For more than 8.5 million Americans, Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits are a crucial source to pay for their everyday living expenses. For many people with serious health issues, it may be the only income they receive each month.
Once you have successfully navigated the application process here in Georgia, you must understand the factors that can lead to the suspension or termination of your benefits, especially if you have no other source of income.
Factors that can cause SSDI benefits to end
SSDI benefits are earned. You are eligible when you pay Social Security taxes and earn work credits. The number of credits is dependent upon your age when the disability happens. The amount you receive depends upon how much you have made, and there are no limits on how much you can receive.
However, these factors can determine the length of your SSDI benefits:
- Retirement age: Once you reach your full retirement age, which is 67 for people born in 1960 and later, Social Security retirement benefits kick in. While this is a different program, you cannot generally receive both, unless you retired early and became disabled after you started receiving retirement benefits.
- Returning to work: SSDI recipients are allowed a trial period during which you can continue to receive full benefits while working, providing you report the job and income. The trial ends when you work nine months during a period of up to 60 months. Once reaching that limit, you can still receive SSDI benefits if your monthly earnings are below $1,220, or $2,040 if you are blind.
- No longer deemed “disabled”: There are strict definitions of being disabled to receive SSDI benefits. Your condition must have lasted a year, or is expected to last at least a year, or is terminal. It must impact your ability to do necessary work activities like walking or sitting, or cause memory problems. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a list of impairments that qualify. If your condition is likely to improve, you could face continuing disability reviews, where your case will be examined every six to 18 months.
Know your rights for receiving SSDI benefits
If you have paid Social Security taxes, you have the right to received SSDI benefits if an injury or illness keeps you from being able to work. For many, those benefits are crucial for paying medical bills and meeting other basic living expenses. An experienced attorney in all areas of SSDI here in Georgia can help you navigate what can be a lengthy and complicated process and help you receive the benefits you deserve.