When you experience a disability, Social Security benefits ensure you can cover essential living expenses when unable to work. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can decide to suspend benefits for a few reasons.
Understanding the SSA’s decision-making process is key to continuing your benefits. A greater understanding can also help you make the right decisions to preserve your benefits.
Reasons why your benefits may stop
The SSA may decide to suspend benefits for two reasons. The first involves changes to your disabling medical condition, which the SSA determines using its Continuing Disability Review (CDR) process. CDRs occur according to the likelihood that your medical condition will improve.
If the SSA expects improvement, a CDR will occur within 6 to 18 months of the original decision. For cases with possible improvement, the SSA conducts CDRs every three years. And in cases where improvement is not expected, CDRs take place every seven years.
The SSA can also suspend benefits based on the results of your Trial Work Period (TWP). In this case, the SSA will look at your earnings after the TWP to determine whether they meet the definition of substantial (which means they equal more than the average monthly earnings).
How to avoid delayed and denied benefits
Avoiding common disability benefit mistakes is key to receiving funds as expected. In this case, make sure you describe your medical condition and associated disability accurately. Downplaying the effects of your condition could result in the SSA denying benefits. The more information you provide regarding your ailments, the better.
Also, you should prepare yourself for a multi-step process. The SSA utilizes a comprehensive approach, and applicants must perform each step correctly and within the allotted deadline. Doing a bit of research before getting started can greatly improve your understanding of the process.