how long disability benefits lastYou can receive Social Security disability benefits as long as you continue to be eligible. However, eligibility requirements are not the same for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) as they are for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

What can cause me to lose my SSDI benefits?

There are several ways you can lose your eligibility for SSDI benefits. These include:

  • If you no longer qualify medically for SSDI, you can lose your benefits (e.g., if your condition improves).
  • If you have gone back to work, you might lose your SSDI benefits. Speak with our team to determine whether you can work under a trial period or if you must work within the SSDI income limits.
  • Being convicted of a crime can cause you to lose your SSDI benefits. While you are incarcerated, your SSDI benefits will stop. Even if you are not incarcerated, a felony conviction can, in some situations, cause you to lose your SSDI benefits.

For example, Larry was very ill with complications from Hepatitis C. His medical condition satisfied the Listing of Impairments (Blue Book) requirements for medical severity. After receiving SSDI benefits for several years, Larry tried a different treatment for Hepatitis C. The treatment cured Larry of his Hepatitis C, all the complications improved, and then completely went away. Larry will lose his SSDI benefits because he no longer medically qualifies for SSDI benefits.

What can cause me to lose my SSI benefits?

There are several ways in which you can lose your eligibility for SSI benefits. Most of these are different from the way you can lose your SSDI benefits.

  • If you no longer qualify medically for SSI, you can lose your benefits. SSDI and SSI use the same medical criteria to determine eligibility.
  • Going back to work can cause a person to lose SSI benefits. There is no trial work period for SSI benefits.
  • If you begin receiving earned or unearned income over the limit for SSI, you can lose your benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) only considers certain types of funds as income for purposes of SSI.
  • The SSA will reevaluate a child who receives SSI when she turns 18. If she does not meet the adult SSI requirements, her benefits will stop.
  • Being outside of the United States for more than 30 consecutive days can make your SSI benefits stop.
  • Receiving free housing or free food can put you over the SSI income limit. This is because the SSA considers free food and housing as in-kind income for purposes of SSI.
  • Being confined to an institution at the expense of the government can make you no longer eligible for SSI. This can include hospitals, as well as prisons, jails, detention centers, and similar correctional facilities.
  • Having an outstanding arrest warrant or a felony warrant for evading arrest or escaping from custody can cause you to lose your SSI benefits.
  • If your spouse or parents have income that causes you to be over the limit for SSI, you can lose your SSI benefits. The SSA will deem a parent’s income to the child who receives SSI benefits. The SSA will deem part of a spouse’s income to the person receiving SSI benefits, so getting married can cause a person to lose SSI benefits.

For example, Theresa and her husband got a divorce. She had no income and very few assets. She also suffered from debilitating asthma. She applied for SSI benefits and received approval from the SSA. However, after the court awarded her alimony in the amount of $4,000 per month, Theresa lost her SSI benefits, because this unearned income took her over the income threshold for SSI.

Carl became homeless for several years due to a severe mental illness. He received SSI benefits during this time. He met and married a school teacher. He lost his SSI benefits, because the SSA deems part of his wife’s earnings to him, taking him over the income threshold for SSI.

Kara had received SSI benefits for several years. She spent three months in Mexico taking care of her seriously ill mother. After she had been out of the United States for more than 30 consecutive days, she lost her SSI benefits.

What happens to my SSDI benefits when I reach retirement age?

You cannot receive both SSDI benefits and Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. When you reach full retirement age, your SSDI benefits will automatically convert to retirement benefits; however, the amount you receive will not change.

What happens to my SSI benefits when I reach retirement age?

Your SSI benefits do not stop immediately when you reach full retirement age. This is because the SSA created SSI to provide financial assistance for people who have limited income and assets, and who are age 65 or older, blind, or disabled. However, because the limit is so low, your retirement benefits might put you over the limit.

Get help from a Raleigh Social Security disability attorney.

It is easy to make a mistake that might jeopardize your disability benefits. To keep yourself from doing something that could stop your benefits prematurely, talk to a Raleigh Social Security disability attorney from Lunn & Forro, PLLC today.

Call us today at 888-966-6566 to schedule your consultation.