When you have a disability that is serious enough to prevent you from making a living, you may have reason to apply for Social Security Disability Insurance. Available through the U.S. Social Security Administration, SSDI benefits help those who cannot make a living in a traditional sense cover their basic living expenses. 

The process of applying for SSDI benefits is often long and involved, and many applicants find themselves denied the first time that they apply for these benefits. Many of them find success through filing appeals, though. If you are among those lucky enough to start receiving SSDI benefits, you should note that this does not automatically mean that you are going to continue to receive them for life. 

Why maintaining eligibility is important 

The SSA reserves SSDI benefits for Americans who have serious, long-term disabilities unlikely to improve over time. If you are receiving benefits, they may make the difference between getting by and facing serious financial turmoil. For that reason, it is important that you learn the things that could make you ineligible to receive benefits. 

Situations that jeopardize benefits eligibility 

Because you must meet the SSA’s narrow definition of “disability” before qualifying for benefits, it makes sense that you may no longer be eligible to receive them if your condition ultimately improves. If your condition is one that may get better with time, you should plan on having to undergo periodic Continuing Disability Reviews, so the SSA can assess whether you still meet eligibility requirements. 

Reaching the age of retirement also impacts SSDI benefits eligibility. Typically, once you reach the age of retirement, you start getting retirement, rather than SSDI, benefits because you cannot lawfully receive both types of benefits simultaneously. Other situations that could impact SSDI benefits eligibility include returning to the workplace and exceeding asset limits. 

The process involved in obtaining SSDI benefits is often complex. So, once you receive approval for benefits, chances are, you want to do everything possible to maintain eligibility.