There are several factors that can affect your Social Security Disability benefits including changes in your employment income, retirement benefits, or if you start to receive other forms of disability benefits. Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients wonder if a change in their health status could also affect their monthly disability payments. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), a five-step process is used to determine eligibility for SSDI benefits:
- Are you working?
- Is your condition “severe”?
- Is your condition found in the list of disabling conditions?
- Are you able to do the work you did previously?
- Can you do any other type of work?
Does Declining Health Impact My Disability Benefits?
If an individual already receiving SSDI benefits is diagnosed with another disabling condition, or their current disability has worsened, they might expect their monthly award to increase. This, however, is not the case. Once the person qualifies for disability benefits, the amount of the payment one receives from Social Security Disability is based on their earnings from when they were working, it will not increase if they become more disabled.
Nevertheless, the recipient can see an increase in their disability payments with cost of living adjustment, or COLA raise. As a result of continued inflation, the 2023 Social Security COLA will be 8.7%.
Will Improving Health Affect My Social Security Disability?
Although declining health won’t increase your monthly disability award, an improvement in your health status could decrease your benefits or even see a discontinuation of benefits altogether. The SSA conducts a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) every 6 months to 7 years, depending on how likely your condition is to improve.
If medical improvement is:
- Expected, the SSA will normally review your condition within 6 to 18 months after the disability decision has been rendered.
- Possible, the SSA will normally review your condition approximately every 3 years.
- Not expected, the SSA will normally review your condition approximately every 7 years.
If the SSA determines an individual’s health has improved to the point where they can no longer be classified as disabled, benefits may be terminated since the recipient is now able to work.
Knowledgeable Social Security Disability Attorneys
When it comes to navigating the murky waters of the Social Security Disability benefits process, it helps to have an experienced disability attorney on your side. Our dependable team of legal experts is dedicated to fighting for all the benefits you deserve, and you won’t pay a penny out of pocket until your case has been won.
Whether you need assistance applying for wage earner disability benefits or down syndrome disability benefits, Cunningham Law Group is here for you. Give our office a call for a free, no obligation consultation today – you don’t have to face this alone.