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How Long Can A Person Stay on SSDI?

Sometimes getting an SSI disability lawyer involved is the only way to stay on SSDI even though you can’t work yet. But, how long can a person actually stay on social security for disability?

You’ve probably heard of people who play the system or end up on lifelong disability. But here you are struggling to get your benefits at all. How does that happen?

Difference Between Receiving SSI and SSDI

Between SSI and SSDI the two huge differences are the time frames that someone can receive benefits and the payouts.

SSI is Supplemental Security Income which is usually a much smaller payout. However, people can receive SSI benefits for many years with very little struggle to keep their benefits.

Many people who collect SSI benefits are in static situations. Meaning that they often have little opportunity or ability to do anything to get off of the SSI benefits.

SSDI is Social Security Disability Insurance. SSDI is meant to help people through short periods of time where they are physically unable to work. In some cases, SSDI may be the only way for a person to have an income while developing a new skill as they are no longer able to do the same type of work.

Typically the payouts for SSDI are substantially larger as it is not seen as a supplemental source of income.

Claims and SSD Categories

After you’ve put in your application, and gone through a lengthy appeals process, you now have SSDI. But that might not last forever. The Social Security Office will file your claim under one of three categories. The SSD category and the type of claim will impact how long you can receive disability.

The three categories are:

  • Medical Improvement Expected – a short term payout
  • Medical Improvement Possible – SSD benefits will end eventually
  • Medical Improvement Not Expected – Likely that you’ll receive long-term, uninterrupted benefits

Many people are put into the first category. For example, someone out for a carpal tunnel surgery could likely go back to work after a few weeks.

But someone who was in a serious accident might need years to recover the ability to work. The Social Security office is often too focused on potential recovery. Doctors and lawyers might be your only chance to show the office that your recovery time will not be short term.

Closed Period SSDI Claims

After assessing which category you fit into, the disability office will also evaluate your claim. If you filed a closed period claim for something like a shoulder surgery you will not receive benefits for very long.

The Social Security Administration expects that you would return to work as soon as possible. You might still qualify for benefits after you condition improves but you would need to fight for them again.

If you need help extending your benefits on a closed period SSDI claim, get an attorney.

Total and Permanent Disability or TPD

Total and Permanent Disability is the only way to receive “life long” benefits, but you’ll still have a number of hoops to jump through. The paperwork, medical checkups, and appeals processes will definitely feel like a full-time job at first.

The system for TPD is all or nothing. Meaning that you must be 100% disabled, and unable to work in any capacity to receive these benefits.

An SSI Disability Lawyer Can Help

Based on the type of claim and your expected improvement, a lawyer can help you receive benefits for as long as necessary. Too often doctors are quick to sign off that you’re ready to go back to work. Then people undo the progress of their rest or rehabilitation and leave work again.

Break this cycle and get the rest and time to recover that you need.

If you are working on a Total and Permanent Disability claim, then you need legal help through the whole process. If you believe that you’ll never work again, your SSDI benefits seem like the only way to have an income.

Unfortunately, if you try to work while receiving disability, it has the chance of ending your benefits right away. An SSI disability lawyer can help you navigate the legal waters while allowing you to focus on your finances.

Contact an SSI Disability Lawyer Now

SSI disability is not on a set schedule for anyone. There is no guide or chart to show you how long you can receive benefits. Speak with a SSI disability lawyer at Tabak Law for help understanding your situation.

You can learn more from a free case review and start learning how your SSDI can impact your family’s financial situation.

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