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Four Ways to Lose Social Security Disability Benefits

April 29, 2022 Disability

Social Security disability benefits are a lifeline for many who receive them. Not only have they suffered an illness or injury that prevents them from working, but they have also successfully made it through the often grueling Social Security disability application process. As such, a loss of benefits can be a devastating blow for many recipients and their families. In most cases, Social Security disability benefits recipients lose their benefits for one of a handful of reasons, as our Baltimore disability attorney explains below. 

Your Condition No Longer Affects Your Ability to Work

Eligibility for Social Security disability benefits is strictly limited to individuals whose illness or injury prevents them from working for at least 12 months and who cannot adjust to any other type of work. But once an applicant is approved for benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) tries to ensure that he or she continues to qualify for benefits through periodic Continuing Disability Reviews (CDRs). One component of CDRs is a medical review to determine whether the recipient continues to meet the SSA’s strict definition of disability. If it finds that the recipient does not, it may terminate benefits. 

You Are Engaging in Substantial Gainful Activity 

While most Social Security disability benefits recipients are unable to work, the SSA does allow them to work if they would like to — up to a point. Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) refers to the type of work that involves doing significant mental or physical activities for which the payment of wages is typically expected. If the work you are doing meets that definition or exceeds the annual income cap, you may lose disability benefits. Please note that these conditions do not apply to recipients seeking to return to work through the Ticket to Work program. 

You Are Convicted of a Crime and Incarcerated 

The SSA generally does not pay disability benefits to individuals who are convicted of crimes and are serving prison sentences of 30 days or more. However, if your benefits are terminated as the result of a conviction and incarceration, you may be able to get them reinstated once you are released from prison. A prior conviction also does not affect an initial claim for Social Security disability benefits.  

You Fail to Report a Change in Circumstances

The SSA requires Social Security disability benefits recipients to report any changes in circumstances no later than 10 days after the end of the month in which the change occurred. This includes marriages and divorces, changes in income, and improvements or deteriorations in medical conditions. If you fail to report any of these changes or make any false statements to the SSA, it may impose sanctions on your benefits or terminate them. 

Avoid a Loss of Benefits with Guidance from a Baltimore Disability Attorney 

The best way to recover from a loss of benefits is not to lose them in the first place, and an experienced attorney can help you prevent that. To get started, please contact Baltimore disability attorney Emmett B. Irwin by calling 443-839-0818 or using our online contact form.