How long will I receive Social Security disability benefits?

| Oct 1, 2020 | SSDI

After months of negotiations, hearings and worrying, you finally get the news for which you had long hoped and expected. The Social Security Administration (SSA) finally ruled that you qualified for Social Security disability benefits. In your mind, you felt it was obvious since your health situation prevented you from working.

You expanded a great amount of energy proving that you deserved these benefits, especially after initially being denied as a first-time applicant. Now that you qualify, the waiting begins for that first payment. But at the top of your mind, you wonder how long you will receive the disability payments.

The government continues to review your case

First, you must understand that you will not receive any benefit payments immediately after the SSA rules that you qualify for them. You must wait another five months. Why? The SSA will not provide benefits to qualifying applicants until they have been disabled for five consecutive months.

There is no universal timeline as to how long SSD benefits last. Typically, though, the benefits will continue as long as your medical situation does not improve and you remain unable to work. People who are no longer able to work will receive benefits:

  • For the length of the worker’s disability.
  • Up until the worker reaches his or her designated retirement age. Once that occurs, the disability benefits convert to retirement benefits.
  • Until the person dies.

During the time you receive Social Security disability benefits, the SSA will continue to scrutinize you. The government regularly reviews cases in order to ensure that people still have qualifying disabilities. If the SSA decides that you no longer fit the criteria and decides to end benefits, you can file an appeal. And if you do not appeal the SSA’s decision, your benefits stop three months following the government’s decision.