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It’s hard enough to get SSDI in the first place, so it’s especially tragic if you lose your disability benefits for reasons you weren’t expecting.

Our attorneys have seen this happen, and we want to help people avoid it.

Here are the three most common ways people lose their disability benefits, along with how to make sure you keep your SSDI once you’re approved.

Changes in Income

SSDI benefits help cover your expenses when you can’t work due to a disability. So if you’re able to earn a steady income, they may decide you no longer need the benefits.

This could work beautifully for someone who finds a lucrative new line of work or whose health improves enough to return to their old career. However, that’s often not how it plays out.

Instead, people may accidentally earn just a little too much in their small part-time jobs. You can work these sorts of jobs and still receive SSDI, as long as you stay under a certain income limit determined by the SSA.

For people driving Uber or working odd jobs on the side, a few dollars difference could mean you lose your SSDI. No one wants that to happen, and it’s avoidable.

To make sure you don’t lose your benefits over a part-time job, check your income against the SSA’s limits here.

Health Improvement

Occasionally people’s health will improve enough not to need SSDI anymore.

The SSA periodically checks your health status to make sure you need the benefits. However, if your health improves significantly and you can return to work, you should inform them anyway to protect yourself.

The SSA is understaffed and doesn’t always know when people improve – how could they? But if they find out after the fact that you’ve been hiding your health status, you could potentially owe them back payments. So always let the SSA know if they’ve overpaid you, including for benefits you didn’t need because you got better.

Reaching Retirement Age

SSDI helps cover people who can’t work, so it’s not the same thing as retirement benefits. Assuming you qualify in every other aspect, you can receive SSDI until you reach 65 years old, which is the retirement age.

After that, your SSDI automatically switches over to your normal Social Security retirement payments. You shouldn’t notice any serious difference, as the payments are usually the same. (Some people who’ve lost a spouse might qualify for additional benefits).

This system generally works pretty smoothly, but if you have any issues, you should inform the SSA immediately.

Myths Around Losing Your Benefits

While those are the most common ways people lose benefits, our clients sometimes worry about other possible reasons.

In particular, people worry they’ll lose SSDI because of certain life changes, including:

  • moving
  • marriage
  • having children
  • a change in spouse’s income
  • and more.

Fortunately, this isn’t how the system works. With SSDI, you pay into a government insurance program through your payroll taxes. Then it’s available to you if you ever need it.

Because you earn benefits through your taxes, other life changes don’t impact your eligibility. After approval, you shouldn’t lose your disability benefits unless your status changes in one of the three ways listed above.

Getting Help with Your SSDI Case

If you apply for SSDI and are denied, you have 60 days to appeal. In that situation, it’s critical you speak with an attorney as soon as possible.

Our Memphis SSDI lawyers help find what went wrong on your initial application. We strengthen your claim and represent you at your appeals hearing.

And what’s more, we don’t get paid anything unless we win your appeal. Even then, it’s just a small fraction of your past-due benefits – you keep the full check moving forward.

To get started, call us at 901-327-2100 or fill out the form below to schedule an appointment.

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