The length of time you receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits will depend on your particular circumstances. SSD benefits generally last until you return to having "substantial gainful activity" (SGA), which is basically when you begin working and earning a certain level of income again. For 2013, the SGA threshold amount for non-blind individuals is $1,040. This means that a person's SSD benefits will last until the individual earns more than this amount. Statutorily blind SSD recipients have an SGA amount of $1,740 for 2013. TheSocial Security Administration (SSA) increases the SGA threshold each year since it changes in correlation with the national average wage index. If an SSD benefits recipient is not able to return to substantial gainful activity before reaching retirement age, his or her disability benefits will be converted to Social Security retirement benefits.
There are certain exemptions to the SGA guidelines. For example, some individuals can return to work in a "trial work period," which allows them to test their ability to work without losing their benefits. The person's benefits continue until he or she is able to work for at least nine months (within a rolling 60-month period) while earning more than a certain amount within those months, according to the SSA.
There are various other reasons that an individual might have his or her SSD payments stopped. These include the following: no longer being considered "disabled" under SSA definitions due to improvement of one's medical condition; being a dependent beneficiary whose circumstances have changed, such as through a change in living arrangements or a new marriage; and being incarcerated.
The requirements surrounding how long SSD benefits last can end up being very confusing for many individuals. If you want to learn more about how these rules apply to you, Charlotte Social Security Disability Attorney Jack G. Lezman can provide you with the guidance you need. Contact us today!