If you have won a claim for Social Security disability, you will receive a check each month from the Social Security Administration, as long as you continue to be disabled. The agency sets down specific rules and guidelines for beneficiaries, however, and if you fail to meet these guidelines, you may lose your benefits. For more specific information, contact Social Security directly at 800-772-1213.
If you have been receiving Supplemental Security Income or SSI as a child, your benefits and disability claim will be reviewed when you reach the age of 18. Social Security applies different guidelines to adult disability claims, which now cover your situation. If the agency finds that you still meet the guidelines, your benefits will continue. However, if it finds otherwise, your benefits will cease and you will have to file a new disability claim.
Disability beneficiaries are allowed to make a limited amount of money from wages. A program known as a "trial work period" allows you to earn an unlimited amount for nine months out of any five-year period. Every month you earn over $720 Social Security counts as a trial work month. After you have completed nine trial work months, your benefits will cease if you make over $1,000 a month before taxes, which is known as the "substantial gainful activity" amount. As of 2011, if you earn less than that amount, you still are entitled to full disability benefits for that month, over a period extending to 36 months after the trial work period ends. After that, earning the substantial gainful activity amount will cause your disability case to close and your benefits to cease permanently.
Your benefits may also cease if Social Security finds you have been earning money under the table, and not paying Social Security payroll taxes; or if you are found to have falsified any information on your application or on your medical records. Social Security investigates allegations of fraud and may also suspend your benefits if it has evidence that you are not disabled as you allege.
Social Security pays disability benefits if you live in the United States or in most foreign countries (SSI is payable only to legal residents of the United States or the Northern Mariana Islands). Federal law prohibits Social Security from sending disability benefits to anyone in Cuba or North Korea. Social Security will also withhold the benefits if you live in Cambodia, Vietnam or one of the former Soviet republics (with the exception of Armenia, Russia, Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia) until you return to the United States or move to another country where you can receive benefits.
Every few years, Social Security will conduct a medical review of your file. A doctor will examine recent medical records, and you may also be scheduled for a consultative examination or CE. If the agency finds that your condition has improved, and you are now capable of work, your disability status will be suspended and your benefits will cease. You can appeal a finding of "not disabled," if you wish, or re-apply at a later date if you believe you cannot work.