Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I have been receiving SSDI benefits for two years. One of my friends recently lost her benefits. I thought you could keep getting SSDI benefits forever. I am really scared that I might also lose my benefits. I have a severe back condition and cannot sit for more than 10 minutes at a time. Should I be worried? What are some reasons that I might lose my SSDI benefits?”
SSDI benefits are they permanent disability benefits?
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) are benefits awarded to claimants who are disabled with a severe mental or physical health condition which does not allow them to work for at least 12 continuous months.
While SSDI benefits are considered long-term disability benefits, they are not necessarily considered permanent benefits. In fact, there are a number of reasons you might lose your SSDI benefits. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons.
Most common reasons you can lose your SSDI benefits
- The SSA decides you are no longer disabled.
All claimants will have their SSDI claims periodically reviewed every three to seven years. The review process is referred to as a continuing disability review and is necessary because some medical conditions can improve over time or with the advancement of certain medical technologies.
If the SSA has notified you that they are going to conduct a continuing disability review they will send you a letter with a questionnaire or they will ask you to come to a local SSA office. The goal of the review is to determine whether you are still disabled and how your medical condition affects your ability to work.
During the review, you will be required to provide medical evidence to support your claim of disability. If the evidence you provide proves you cannot work, you will continue to receive benefits. If your condition has improved and the SSA believes you can return to work, your disability benefits will be terminated.
- You return to work and work too many hours or make too much money.
The most common reason claimants lose their SSDI benefits is because they return to work and make too much money. Although the SSA has a trial work period program which allows claimants to test their ability to work, failure to understand this program can lead to a termination of your benefits.
- You reach your full retirement age.
Claimants who reach their full retirement age will not receive both SSDI benefits and retirement benefits. Instead, your SSDI benefits will stop and you will continue to receive benefits under the Social Security retirement program.
- You are incarcerated.
Claimants who are confined to a penal institution will have their benefits terminated until they are released from prison. Under certain conditions, your benefits may be permanently terminated. Talk to the SSA if you have questions about your incarceration.
- You die.
Claimants will not receive SSDI benefits after they die. Under some conditions, however, if you have beneficiaries who qualify for beneficiary benefits, they can continue to receive benefits after your death.