How Long Do Social Security Disability (SSDI) Benefits Last?
Updated: May 11
One of the most common questions our Wilkes Barre, PA social security disability lawyer attorney Matthew Kelly hears from SSDI recipients is, "How long will my Social Security Disability Insurance benefits last?".
The simple answer is this — once you're approved for SSDI benefits you'll be placed into one of three categories based on your specific condition and prognosis. The category you're placed in determines how long you'll be awarded SSDI benefits for before you're required to complete a review to re-assess your eligibility for SSDI payments.
The outcome of this review determines whether your SSDI benefits will be terminated or renewed, and the review period for SSDI recipients ranges from 6 months up to 7 years from the time an application is first approved.
What Factors Affect How Long SSDI Benefits Last?
The Social Security Administration pays SSDI benefits to qualified adults who have a serious medical condition that prevents applicants from working for at least a year, and/or will result in death. The specific criteria changes annually and includes logging enough work credits, which is why it's a good idea to consult with Wilkes Barre, PA attorney Matthew Kelly before applying for SSDI.
Under SSA rules, SSDI categories are defined as follows:
● Medical Improvement Expected (MIE)
● Medical Improvement Possible (MIP)
● Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE)
Applicants who are placed in the MIE category are viewed as having a short-term, or temporary, disability that should improve over time. The SSA expects that beneficiaries classified as MIE will be able to return to work, at which time SSDI benefits will be discontinued.
SSDI beneficiaries who are classified as MIP have one or more disabling medical conditions that may or may not improve over time.
Applicants who are designated as MINE by the SSA have a permanent, life-limiting disability or disabilities that are unlike to ever improve. This classification includes conditions that are expected to result in death.
When Are SSDI Eligibility Reviews Done?
Contrary to popular belief, all SSDI beneficiaries are subject to periodic continued eligibility reviews. These reviews are done by the SSA to ensure that beneficiaries still meet the requirements for the SSDI program, and the timing of these eligibility reviews is linked to the three SSDI categories or classifications.
SSDI recipients who are classified as MIE can expect to be re-assessed within 6 to 18 months of being approved for benefits, which means the minimum amount of time that anyone can be on SSDI for is six months.
Those who fall under the MIP classification can expect to be re-assessed anywhere from 3 to 7 years following their initial acceptance into the SSDI program, while those rated as MINE are re-assessed every 7 years.
It's important to note that some SSDI beneficiaries may be re-classified if their condition improves or worsens over time. For example, someone who falls within the MIE category who develops additional medical issues while on SSDI may be re-classified as MIP, and vice versa. The same is true for the MINE category.
Can a Social Security Disability Lawyer Help Me Keep My SSDI Benefits?
Navigating the complex SSDI rules can be overwhelming, particularly for those who are living with a serious illness or disability. Because dealing with the SSA can be a time-consuming, frustrating experience many SSDI applicants choose to hire a social security disability lawyer.
Although an SSDI attorney can't guarantee a successful outcome from the SSA review process, using a lawyer who knows how to navigate the complex bureaucratic obstacles involved can dramatically improve the odds of achieving the best possible results following a SSDI benefits review.
To learn more about how attorney Matthew Kelly can help you or your loved one with your SSDI application or benefits review, schedule your free SSDI consultation today. Attorney Matthew Kelly and his associations specialize in disability benefits for clients in Wilkes Barre, PA, Scranton, PA and the surrounding areas.