Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) - is it for life?
Is SSDI a long-term Disability Program?
Claimants frequently ask if Social Security Disability Insurance is a long-term disability program that they can expect to get indefinitely or if it is a program that awards cash benefits for a set period of time.
Social Security Disability Insurance is only awarded to qualifying claimants who have worked enough, paid enough in employment taxes and who can prove that their condition is expected to last for at least 12 continuous months. It can also be very difficult to get; some claimants fight for SSDI benefit for up to 2 years.
For this reason, it is best to think of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as a permanent disability program which is offered primarily to workers who do not expect to return to full-time employment.
With this said, however, there are many medical breakthroughs and advancements in technology that can help many claimants improve to such a degree that they may be able to return to work.
If you are receiving Social Security Disability Insurance and you would like to attempt to reenter the work force, the Social Security Administration has several programs (i.e. Trial Work Period) that can help you do that while continuing to receive Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits.
Never return to work without talking to the Social Security Administration first. Many disability claimants are hesitant to do this, but the Social Security Administration can help ensure that you get your Social Security Disability Insurance benefits as long as possible while you are making your work attempt.
Can I lose my Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits?
As mentioned above, SSDI benefits may be given to claimants as long as they unable to return to full-time employment, but there are several reasons that the SSA may no longer consider you disabled. Social Security Disability Insurance may be terminated if a claimant:
- Returns to work and begins to perform substantial gainful activity for longer than is allowed under the Trial Work Period.
- The Social Security Administration determines a claimant is no longer disabled after performing a Continuing Disability Review
- The claimant reaches their full retirement age. At this point their Social Security Disability Insurance benefit is automatically converted to a retirement benefit. Claimants will not receive Social Security Disability Insurance and SSA retirement benefits simultaneously.
What can I do to ensure I keep my Social Security Disability Insurance?
There are certain mistakes that claimants make that can jeopardize their SSDI benefits. As mentioned above, some claimants simply do not understand how much they can work or how the Trial Work Program works and they return to work and make too much money.
Other claimants stop getting adequate medical care or following their doctors prescribed treatment plan, which can jeopardize their benefits during the Continuing Disability Review.
Most claimants, however, who continue to get adequate medical care and who do not begin working too much or making too much earned income, can continue to get SSDI benefits until they reach their full retirement age or they are able to return to substantial gainful employment.
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