Your medical situation has overtaken many aspects of your life, and, now, it strikes your career. This convergence with your work life now forces you to make new choices. If you are unable to work for years, or even the rest of your life, Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can help support you and your family.
You may wonder just how long those SSD benefits will last. The short answer is that you will receive SSD benefits as long as you are disabled and continue to meet the government’s eligibility requirements. If you remain eligible upon reaching your full retirement age, those disability benefits convert to retirement benefits.
Social Security payments will continue as long as you are disabled
The Social Security Administration (SSA) considers you disabled if your medical condition should last at least a year or, ultimately, lead to your death. As to the length of receiving benefits, a few key components come into play.
You will continue to get SSD benefits:
- As long as you remain disabled – whether physically or mentally – and unable to work.
- Until you reach your full retirement age, ranging from age 65-67, depending on your birth year. Once you hit full retirement age, the SSD benefits convert to retirement benefits.
- Until you have been incarcerated for more than 30 days related to a criminal conviction. The result is a suspension of benefits.
- Until your death.
Remember, those benefits also can stop once your health situation improves and you can return to work. The SSA conducts regular check-ins, reviewing your health status to ensure that you remain disabled and can continue to qualify for benefits.
Such reviews may occur every six months to seven years. The range is based on the severity of your medical condition. As part of the review, the SSA looks at your medical reports and may even request that you undergo a medical examination.