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When is one's eligibility for SSD benefits reviewed?

Social Security disability benefits are often the lifeline that is needed for many disabled individuals, including those in Pennsylvania. However, that doesn't mean that the benefits will last forever. Instead, the Social Security Administration will make a periodic review of a person's medical condition in order to determine whether that person still meets the requirements needed to continue receiving benefits. The timelines as to when this will be completed are dependent on the expectations of whether and how the individual's disabling illness or injury is may improve.

First, if the individual's illness or injury is expected to improve, a review will take place somewhere between six and 18 months from the point in time in which the individual began receiving benefits. If there is only the possibility that the individual will recover from their illness or injury, then a review will take place after three years have passed. Finally, if there is no expectation that a person's illness or injury will improve, a review will take place after seven years have passed.

If an individual's health improves enough that he or she is able to earn enough substantial income, then that individual's benefits may cease. If the individual is no longer considered disabled, benefits may also cease at that point.

As this shows, periodic reviews will occur to make sure the recipient of benefits still has a disabling condition. In addition, if an individual's condition improves or if the individual goes back to work, he or she may need to report this information to the Social Security Administration. It is important that those receiving Social Security disability benefits understand whether their medical conditions may improve and how their possible improvement may affect their eligibility for benefits.

Source: Social Security, "Disability Planner: Reviewing Your Disability," accessed May 10, 2015

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee