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Can I Lose My Disability Benefits?

Being approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) can be an uphill battle. But once it is completed and you are enjoying your benefits, you should be able to rest in knowing that you have those benefits for as long as you need them. Right?

Not necessarily. There is nothing within SSD law that entitles a person to SSD benefits, or that guarantees their benefits are permanent. Some benefit plans will expire on their own, and others will be canceled abruptly if certain conditions are met, or not met.

Ensure you do all you can to keep your benefits for as long as they are necessary by knowing what can end them:

  • Recuperation: The Social Security Administration (SSA) typically grants benefits to people that appear as if they are permanently or completely debilitated by an injury or illness. It will conduct medical reevaluations once every three, five, or seven years to check-in on a SSD benefit recipient. If you are lucky enough to make a surprising medical recovery, you will probably see the end of your benefits shortly after.
  • Reentering the workforce: For a person with high work ethic, the thought of never working again can be worse than the actual pain or debilitation caused by their injury or illness. Many people chose to reenter the workforce despite receiving SSD benefits to either pass the time, stay active, or pay their bills. However, someone who makes too much on their own – an amount largely determined by SSA discretion – they can lose their benefits.
  • Retiring: A person who reaches the age of 65 – the federal retirement age circa 2016 – will stop receiving SSD benefits and start to collect similar benefits under the Social Security retirement program. No one beneficiary can receive both SSD benefits and retirement benefits simultaneously.
  • Prison time: When someone is convicted of a crime that sends them to prison, they will, more or less, be provided all the basic amenities while incarcerated. Due to this tax-funded support, an SSD beneficiary will have their benefits suspended while they are in prison or jail. Upon release, they may need to refile to regain their previous benefits.
  • Unexpected income: Starting to work again will clearly bring additional income to a person but, if they maintain minimum hours, they could potentially plan ahead to work while receiving benefits. What cannot be controlled or foreseen is additional acquired assets that can push someone over the income threshold and take away their SSD benefits. Common forms of additional assets the SSA will review include received alimony, inheritances, private pensions, and income from spouses, partners, or parents.

If you are reliant on your Social Security Disability benefits to get by, or if you need to file for them soon, you cannot risk losing them for any reason. Contact DAA – Disability Action Advocates – and our Las Vegas Social Security disability representative today to learn more about your options and rights pertaining to securing SSD benefits.