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Factors That Can Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits blog header image

Factors That Can Affect Your Social Security Disability Benefits

When a disability renders a person unable to work, they could be eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits. These benefits will help you provide the necessities of life. While many may have been already receiving these benefits, situations may occur that could affect their eligibility status, causing the claimant to stop receiving benefits.

Understanding these situations will ensure that you’re prepared. Here are some of the factors that could affect a claimants Social Security benefits.

Returning to Work

The purpose of Social Security disability benefits is to assist those that are unable to work due to a disability. The most common reason why claimants lose these benefits is that they’ve gone back to work. In order for someone to be eligible for these benefits, the claimant must not be involved in “substantial gainful activity,” referred to as SGA.

This typically means that claimants are making at least $1,220, in 2019, though the number of hours they work and job duties may also impact their continued eligibility if they are pursuing self-employment.

If the claimant returns to work after receiving benefits, they may be allowed to keep receiving benefits for a period of time known as the “Trial Work Period.” This allows claimants to continue receiving benefits for up to nine months while they get reacclimated to the workplace.

Retirement Age

Another common reason why claimants may no longer receive Social Security disability benefits is that they’ve reached the age of full retirement, which is currently 66 years. Those receiving SSDI are not allowed to receive both Social Security disability benefits and Social Security retirement benefits simultaneously.

When claimants reach that age, they will simply switch programs. In all likelihood, this will not affect their income much, allowing them to continue living the way in which they were previously.


If claimants have been convicted of a crime of which the punishment is incarceration in a prison or other penal institution, they will not receive Social Security disability benefits for the period of their incarceration. The suspension of their benefits will begin 30 days after their sentence begins unless they participate in a rehabilitation program.

The month following their release they’ll see the reinstatement of their benefits. If they’re convicted of a misdemeanor, they may be allowed to keep their benefits so long as their jail sentence is less than one month. Any more than one month and theirr benefits will be withheld until they are released. 

Dependent Benefits

While the previously mentioned factors will affect those benefiting from their own work history, there are other factors that may affect those receiving benefits based on someone else’s record of earnings. The three most common situations that may affect these types of benefits are marriage, age, and living arrangements. When someone is receiving benefits based on their parents’ earnings record, they will usually lose those benefits at the age of 18 or when they get married. These stipulations will only affect you if you are receiving benefits based on someone else’s work record rather than your own.

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