How can I lose SSDI benefits?Disability recipients are often surprised to learn that once they start receiving SSDI benefits they may not always be entitled to benefits. There are several reasons claimants may lose SSDI benefits. For instance, you could lose SSDI benefits if you return to work and make too much money or if your condition improves to the point the SSA determines you are no longer disabled.
Will I lose SSDI benefits if I am no longer disabled?
If you are receiving SSDI benefits it is because the Social Security Administration (SSA) determined you lacked the functional capacity to work and perform what they term substantial gainful activity (SGA).
Given modern medical technology, however, it is possible that some claimants who were once disabled may no longer be disabled. To verify a claimants disabilities the SSA has a process called a continuing disability review or CDR.
According to the SSA, the Continuing Disability Review (CDR) must be performed every three years, unless they conclude your condition is likely to improve earlier. In some cases the CDR could be scheduled even further into the future if they decide your condition is not expected to improve, although they do state they will still do a review of your case.
If you are scheduled for a CDR the SSA should notify you by mail. One of two forms will be sent to you: the Disability Update Report (SSA-455-OCR-SM) or the long form, Continuing Disability Review Report (SSA-454-BK) announcing a CDR.
Claimants should make sure they are getting adequate medical care. It could also be a good idea to submit any updated medical evidence directly to the SSA, although the SSA may also obtain this information on their own. If the SSA determines from your medical information that your condition has improved to the point you are no longer disabled, they can terminate your benefits and you could lose SSDI benefits due to medical improvement.
Work activity will I lose SSDI benefits?
Another common reason you could lose SSDI benefits is if you return to work. Before returning to work it is important to talk to the Social Security Administration (SSA). The SSA does offer incentives to return to work, and it could be possible for you to receive benefits for a time while you make efforts to work.
The work incentive program, however, can be complicated. If you work too many months and make too much money you could lose SSDI benefits. Talk to the SSA before attempting work.
The good news about SSDI
So should be worried about losing your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits? No, if you do not go back to work and earn too much money or work too many hours, you continue to get sufficient medical care, and your condition remains severe and debilitating, it is unlikely you will lose SSDI benefits.
If the SSA has notified you that your SSDI benefits will be terminated you do have the legal right to challenge the SSDI benefit termination. Talk to a SSDI lawyer for more information. The lawyer may be able to help you present evidence to the SSA to prove you are still disabled and unable to work.