While claimants are always relieved to receive Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income benefits, sometimes that’s not quite the end of their cases.
Most of the time, individuals who receive disability stay on it for life, or their benefit automatically converts to Social Security retirement when they reach retirement age (which comes with some new rules as well).
But in some cases, Social Security will conduct a continuing disability review to see if you are still disabled.
This involves answering a questionnaire, submitting current medical records, and usually an examination by a physician selected by Social Security.
If Social Security establishes that your condition has improved, your benefits will be terminated, however, this decision is appealable.
Exactly how often continuing disability reviews occur varies. Judges can recommend a review be done after making a decision. Sometimes, a review is done one year after a claim is approved. Sometimes, it’s several years later. And in most cases (particularly with older individuals), beneficiaries never undergo a continuing disability review.
The other situation where disability benefits end is when an individual’s condition improves and they’re able to return to work full-time.
Exactly what constitutes full-time work varies, especially when considering self-employment, which is quite common among disability recipients, but generally receiving more than $880 gross per month will result in the termination of disability insurance benefits if earnings rise above that amount nine times in a five-year period.
The final situation where disability benefits are terminated is incarceration. Any incarceration lasting more than 30 days will result in benefits being paused until release. For disability insurance, those benefits are automatically reinstated upon release. For SSI, that’s only the case if the incarceration lasts less than 12 months. A longer term of imprisonment will mean you’ll have to re-apply for benefits.