TheElder & Disability Law Firm, APC
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SSD benefits may not be permanent

Social security disability benefits are often awarded only after a rigorous and contentious process. Many California claimants are denied on the initial application and then again on the first level of appeal, reconsideration. Often, only after the claimant has appeared before an administrative law judge at the next level of appeal, the disability hearing, do the monthly payments begin. The good news is that in many cases back benefits are available from when the disability first began, but the bad news is that the disability award is not necessarily permanent.

The Social Security Administration guidelines require a benefit recipient to regularly be assessed for a continuing disability review. Consequently, disability experts explain that a disability recipient may be disqualified if monthly earnings exceed the current substantial gainful activity amount or medical records reflect a significant improvement in the condition that qualified the claimant for disability.

However, the SSA does encourage SSD recipients to try and improve their health in an effort to return to work. To facilitate that goal, a benefit recipient may work for a trial period of nine months with no income limit. This need not be nine consecutive months but is any nine months in a five year period. If the individual does, in fact, return to work, benefits cease but an extended period of eligibility will make it easier to return to disability if work proves too demanding in consideration of the health condition.

The disability process can be a confusing and frustrating experience. Legal representation is a right at any stage of the process. A social security disability lawyer can explain how the SSA determines disability and offer counsel on how best to proceed.

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