Just because you are awarded Social Security disability benefits, that does not mean your benefits will last forever. SSA will stop your benefits if you are no longer disabled. Frankly, we hope all our clients can get better and eventually go back to full-time work. We know they can make a lot more money working than being on Social Security disability. We also know that people who work are much happier than those who don’t.
In most cases SSA is required by law to perform a Continuing Disability Review (“CDR”) every three years. (However, in reality it is less frequently than that because SSA does not have the resources to review every case every three years.) In doing a CDR, SSA will obtain updated medical records and may have you re-examined by their doctor. If SSA thinks you are no longer disabled, they will terminate your benefits. Of course, you have a right to appeal this decision if you do so within 60 days (plus 5 days mailing). However, you must appeal within 10 days in order to continue to receive your benefits pending the appeal.
We advise all our clients to keep getting medical treatment even after they start receiving benefits. This way, if SSA does get around to doing a CDR, they have a much better chance of keeping their benefits.
There are other ways people can lose their benefits. People who are getting SSI could lose some or all of their benefits because of getting married or changing their living arrangements, receiving other income, or acquiring resources (such as through inheritance). Additionally, people who are incarcerated may have their benefits suspended or even terminated.