the SSA. For example, in 2022, you cannot earn more than $1350 a month (as an individual) or $2260 if you are blind. The SSA will terminate your benefits if you earn more than the set limit.

In other words, the government agency will conclude that you participated in Substantial Gainful Activity, also referred to as SGA.

However, there are a few exceptions to this rule.

If you earn more than the SGA threshold but have expenses related to your disability and nature of work, then the SSA will deduct these expenses from your salary. For example, let’s say you need special equipment to use your computer at work and you must purchase this equipment once every month. In that case, this could be a work-related expense. Secondly, this expense might relate to your disability.

It is also important to note that earning over $1350 a particular month (in 2022) does not necessarily mean losing your social security disability benefits. Rather, you may be able to calculate the average income from the number of months you worked.

For example, let’s say you earned $2000 in January and then $500 in February. In that case, the total amount of money you earned between those two months is $2500. Therefore, when calculating the average salary over the two-month period, you’ll have earned $1250 a month ($2500 divided by two months). As a result, you may still be able to keep your benefits because $1250 a month is below the $1350 threshold.

The SSA also allows disability benefits recipients a nine-month period to ‘“test the waters.” This period allows recipients to return to work to see how they will perform in their new environment while disabled. If their disability does not prevent them from working, the SSA might revoke their benefits. On the other hand, they may be able to keep their benefits if they cannot work due to their disabling condition.

When Does the SSA Review Disability?

The timing for a disability review will depend on whether the condition is likely to improve.

If expected to improve, the SSA will review the disability within 6 to 18 months after their decision. If there is a possibility that the condition will improve (but not guaranteed), the government agency will review it at least once every three years. If the condition is not expected to improve, the SSA will review it at least once every seven years.

Can I Reapply for Disability Benefits If I Am Still Unable to Work?

If the SSA terminates your benefits after determining that you can work, you may still reapply for benefits if you can no longer work due to the disability. Let’s say you went through the nine-month window period used to “test the waters” and realized you could work. If your condition worsens months later, you can reapply for benefits.

Suppose you reapply within five years of termination of benefits. In that case, the SSA will expedite your application, meaning you will not have to stay in the waiting line like other individuals applying for the first time.

Should I Seek Help Applying for Social Security Benefits?

Applying for disability benefits is not always easy. The last thing you want is to be denied benefits based on technicalities, not facts. For example, as mentioned earlier, the amount you earn while receiving benefits will determine whether or not you will lose your benefits. But sometimes, some of these figures may not be accurate.

This is just one of the reasons you need someone experienced in disability benefits to help you understand your options. That is where Morgan and Morgan comes in.

How Can Morgan and Morgan Social Security Disability Attorneys Help?

At Morgan and Morgan, our social security attorneys will review your specific circumstances and offer crucial legal advice and representation to help you obtain favorable results. And if the SSA has denied your application for benefits, our attorneys can help you file an appeal, prompting the agency to reconsider its decision. And because some of these applications are denied based on technicalities and lack of enough information, our attorneys know how to build a strong case to convince the government that you need these benefits.

The best part is that we will not charge you anything to start this process. We understand how difficult life can be when struggling with a particular disability. For this reason, we offer our services on a contingency-based system, meaning our clients do not pay us unless we win.

If you or your loved one has been denied benefits due to unfair reasons or are considering applying for benefits, fill out our free case evaluation form. We might be able to help.

Related FAQ