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SSDI- Will it make a difference if you were getting it before?

Can I get SSDI reinstated?

Recently on our disability forum we had a user ask, “If I was getting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) in the past, will it matter? How will this affect my chances of being approved a second time?” This is an interesting question, and this blog will address when getting SSDI before will help your case and when it won’t really matter.

Lost benefits because you attempted to return to work

If you have lost your SSDI benefits because you attempted to return to work but later determined you were not able to successfully make this transition then the fact you were getting SSDI before can definitely help you.

For instance, let’s assume you began performing “substantial gainful activity” (working more and making more money than the SSA allows) but have now decided you cannot work. If it has been less than 60 months since you lost your SSDI benefits you can reinitiate your SSDI benefits WITHOUT having to complete a new disability application.

This process is called an expedited reinstatement and was created by the SSA to encourage workers to make work attempts. To qualify for an expedited reinstatement you must meet the following conditions:

  1. Stopped receiving benefits because of earnings from work.

  2. Are unable to work or perform substantial gainful activity

  3. Are disabled because of an impairment(s) that is the same as or related to the impairment(s) that allowed you to get benefits earlier, and

  4. Make the request within 5 years from the month your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits ended.

When does it NOT matter that you were getting SSDI before?

Now there are some claimants who lost their SSDI benefits but it will not matter that they were getting them before.

1.    You lost your benefits after a continuing disability review

If you lost your benefits after the SSA completed a continuing disability review and they determined you were no longer disabled you may have the ability to challenge their decision within a specified time frame but if you lose your SSDI benefits you would have to file a new disability application in the future if you needed SSDI again.

2.    It has been more than 60 months since you received SSDI benefits

Although claimants who made a work attempt may qualify for an expedited reinstatement under some conditions, if you went back to work and it has been longer than 60 months since you received SSDI payments you will have to file a new disability application.

3.    You lost disability because you have reached your full retirement age

Some SSDI applicants are under the mistaken impression that they will receive both SSA retirement benefits and SSDI benefits after they retire. In fact, if you are getting SSDI when you reach your full retirement age your SSDI is automatically converted to SSA retirement. You do not get BOTH benefits. So, if you were getting SSDI then started getting SSA retirement because you reached your FULL retirement age you will never get SSDI again
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