There are multiple ways that you may lose your disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) offers two types of disability benefits for individuals who are unable to work due to a disability. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is intended for people with disabilities who meet certain income thresholds. In contrast, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) does not limit benefits to people who are low income. However, to qualify for this type of benefit, you must have worked for a certain number of years and paid Social Security taxes (in addition to meeting other criteria).
Being approved for SSDI benefits can be a long and complex process. Many people receive denials after their application, and may need to file an appeal in order to be awarded benefits. Working with a California disability benefits attorney can help you be approved for benefits.
Once you are approved, you may believe that you are entitled to benefits for the remainder of your life. While some people may receive benefits for their lifetime after initially qualifying, there are a number of different ways that a person may lose their SSDI benefits.
First, if your condition improves, then you may not be eligible for benefits. The SSA performs what is known as a Continuing Disability Review for recipients of disability benefits. If your health has improved to the point that you are able to work, the SSA may terminate your SSDI benefits. If you are concerned about the possibility of losing your benefits, consult with a California disability benefits attorney to discuss how to respond to a Continuing Disability Review questionnaire. In some cases, an individual may have their benefits cut off because they did not complete their response fully or include sufficient evidence of their ongoing disability — not because they are able to work.
Second, you may lose your benefits if you return to work. SSDI benefits are intended only for people who are unable to work due to disability. If you participate in what the SSA deems “substantial gainful activity” and earn more than a certain amount of money each month, you could be cut off from benefits. There are ways for individuals who would like to try to return to work to do so without jeopardizing their benefits. This is known as a trial work period. If you return to work, then you may become ineligible for benefits. A skilled California disability benefits attorney can help you understand your options if you are considering returning to work.
Third, if you reach retirement age (currently age 66)while on SSDI, your benefits will stop. Instead, you will receive Social Security retirement benefits. Because you cannot receive both SSDI and your Social Security retirement payments, the disability payments will stop once you reach retirement age.
Fourth, if you are convicted of a crime and are incarcerated for 30 days or more as a result, then your SSDI benefits will be suspended for the period of time that you are in a penal institution. The SSDI benefits will then resume the month after you are released. Importantly, some criminal offenses will result in a complete stop to your SSDI benefits. An experienced California disability benefits attorney can help you understand how a conviction will impact your benefits.
If you are unable to work due to a disability, you may qualify for benefits from the SSA. At PLBSH, we represent individuals throughout the SSDI process. Contact us today at (800) 435-7542 or email@example.com to schedule a consultation with a California disability benefits attorney.