Social Security disability benefits can end for a variety of reasons. It’s important to understand the circumstances that could impact your continued eligibility. If your benefits end and you don’t feel they should, talk to an attorney about what legal options you have to fight it.

Reasons That Could Lead to Social Security Disability Benefits Ending

Retirement: At this time, disability benefits are converted to retirement benefits.

Work is substantial: For the year 2013, substantial work is when someone’s average earnings are $1,040 or more each month ($1,740 if blind). One exception to this is the trial work period. Some people can continue working for up to nine months and still receive benefits. But after this period (or sometimes sooner), it may be determined the individual is no longer disabled.

Medical condition improves: Benefits can also stop if the Social Security Administration (SSA) determines your medical condition has improved to a point you are no longer disabled. Cases are reviewed every few years to determine continued eligibility. However, it is still your responsibility as the beneficiary to report any changes that would impact your ability to continue receiving disability (such as returning to work or your condition improving).

Incarcerated/institutionalized: Social Security disability payments can stop if you’ve been convicted of a crime and are incarcerated. Or if you’re institutionalized. Benefits may or may not be reinstated upon release.

Living situation changes: Changes in your living situation, such as going into a nursing home, halfway house or leaving the country for more than 30 days, may impact your benefits.

Minors turn 18 years old: Children are sometimes entitled to receive benefits when one or both parents are disabled. However, these stop when the child turns 18 years old. There are two exceptions to this. One would be if the child is 18 or 19 years old and a full-time student (in grade 12 or below). Benefits will then continue until graduation or two months after turning 19 (whichever occurs first). The second exception is if the child is disabled.

Sustainability of Social Security: Another issue that could impact benefits for those expected to receive them beyond 2017 is a potential shortfall that could hit. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 2011 Long-Term Projections analysis, Social Security disability benefits could end in 2017.

There are several factors that could influence this potential end. First, the aging baby-boom generation is entering retirement and the amount spent for this very large population will influence the shortfall of funds available for disability insurance. The current job situation could also play a role, as noted by Those who can’t find work or have been laid off are increasingly relying upon Social Security programs, including disability insurance.

Have your benefits stopped unexpectedly? What You Can Do

While an attorney cannot ensure the Social Security disability program continues, a disability lawyer can help you address any other issues that affect your benefits or cause them to end. The Disability Guys at Markhoff & Mittman, P.C. help disabled individuals in New York and surrounding areas. If you’re facing issues with your disability payments contact us today.