Were Your Social Security Disability Benefits Terminated?
If you were approved for SSD benefits due to a mental health condition or physical disability, it's considered a lifelong benefit. Usually, the Social Security Administration (SSA) won't terminate your benefits.
However, it's possible that the SSA could terminate your benefits – called cessation – if:
- You work or go to school full-time (called Substantial Gainful Activity)
- You go back to work part-time and earn over $1,000 gross per month
- Your condition has improved
If the SSA terminated your SSD benefits and these examples don't pertain to you, you're probably angry and frustrated. You depended on the benefits for your livelihood, and they were taken away.
Reviewing Your Case
Many times the SSA will review your case – to see if you still have a disabling condition, are still undergoing treatment, and are following the guidelines of that treatment. If the SSA reviews your case and determines that your condition has improved, the SSA may terminate your benefits.
- If you are "expected" to improve, the SSA normally will review your case within 6 to 18 months.
- If you are "possibly" going to improve, the SSA normally will review your case after 3 years.
- If you are "not expected" to improve, the SSA normally will review your case after 7 years.
In addition to working or going to school full-time, or earning over $1,000 gross per month, the SSA will likely terminate your benefits if you go to jail or are institutionalized against your will for over 30 days.
Reinstating Your Benefits
If your benefits were terminated and you feel that you should still qualify for SSD benefits, you have the right to file an appeal. Time is critical. You only have 60 days to file your appeal.
To continue receiving checks while your appeal is pending, you must file the appeal within 10 days of having your benefits stopped. (If you don't win your appeal and you continued to receive SSD checks while your case was pending, you will have to pay back the money you received.)
It's a good idea to talk with an attorney if your SSD benefits are terminated. The system can be very complicated, and consulting a lawyer could mean the difference between getting your SSD benefits back or not.