The process can certainly take a bit of time, but it’s good to know that once you’re approved for Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits, you’ll keep receiving them for a long time. However, there are certain situations or circumstances under which they could stop. So, whether you’ve been receiving SSDI benefits for some time already, or are just preparing to file, here are a few things you should know.

For detailed information on Social Security Disability benefits in Tennessee, check out our full page on SSDI.

Medical improvement

If the Social Security Administration (SSA) finds that the medical or psychiatric condition that made you disabled improves, your benefits could stop. The SSA periodically reviews beneficiary cases to determine if applicants are still disabled, usually every three to seven years. However, these reviews are typically much less strict than the initial disability application, and most beneficiaries continue to receive benefits.

Returning to work

You may be able to return to work while receiving SSD or SSI benefits. However, the SSA will determine if your work qualifies as “substantial gainful activity,” also called SGA. The biggest determination of SGA is the amount of income you’re making, which is typically around $1,000 or less ($2,000 for vision-impaired individuals). However, the final decision is up the SSA. Your SSDI attorney can consult with you about your specific situation.

Reaching retirement age

Once you reach retirement age, your Social Security Disability benefits will stop, and your Social Security retirement benefits will kick in. You can’t receive both Social Security disability and retirement benefits at the same time.

Being incarcerated or institutionalized

If you’re convicted of a crime and confined to a prison or other type of institution, your disability benefits will stop for the period you’re incarcerated. In some cases, a felony conviction could also halt your benefits.

Going above income or asset limits

If you’re receiving SSI benefits, and your income or assets unexpectedly rise above the SSI limit for eligibility, your benefits will stop. In 2019, the annual earning limit for those under full retirement age is $17,640. However, the SSA can take many other factors into consideration when determining whether or not you’re over the income limit – including an increase in assets, spousal income, parental income, or subsidized food and shelter.

Turning 18

Children who’ve been receiving Social Security insurance will have their conditions reevaluated against adult SSI standards when they turn eighteen. In some cases, this could cause their benefits to cease.

Changes in residence/living situation

If you either enter or leave an institution like a halfway house, treatment center or nursing home, it can affect your eligibility for benefits. Additionally, if you leave the United States for 30 days or more, your benefits can stop.

Ensure you consult with an experienced Tennessee SSDI attorney if you have questions about your eligibility for benefits.

If you believe your Social Security Disability benefits were unjustly stopped, talk to the SSI and SSDI lawyers at the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm. We can answer all of your questions and put our experience to work for you. Call us today at 615-246-5549 or use our contact form to schedule an appointment. We have offices in Nashville, Hendersonville, and Knoxville, and fight for clients throughout Tennessee.