Five Ways You Can Lose Your Disability Benefits
While most individuals who are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will continue to receive their entitled benefits for years to come without issue, it is important to remember that these benefits are not guaranteed to last forever. In fact, there are numerous ways in which a person’s benefits may be suspended or even terminated. If you are applying for SSD benefits or are already receiving monthly benefit checks, it is important to be aware of the various ways that your benefits can be cancelled.
Common ways individuals lose their benefits include:
- Medical improvement: In most cases, SSD beneficiaries are approved to receive benefits in connection with a debilitating injury or medical condition. If a person’s cited disabling medical or psychiatric condition should improve, the Social Security Administration (SSA) may determine that they are no longer disabled and cease their benefits. Generally speaking, beneficiaries are medically re-evaluated by the SSA every three-to-seven years.
- Returning to work: If a beneficiary starts working again and earns a certain amount of money while receiving benefits, the SSA may determine that they are engaging in “substantial gainful activity,” disqualifying them from being able to receive benefits. The threshold determining how much a person can earn while still receiving benefits changes every year, with the current 2016 restriction limiting beneficiaries to a maximum of $1,130 in earnings per month. This is not always the case, however, as the SSA may still cancel a person’s benefits even if they make less than this amount.
- Reaching retirement age: SSD beneficiaries who reach the full retirement age of 65 will no longer receive their benefits, since a person cannot collect both SSD and retirement benefits at once. Instead, beneficiaries will receive payments under the Social Security retirement program.
- Incarceration: If a person is convicted of a crime and sentenced to a period of incarceration, they will lose their benefits during the fulfillment of their sentence. In some cases, certain felony convictions can cause a person to lose their benefits permanently.
- Exceeding income or asset limits: By far the most common reason individuals lose their benefits is by having too much income. SSDI beneficiaries may lose their benefits if they experience an increase in income from any source that pushes them over the individual income or asset limit. Acquired assets and income which can be counted towards these limits include alimony payments, private pensions, spousal income, parental income, or inherited assets.
The last thing you want after going through the notoriously complex Social Security application process is to lose your benefits when you need them most. If you are unsure how your benefit status will be affected by a recent increase in income, acquisition of a part-time job, or some other circumstance, contact the Reno Social Security Disability lawyers at Disability Action Advocates today. Having been helping individuals navigate through the Social Security system for more than 20 years, we can ensure your best interests are protected and advise you on the most appropriate course of action to pursue.Call (888) 401-3920 or schedule a confidential case review today to discover your legal options.