If I Get Social Security Disability Will They Cut Off My Benefits Later?
The truth is, if you are approved for disability there is no guarantee that you will be able to keep your disability benefits forever. And there are a few things that could lead to your disability benefits being suspended or even terminated at some point in the future (though, it should be noted, most claimants will typically have their benefits continued after a CDR, or continuing disability review).
Social Security disability programs are based upon the premise that your residual functional capacity rating is so restrictive that it precludes all types of substantial gainful work activity. So as you might guess, work activity on your part could potentially affect your ability to receive disability benefits.
If you’re able to work there is no reason for Social Security to pay disability benefits. Social Security has a lot of avenues available to individuals who would like to try to return to work. Once you become eligible for disability you are entitled to a nine-month trial work period that allows you nine months of earnings with no limit to the amount you can earn.
The trick to the nine-month trial work period is that the months can occur any time within a five-year period and they do not have to be consecutive. If you are performing substantial work activity (over the Social Security substantial work activity amount) in the tenth month your disability benefits will be suspended and your extended period of eligibility (EPE) will begin.
What is the EPE? This is a thirty-six month period in which you can stop work at anytime and be reinstated to your disability benefits no matter what you were making. However, when the thirty-six month EPE period has passed, any month you earn over the substantial gainful activity amount will terminate your disability. Still Social Security will go one step further to encourage you to work. If you find that you are not able to work due to the same medical problems that won you disability benefits, you can file an expedited reinstatement of your disability benefits any time within five years of your previous disability termination month. Expedited reinstatements allow you to have six months of provisional payments while Social Security makes a medical determination. If you are found disabled, your disability benefits will be reinstated.
There is a possibility that you could lose your disability benefits even if you have not worked since you became eligible for disability benefits. All disability claims are reviewed periodically. These reviews are called continuing disability reviews and there are times that these disability reviews result in the termination of disability benefit due to medical improvement. Although, the vast majority of disability beneficiaries will keep their disability benefits until they convert to full retirement benefit or until their death, although some will lose their benefits because of work activity or medical improvement.
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