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How Long Can You Be On Social Security Disability

Social Security disability (SSD) benefits provide a critically important form of financial support to people who are no longer able to work because of an injury, an illness, or another serious medical impairment. If you or your loved one is disabled, SSD benefits may be available through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 


This raises an important question: How long do Social Security disability benefits last? The short answer is that your benefits pay out as long as you are still disabled—but once you hit retirement age they will transition to retirement benefits. In this article, our Arizona Social Security disability attorneys explain the key things to know about the duration of Social Security disability benefits. 


An Overview of the Duration of Social Security Disability Benefits


Many private disability insurance policies are capped in duration. Benefits may only pay out for a set number of years. However, this is not the case with Social Security disability benefits. Your benefits will not have a predetermined “expiration date.” As explained clearly by the Social Security Administration (SSA), “your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved and you can’t work.” In other words, you will be eligible to keep receiving your SSDI benefits or SSI benefits as long as you still qualify as disabled. 


Note: Once you reach your retirement age for the purposes of Social Security, your disability benefits will automatically transition over to retirement benefits. You do not need to take any action for this to occur and the amount of your benefits should not change. 


You Have a Responsibility to Report Changes in Medicals Condition or Employment Status


The law requires anyone who is receiving SSD benefits to keep the agency in the loop regarding their medical condition and/or employment status. As a beneficiary who is receiving Social Security disability compensation, it is your legal responsibility to notify the agency if any of the following occurs:


  • Your medical condition has substantially improved; 
  • There is a change in your ability to work; or
  • You have actually returned to employment. 


Further, the SSA conducts periodic reviews of beneficiaries. These evaluations are referred to officially as continuing disability reviews (CDRs). If the agency determines that you are no longer disabled after completing a review, it can cut off your benefits. You have the right to challenge an adverse disability determination made by the SSA. An experienced attorney can help. 


Contact Our Phoenix, AZ Social Security Disability Lawyer Today


At Snow, Carpio and Weekley, PLC, our Arizona Social Security disability attorneys are skilled, compassionate, and results-focused advocates for our clients. If you have any specific questions or concerns about the duration of SSDI or SSI benefits, we can help. Call us or contact our law firm online for your free, fully confidential consultation. With offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Yuma, Tucson, and Lake Havasu, we provide Social Security disability representation throughout the entire region. 

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