Can My Long-Term Disability Benefits Be Terminated in Pennsylvania?

Many people who cannot work due to a disability often rely on long-term disability benefits like Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). If you are receiving benefits like these, you should talk to a lawyer about the possibility of termination and how to avoid it.

Your long-term disability benefits may be terminated under certain circumstances, even if you do not believe you are ready to live without them. Many people see their benefits terminated when the administration in charge of them, usually the Social Security Administration (SSA), determines the recipient can perform substantial gainful activity and no longer needs their benefits. This might come after you engage in a trial work period. Your benefits might also be terminated if, after a routine medical exam, it is determined that your medical condition no longer meets the SSA’s definition of a disability. If you are worried about losing your benefits, ask an attorney for help. If your benefits have already been terminated or will be soon, your lawyer can help you appeal the termination.

Call our Pennsylvania disability benefits attorneys for a free case evaluation by calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954.

Termination of SSDI Benefits When You Return to Work in Pennsylvania

SSDI benefits may be paid to people whose injuries are considered disabilities that prevent them from working. Getting approved for these benefits is notoriously difficult, and many people are denied multiple times before finally being approved.

While these benefits can be a major help, many people do not want to rely on them forever. Trial work periods allow people to test their ability to work without risking their benefits. However, depending on how things go, your benefits might be terminated. Our Pennsylvania disability benefits lawyers can help you begin a TWP in a way that allows you to work while protecting your benefits.

Recipients of SSDI benefits may test their ability to work again while still receiving the full value of their SSDI benefits. This is known as a Trial Work Period (TWP). You may count up to 9 months of work toward your TWP. These 9 months do not have to be consecutive and may be taken whenever you wish.

For example, you might spend some time recovering while collecting SSDI benefits before trying to go back to work for a month. If things do not work out, you can stop working and continue collecting SSDI benefits. The month you worked counts toward your 9 months of TWP.

No matter how much money you make during your trial work period, your benefits should continue to be paid. However, if you continue working beyond the allotted 9 months, you enter a 36-month Extended Period of Eligibility. If you continue to work, the SSA may evaluate your earnings and overall ability to work. If your earnings meet the limit for substantial gainful activity (SGA), your SSDI benefits might be terminated.

Exactly what is considered substantial gainful activity changes each year. For 2024, non-blind people earning at least $2,590 per month will be considered as earning SGA. If you are blind, the amount for SGA is $1,550. This number may be adjusted each year for things like cost of living changes and inflation.

How Changes in Your Medical Condition Might Lead to the Termination of Long-Term Disability Benefits in Pennsylvania

You do not necessarily have to exhaust your TWP or actually perform substantial gainful activity for your benefits to be terminated. People who receive long-term disability benefits like SSDI usually have to submit to medical exams every so often so the SSA can make sure they still have a qualifying medical condition. For many, their conditions are permanent, and they might always need their benefits. For others, their condition might improve over time.

If a doctor finds that your condition has improved to the point that you can work, your benefits might be subject to termination. This does not necessarily mean you must make a full recovery or be able to perform the same work you were doing before your disability. Perhaps your condition improves enough that you can do some other type of work that still constitutes SGA.

If your doctor believes your condition is improving, contact a Berks County, PA disability attorney. Your lawyer can help you hold on to your disability benefits if you believe you are not ready or still unable to return to work.

How to Prevent Your Long-Term SSDI Benefits From Being Terminated in Pennsylvania

To prevent your disability benefits from being terminated, you should consult with an attorney about your situation. If you are considering working during a Trial Work Period, talk to your lawyer first. It would be best to understand how much money is considered SGA and whether you can earn that much during a TWP. If you tried working for a bit but did not earn enough money to be considered SGA, your lawyer can help you protect your benefits. Just be sure to keep documentation of your work and paychecks during any TWP month.

We can also help you protect your benefits if you believe you have not improved enough to work or earn SGA despite what a doctor might have said. Doctors are not always correct. If you were examined by a doctor selected or approved by the SSA, we can find another doctor for a second opinion. If the second doctor comes to a different conclusion than the first, we might be able to protect your benefits.

What to Do if Your SSDI Benefits Are Terminated in Pennsylvania

If your benefits have been terminated or will be soon, talk to a lawyer immediately. If your benefits are terminated, you must be given the chance to appeal the decision. We can file a Request for Reconsideration and work to get the termination reversed. This might be a great strategy if your benefits were terminated based on shaky evidence or because of some sort of error or misunderstanding.

Call Our Pennsylvania Disability Benefits Attorneys for Help Protecting Your Benefits

Call our Allentown, PA disability benefits attorneys for a free case evaluation by calling Young, Marr, Mallis & Associates at (215) 515-2954.

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