If you’re on disability due to a work-related injury or illness that prevents you from working, you’ll likely receive support from the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). These benefits, which include monthly income and health insurance, continue until you no longer need them. The duration of these benefits depends on your medical condition, work activity and age.
Your medical condition
The Social Security Administration (SSA) evaluates your medical condition via a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). This checks whether you still meet the criteria for disability benefits based on your condition’s severity and potential for improvement. If the administration expects your condition to improve within a year, reviews occur every six to 18 months. If they do not expect progress, a CDR happens every seven years. Your benefits will cease if a review determines you can work.
Your work activity
Your work activity also influences the duration of your benefits. If you’re receiving SSDI benefits, you can work as long as your earnings don’t exceed the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) level. Earnings above this level will end your benefits after a trial work period and grace period.
Your age is the final factor. Upon reaching full retirement age (between 66 and 67), you can receive retirement benefits instead of SSDI. The amount remains unchanged, but you’re no longer subject to the SGA limit or CDRs. In some cases, retirement benefits can start at 62, but this may reduce your benefits.
Knowing what to expect
Whether you expect to continue receiving benefits or not, it’s critical to understand the factors that influence your benefits. This understanding allows you to prepare for any changes and make informed decisions for your future. However, remember that you must meet the SSA’s definition of disability and inability to work. If you need assistance, you should consider seeking the help of a Social Security Disability attorney to help protect your rights and keep the benefits you need.