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Disability Benefits

How Long Does Social Security Disability Last?

Law Offices of Jeff Martin Aug. 30, 2023

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) is an invaluable program that offers financial assistance to people who cannot work due to a disability. The duration of its benefits varies depending on several factors, including the nature of the disability and the individual's ability to work. 

Generally, disability benefits will continue if the recipient's condition meets the Social Security Administration's (SSA) definition of "disability" and they cannot engage in substantial gainful activity. 

When Do Disability Benefits Stop?

1. Returning to Work 

One of the leading causes for the early termination of SSDI benefits is when recipients return to work and can earn income above the substantial gainful activity threshold. The SSA encourages individuals to attempt returning to work through programs like trial job periods and extended periods of eligibility. 

If the recipient's earnings exceed the SSA's considered earning limit, their benefits may be considered for termination. In 2021, this earnings limit is $1,310 per month, except for blind individuals, for whom it's $2,190 monthly.

2. Recovering From Your Disability

If an individual's condition improves to a point where they are no longer considered disabled under the SSA's guidelines, their SSDI benefits may be terminated. The SSA conducts periodic reviews, known as Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR), to evaluate ongoing eligibility.

This is to determine if the recipient's medical condition has significantly improved or if they can engage in substantial gainful activity. If it is found that the individual has experienced sufficient improvement or recovery, their benefits may cease.

3. Incarceration

Another factor that can lead to the early termination of Social Security Disability is incarceration. If a recipient is convicted of a criminal offense and is incarcerated for 30 consecutive days or more, their benefits will be suspended during imprisonment. However, benefits can resume after the individual is released as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.


SSDI can be a lifeline for people unable to work due to a disability. The duration of benefits, as an answer to the question "How Long Does Social Security Disability Last?", can differ significantly. Some individuals may continue to receive support throughout their lifetime, while others might see their benefits end prematurely due to factors such as returning to work and incarceration. 

It is vital to keep abreast of the SSDI rules and regulations and to seek the guidance of Law Offices of Jeff Martin's Social Security Disability attorneys in Tulsa, Oklahoma. We are dedicated to assisting individuals in securing the benefits they rightfully deserve. Call our law firm in Tulsa, Oklahoma, today!