Most people who qualify for Social Security disability benefits receive their payments through a program called Social Security Disability Insurance, or SSDI. A smaller group of people who remain in poverty despite receiving SSDI benefits can also qualify to receive Supplement Security Income, which typically gets shortened to SSI.

Both SSDI and SSI payments are designed to last as long as recipients can document their need for federal disability assistance. So, the answer to the question, “How long will Social Security disability benefits last?” can be “For life.”

Program officials will request proof at certain points that the person who has been receiving benefits still qualifies. Some requests are easy to anticipate, while others are situational. As Social Security disability attorneys in Columbus, Ohio, we work with our clients to gather, organize, and present necessary medical records and financial statements when requalifying for SSDI or SSI benefits becomes necessary.

Following are brief discussions of three times people who receive federal disability payments must prove their ongoing need for benefits. Note that appealing decisions to reduce or deny benefits is a right that cannot be denied. Nor can Social Security refuse to let a benefits recipient consult with, hire and be represented by an attorney who handles disability cases.

An Adult Returns to Work

SSDI benefits get paid to individuals whose physical or mental health problems render them unable to work for a year or longer. Qualifying to receive SSDI benefits is usually necessary to qualify to receive SSI benefits.

A person whose health improves to the point that he or she can resume working can be denied SSI payments if they earn enough to rise out of poverty. And if the job taken employs the person on a full-time basis, he or she will typically be taken off the SSDI rolls.

A Child Turns 18

Children can qualify to receive SSDI and SSI payments if a parent or guardian would have access to the federal disability programs. The primary eligibility requirements for the sponsoring adult are being a U.S. citizen and making contributions to the Social Security program, usually via automatic deductions from each paycheck.

When children reach the age of 18 (or 23 if they remain in an extended secondary school program until that age), they must prove that their disability leaves them unable to support themselves by working.

An SSI Recipient’s Financial Situation Improves Substantially

Supplemental Security Income is awarded strictly on financial need. As a result, marrying, winning the lottery, or returning to work on a part-time basis can affect SSI eligibility. Some types of income and financial resources are exempt from the calculation the Social Security program uses to determine ongoing SSI eligibility, so consulting with an experienced and knowledgeable disability attorney will help an SSI recipient understand how program officials make their decisions.

Lawyers in the Columbus offices of Agee Clymer Mitchell & Portman welcome your questions on Social Security disability benefits. We can also help you with workers’ comp, personal injury, and short- and long-term disability insurance problems. To request a free consultation, call (614) 678-3318 or connect with us online by completing this contact form.