The short answer is “yes”. There are several developments that can trigger the cessation of either SSI or SSDI benefits. Benefits can be ceased if a recipient returns to work. Individuals receiving SSDI can become ineligible if they are exceeding the substantial gainful activity level (SGA) level of income. The substantial gainful activity threshold income for a non-blind individual is currently $1220 per month. However, an individual receiving SSDI will be eligible for what is known as a Trial Work Period. During this period, the recipient may earn more than SGA for a period of 9 months without causing their benefits to be cut-off. In fact, there is also an “extended period of eligibility” beyond the 9 month trial work period. This period can last 36 months. The recipient’s income will be examined monthly during the extended period.
Eligibility for SSI is predicated in part upon the recipient having limited countable assets. Specifically, to be eligible, one must have under $2,000.00 in assets that are counted by the Administration. If the recipient exceeds this threshold after they begin receiving SSI, the SSI benefits can be ceased. The Administration looks at a spouse’s income as well. Moreover, in kind support such as housing and food that is received from others can be counted as income. Working while on SSI will cause the amount of your monthly benefit to decrease. When an individual receiving SSI earns income through work activity, the SSA does not count the first $85 earned by the individual in a month. After the first $85, the SSA will reduce benefits by 50 cents on every dollar made over $85 in a month.
If the SSA has decided to terminate you benefits, you will receive a notice of cessation of disability benefits in the mail. Your benefits will not be terminated for two months after you receive the notice. You have the right to appeal the Administration’s decision. You can do so in writing, or by requesting a hearing. You may use an attorney to represent you in appealing the Administration’s decision.