Cessation or Loss of Social Security Disability Benefits
As many Social Security Disability Insurance recipients learn, being awarded SSDI benefits is only the beginning because benefits can be lost just as easily as they are awarded.
How Can I Lose My Social Security Benefits?
The most obvious way, of course, is by recovering your health and going back to work. Should this happen to you, chances are you’ll be delighted to give up your SSDI benefits.
The Social Security Administration offers these incentives to encourage disabled persons to return to work:
Trial Work Period
During a trial work period, you are allowed to test your ability to work for at least nine months. These nine months do not have to be consecutive, and can be any nine months within a 60-month period. Any month in which you earn more than $720 is considered a trial work month. Regardless of how much you earn, you can continue to receive your full disability benefits during this period as long as you are working while disabled.
Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE)
After your trial work period ends, there is a 36-month period when you can work and still receive disability benefits for any month in which your earnings fall below the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) amount. During this period you will not receive disability benefits for any months in which you earn more than $1010 ($1690 if you are blind).
If your gross earnings exceed the SGA amount during any month of your Extended Period of Eligibility, you will enter a three-month grace period. During this grace period you will continue receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) payments regardless of your earnings. After the grace period ends you will not receive SSDI payments for any months in which your earnings reach the SGA amount. If your earnings remain below the SGA amount, your SSDI payments will resume, but if your earnings remain at the SGA amount or above, you will lose your SSDI benefits. If at a later time, however, your condition makes it impossible for you to continue working, you will be eligible to seek disability benefits again.
You can also lose SSDI benefits for reasons that can easily be avoided, including:
- Failure to respond to the periodic reviews that the Social Security Administration makes to determine if you remain disabled
- Failure to submit updated records or to follow other instructions as required by the SSA
- Failure to advise the SSA of any change of address or incarceration in prison
- Failure to advise the SSA if you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and
- Failure to notify the SSA of any increase in household income.
Keep in mind that your continued eligibility for SSDI benefits will be up for periodic review by the Social Security Administration. Each Continuing Disability Review (CDR) will determine whether your benefits will continue. A medical CDR will examine your disability, while a work CDR will examine aspects of your employment. Whenever your case is up for review, failure to cooperate fully with the SSA may result in cessation of disability benefits.
Regardless of your reason for losing Social Security benefits, you can always reapply for SSDI, and you retain every right of appeal. You should make every effort to retain SSDI benefits when disability prevents you from earning a livable income.
Making an informed decision is always the best thing you can do. If you would like to know more about your SSDI options, click here for a free SSDI evaluation. If you have any further questions about Social Security Disability, a qualified MedicareMall agent will be happy to answer them. We’ll also be glad to answer any questions you may have about Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, Medicare Advantage, or Medigap plans.
Contact MedicareMall now and we’ll make it our priority to help you make the best-informed decisions possible about your health or disability.