When Can You Lose Your SSDI Benefits?
If you’re injured or disabled and aren’t able to work, SSDI can be a life-saver. But some people who’ve received these funds worry they can lose their SSDI benefits at any time.
As a Memphis SSDI attorney, I’ve helped hundreds of people appeal their applications and get the benefits they need. And while it is possible to lose those benefits down the road, it only happens for very specific reasons.
You Reach Retirement Age
When you reach retirement age, your SSDI benefits end—or, better put, they change.
For the SSA, “retirement age” is 66 and 4 months for those born in 1956, two months later for those born in 1957, and is gradually rising to 67 over the next several years.
At that point, your SSDI payment converts to a retirement benefit. For most people, it shouldn’t impact the amount you receive.
You Earn More Income on the Side Than Permitted
This is the second most common way people lose their benefits. The SSA has certain limitations on how much income you can make on the side. In their opinion, if you can earn a good living through extra projects, you may not need disability status at all.
At the time of publishing, that maximum number is $1,470/month or $2,460 if you’re blind. Those numbers change annually, so you should always check with the SSA before taking additional work.
Your Condition Improves Enough to Go Back to Work
Because SSDI is meant for people with disabilities that keep them from working, you can lose your benefits by getting better. This is obviously a great outcome for most people, but it doesn’t happen as often as one might think.
If you find your condition improves to the point you can return to your work as normal, you’ll need to notify the SSA. The SSA does semi-regular reviews and may fine you or ask for benefits back if they find you haven’t been honest.
Similarly, if you’re able to find really great work in a different field that affords you a full-time income, the SSA will likely see it as no longer needing your disability benefits.
You Have a Criminal Offense
In rare cases, a criminal offense can impact your SSDI benefits. This happens only after someone’s been incarcerated for 30 days or more and is considered a “freeze” on the benefits. After your release, you may reapply.
(One note: If by some chance you get the disability as a result of committing a crime, you can’t apply for SSDI for that particular disability.)
Don’t Lose Your SSDI Benefits Before You Even Start: Get a Lawyer for Your Appeal
It’s uncommon for the Social Security Administration (SSA) to discontinue benefits after receiving SSDI, especially for a disability that still prevents you from working.
More often, the problem is getting them to approve your application in the first place.
The majority of applications are declined by the SSA, and you have 60 days to challenge the decision. In that situation, it’s crucial to seek the help of an attorney and act promptly.
Our Memphis SSDI lawyers start working on your appeal as soon as you’re denied. We will examine your initial application, identify any weaknesses, and present the strongest case possible to the appeals court to get you the benefits you need.
We only get paid if you do, and the fee is only a small portion of your back payments. You receive every dollar moving forward.
Remember, you only have 60 days to appeal a denial from the SSA. Contact us immediately to get started: call 901-327-2100 or use the form below.