If a disability renders you unable to work, you may be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. This will help you provide the necessities of life. While you may have been receiving these benefits, situations may occur that could affect your eligibility status, causing you to stop receiving them. Understanding these situations will ensure that you’re prepared should you no longer be eligible. Here are some of the factors that may affect your Social Security benefits.

Returning to Work

The purpose of Social Security disability benefits is to assist those that are unable to work due to a disability. The most common reason why someone might lose these benefits is that they’ve returned to work. In order for someone to be eligible for these benefits, they must not be involved in “substantial gainful activity,” referred to as SGA. This usually means that you are making at least $1,220, in 2019, though the number of hours you work and job duties may also impact your continued eligibility if you are pursuing self-employment. If you return to work after receiving benefits, you may be allowed to keep receiving benefits for a period of time known as the “Trial Work Period.” This allows you to continue receiving benefits for up to nine months while you get used to providing for yourself.

Retirement Age

Another common reason why someone may no longer receive Social Security disability benefits is that they’ve reached the age of full retirement, which is currently 66 years. You are not allowed to receive both Social Security disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits simultaneously so if you reach that age, you will simply switch programs. In all likelihood, this will not affect your income much, allowing you to continue living the way in which you were previously.


If you have been convicted of a crime of which the punishment is incarceration in a prison or other penal institution, you will not receive Social Security disability benefits for the period of your incarceration. The suspension of your benefits will begin 30 days after your sentence begins unless you participate in a rehabilitation program. The month following your release you’ll see the reinstatement of your benefits. If you’re convicted of a misdemeanor, you may be allowed to keep your benefits so long as your jail sentence is less than one month. Any more than one month and your benefits will be withheld until you are released.

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Dependent Benefits

While the previously mentioned factors will affect those benefiting from their own work history, there are other factors that may affect those receiving benefits based on someone else’s record of earnings. The three most common situations that may affect these types of benefits are marriage, age, and living arrangements. When someone is receiving benefits based on their parents’ earnings record, they will usually lose those benefits at the age of 18 or when they get married. These stipulations will only affect you if you are receiving benefits based on someone else’s work record rather than your own.

If you’ve been deemed eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits, a change in conditions may affect your continued eligibility. Understand these factors to be prepared for the loss of your Social Security benefits. Working with an Employment Network with the Ticket to Work program can help you stay informed of the things you can expect if your situation changes.

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