It can take months, and sometimes years, to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Unfortunately, you can lose your benefits as easily as you misplace your keys if you're not careful. Here are two reasons the Social Security Administration (SSA) may cut off your payments and how you can fix the problem.
You Stop Going to the Doctor
The SSA is primarily concerned with ensuring only people who are confirmed to be disabled receive disability payments. Therefore, they will check in with you on a periodic basis to determine whether your condition has improved or not. Unfortunately, once people start receiving their benefits, they think they don't need to keep seeing their doctors, especially if their conditions haven't changed, but taking this action can result in benefits being cancelled since they won't have the proof they need to submit to the SSA to confirm their medical statuses.
While it may seem unnecessary for you to continue meeting with your doctor month after month when you have a permanent disability, it's essential you keep all your follow up appointments with your healthcare provider. This lets you keep tabs on your own progress (good or bad) as well as ensure you always have current status reports to send to the SSA whenever the agency requests one. It's a small price to pay to ensure you continue receiving your benefit checks.
You Earn More Than is Allowed
When you apply for Social Security disability, the SSA approves your application with the impression that your condition prevents you from earning an adequate amount of income. So if you earn more than the limit set by the agency, you could lose all your monthly benefits.
The SSA allows people to earn an average of $1,170 per month (up to $1,950 for those who are legally blind). If you earn more than that, the agency will cut off your checks. Be aware, though, this limit only applies to work that's considered substantial gainful activity, such as working at a retail store or running a home business. Unearned income (e.g. interest, inheritances) generally won't impact your ability to receive disability payments. Additionally, money from public assistance programs such as SNAP won't hurt you either.
There are many other reasons the SSA will cut off your disability payments. It's essential you research the rules and adhere to them as closely as possible. If you do lose your benefits, contact an attorney, like Gerald Lutkenhaus, for assistance with getting approved for them again.