An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

When are SSDI benefits discontinued?

On Behalf of | Apr 29, 2024 | Social Security Disability

The process of getting approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits can be so long and stressful that once you’re approved, you don’t even want to consider the fact that they may not be permanent. However, in most cases, they aren’t.

Unless you have a disabling condition that isn’t expected to improve, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will likely contact you periodically to get updated information about the condition and your ability to go back to work, at least in some capacity. If you do return to work, you need to notify SSA right away rather than wait for it to request an update.

What is “substantial gainful activity?”

Returning to work doesn’t necessarily mean that your benefits will stop. That happens only when a person can engage in “substantial gainful activity (SGA).” Currently, that’s a job that pays at least $1,550 per month (or $2,590 for a blind person). 

If a person is able to earn this much, but they choose a lower-paying job or not to work at all in order to continue receiving benefits, their benefits will be discontinued and they’ll likely have to repay the amount the SSA determines they shouldn’t have received. That’s why it’s crucial to be honest and keep the SSA up-to-date on your medical and work status.

Transitioning to retirement benefits

Note that if you reach Social Security’s “full retirement age” (FRA) while receiving SSDI, you’ll be transitioned from SSDI to Social Security retirement benefits. For most people, FRA is about 67. The amount of retirement benefits should be close to what you were receiving in SSDI since both are based on a person’s work record.

Since SSDI and Social Security retirement benefits are both under the umbrella of the SSA, they transition people over to retirement benefits once they reach “full retirement age” or FRA. That’s the age at which people can collect the full amount of retirement benefits they’re entitled to based on their work history. 

If you have questions or concerns about your SSDI application or benefits, it can help to have experienced legal guidance. This can help you protect your rights and your benefits.