Disability benefits provide financial support to people who are unable to work because of a serious medical condition. You may be able to continue receiving these benefits if you meet the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) eligibility criteria.
But what happens if your medical condition improves or heals on its own? In these instances, your continued eligibility for disability benefits may change.
Our attorneys at Sigman Janssen are here to help with your Social Security Disability concerns. Learn more by contacting our firm today. The initial consultation is 100 percent free and confidential. You are not obligated after this meeting to retain our services, but if you do, we charge zero upfront fees.
Available 24/7 to take your call: (920) 260-4528
Why the SSA May Stop Your Disability Benefits
There are two reasons why the SSA may decide that you are no longer disabled and stop your benefits:
- You are earning more than the substantial gainful activity (SGA) limit set each year
- Your medical condition has improved enough that you are able to return to work
The SSA reviews disability cases periodically to see if you still meet the criteria. You must prove at every review that your medical condition is so severe that it prevents you from working. However, there are ways to continue receiving disability benefits even if your medical condition improves significantly.
What Are Continuing Disability Reviews?
Continuing disability reviews (CDR) are conducted by the SSA to identify those receiving benefits who may no longer qualify as being disabled. The rate at which the SSA reviews your disability case will be dependent on the nature and severity of your medical condition, as well as your prognosis.
- If your medical condition is expected to improve, your first review will generally be six to 18 months after you became disabled
- If improvement in your medical condition is possible, the SSA will review your disability case every three years
- If your medical condition is not likely to improve, your disability case will be reviewed every seven years
It is important to note that some impairment listings in the SSA Blue Book also have their own reviews. For instance, say that a disability recipient with chronic kidney failure receives a kidney transplant. The SSA will review his or her medical condition one year post-transplant to see if anything has changed.
If that disability recipient’s medical condition improves after the kidney transplant and he or she no longer suffers from a qualifying impairment, the SSA will likely stop monthly disability benefit payments.
Responsibility to Report Changes in Your Condition
Anyone receiving disability benefits is responsible for reporting changes in their medical condition. This includes any improvement in your medical condition. If this change affects your ability to work, the SSA will need to know about it. Not reporting changes could jeopardize your disability benefits.
If the SSA finds out during your review that your medical condition has improved or healed on its own, it could lead to serious legal and financial issues. You could face disability fraud charges or be required to repay any disability benefits you received after your medical condition improved.
If your medical condition does improve enough to possibly return to work, the best way to maintain your disability benefits is by applying to a work incentive program.
How to Transition Back into the Workforce
The SSA has programs in place to help disability recipients transition back into the workforce.
The Ticket to Work Program, for instance, supports career development for disability recipients ages 18 through 64 who want to return to work. The program is free and offers services and supports to help people with disabilities reach their career goals, such as job training, vocal rehabilitation and more.
The program will continue to pay out your monthly disability benefits if you earn less than the current SGA limit. If you exceed the SGA limit, your disability benefits will be reduced or adjusted.
Get Answers About Social Security Disability
The prospect of losing your disability benefits can be worrisome if your medical condition improves. You may be unsure about how to proceed. In these instances, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney in Green Bay to advise you on your available options.
If the SSA has already stopped your disability benefits following a review, you may be able to appeal this decision. We have helped many people over the years obtain and retain the benefits they need.
Reach out to schedule a free consultation. We charge nothing up front for our legal representation so there is no risk to you. Our intake staff is ready to take your call anytime, day or night.
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