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What will cause a person to stop receiving disability benefits?

Change is a natural part of life for Georgia residents. Over the years, individuals may change jobs from time to time and see changes in their personal life and family circumstances.

These changes are often what lead to individuals applying for Social Security disability benefits. For instance, when an individual suffers a work-related injury, it may prevent him or her from continuing work. In turn, the individual may find it necessary to apply for Social Security disability benefits for injuries they have suffered.

But just as changes can cause a person to apply for disability benefits, changes in a person's life can impact whether they continue to meet the federal requirements for receiving those benefits. Last week, this blog discussed how the Social Security Administration reviews individuals' benefits on a periodic basis to determine whether they still are eligible to receive benefits. The agency will look for whether the person's circumstances have changed to the point where they no longer need to receive disability benefits.

There are two things that typically can cause a person to no longer receive benefits. First, if a person works at a level that is considered substantial by the Social Security Administration, the benefits may stop. Average earnings of $1,130 per month are generally considered to be substantial work by the agency.

Alternatively, if the person's medical condition improves, the benefits may stop. This is because the person must continue to be considered disabled in order to receive disability benefits, so the improvement in medical condition may mean the person is no longer disabled, at least for purposes of receiving benefits.

Ultimately, it is important for individuals to understand how changes in their life can impact their receipt of disability benefits. It is also important for recipients to realize there are steps they can take when the agency improperly cuts those benefits off, such as by concluding the person is not disabled any longer when, in fact, the person still is unable to work.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Disability planner: What can cause benefits to stop?," accessed on July 16, 2016

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