Can You Lose Your Social Security Disability Benefits in Alabama?
You’ve gone through the entire process of applying for SSD benefits, getting your application approved, and receiving your monthly checks. Everything’s done now, right? While you have made it through a process that many people give up on, there is still the chance that you’ll lose your benefits.
Benefits are not intended to be a permanent replacement of your income, especially since they draw from the pool of money set aside for your retirement. The SSA reviews cases approximately every three years, and if you meet certain criteria at that time, you could lose your monthly benefits.
Whether you’re applying for Social Security disability benefits for the first time or facing an appeal, The Dansby Law Firm is here for you. Call us at 334-834-7001 to schedule a consultation now.
Restarting Substantial Gainful Activity
If you go back to work, you can plan on losing your benefits as soon as the Social Security Administration finds out. Work is considered “substantial gainful activity,” but work isn’t the only thing that falls under this category. In fact, volunteering may be considered substantial gainful activity. This depends a lot on what type of volunteering you do.
For example, if your volunteer work is at all similar to what you used to do for work, that may be a cause for concern. If you were a professional event planner and you now plan events as a volunteer for the local animal shelter, it’s likely that it would be considered substantial gainful activity. However, volunteering at the animal shelter by playing with cats a few hours per week would not be subject to the same scrutiny.
Not sure if your work could lead to a loss of benefits? If you earn at least $1,260 per month, you’ll likely lose benefits. Even if your income is lower than that, you may lose benefits if the SSA believes you could do more of that work and earn enough to replace your benefits.
The exception to this is the SSA Ticket to Work program. This allows you to keep your benefits while you return to work on a trial basis.
An Improvement in Your Medical Condition
Your benefits are only there to help you with income lost due to a disability. If there’s a significant change in your disability or your ability to work, the SSA will discover that during their case review and consider taking away your benefits.
Certain circumstances may lead them to review your case sooner than planned. If there is a new treatment available for your diagnosis or they receive information that your condition has improved, they may choose to review your file. Don’t worry too much, though—even if your benefits are taken away due to an improvement in your condition, you can appeal the decision.
Going to Prison
As soon as you’ve spent at least 30 days in prison or a similar institution, your benefits will be suspended. This suspension will last for the entire duration of your incarceration. While you will likely begin receiving payments within 30 days of being released, you may lose benefits entirely if you are convicted of a felony.
Reaching Retirement Age
This is when most people expect their SSDI payments to end. You can’t receive both SSDI and retirement benefits, so the SSA will swap disability benefits for retirement benefits when you reach the proper age.
Navigating the Social Security disability system may be confusing and overwhelming. Rather than spending all of your time worrying about keeping your benefits, whether or not your volunteering work is safe, and planning for your next review, choose an Alabama disability attorney you can trust. At The Dansby Law Firm, we focus exclusively on disability law so we can provide our clients with the most up-to-date information and advice.
Start Your Disability Application with Our Help
With the right advice and guidance, you can work through the SSDI application process with minimal stress and worry. Trust the team at The Dansby Law Firm with your application or appeal. Schedule a consultation now by calling us at 334-834-7001 or getting in touch with us online.