Receiving notice that your application for Social Security disability benefits has been approved can cause a wave of relief to wash over you. After all, being disabled to the point where you are unable to retain gainful employment can be very stressful on a number of levels. During the application process or after approval, you may wonder how long you can actually continue to receive disability benefits. Knowing the answer to this may help provide you with some peace of mind and also help you plan for future contingencies.
How Long Can I Receive Disability Benefits?
Unless there is some reason that would disqualify you from continued receipt of Social Security disability benefits, you are able to receive disability benefits up to retirement age. Once awarded Social Security disability benefits, you can potentially continue to receive, and many people do, benefits coverage until the age of retirement. When you reach retirement age, benefits can technically still continue, but the monthly payments count as Social Security retirement income.
You may receive disability benefits for the length of time where your medical condition has not improved and you’re unable to work. If, through something such as medical care or rehabilitation services, you have recovered from your disabled condition in full or in part, you may no longer have a qualifying disability for Social Security disability purposes. The Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews on those who receive disability benefits to make sure that they still have a qualifying disability. These reviews are more specifically referred to as continuing disability review, otherwise known as a CDR. A CDR, in most cases, is not conducted very often. In fact, a CDR will occur, in general, about once every three to seven years. While known to happen, it is rare for a CDR to be conducted once a year. During the CDR, your medical records will be reviewed. If the records show no sign of medical improvement, you will continue to receive disability benefits. Even if there is some medical improvement, you will continue to receive disability benefits as long as there has not been enough medical improvement that would allow you to return to work. In fact, it is pretty rare for a recipient of disability benefits to have benefits terminated after a CDR.
Your benefits may also be terminated if you start earning too much money. Disability benefits are meant for disabled individuals who are unable to earn a substantial income. Generally speaking, as of 2020, if you begin making more than $1,260 per month, your disability benefits will be suspended.
Remember, if you are receiving disability benefits, you have a duty to keep the Social Security Administration (SSA) informed about certain things. For instance, you have a responsibility to inform the SSA if there is any change in your ability to work. You also must inform the SSA if you return to work or if there is any improvement in your medical condition.
If you are unsure about whether you need to update the SSA about anything relating to the receipt of disability benefits, or you have other questions about disability benefits, Disability Advocates is here to help. We have the answers to the complex questions that can arise in the disability benefits process. Contact us today.