Compassionate Guidance For
Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability

When do SSDI benefits typically end?

Social Security -- Disability

Previously gainfully-employed adults who develop serious injuries or medical conditions may be eligible for disability benefits. While some workers may have private disability insurance, all workers generally have the option of seeking federal disability benefits if they can no longer work.

Workers make contributions to Social Security with every paycheck that they earn, and they can then make a claim against their contributions when they need support later. Most people turn to Social Security for financial support after they retire. However, some people may need Social Security support because of a disabling medical condition that forces them to stop working well before retirement age.

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) coverage protects most working adults. People who cannot work at all because of a serious medical issue that they expect should last for a year or longer could potentially qualify for SSDI benefits. How long can they rely on those benefits continuing?

Until they can return to work

A medical condition typically needs to be severe and long-lasting for a worker to qualify for SSDI benefits. In some cases, a condition might be temporary. As long as it lasts a year or more, SSDI benefits could be an option. Workers who recover from injuries or illnesses and return to work need to inform the Social Security Administration (SSA) of the change in their health. Typically, SSDI benefits terminate shortly after someone is able to resume working.

Until they reach retirement age

SSDI benefits can provide baseline financial support when people can no longer perform jobs to support themselves. However, most people eventually end their professional careers or at least transition to part-time work that is less stressful than their primary profession. When a worker does not improve and cannot go back to their career after an injury, their SSDI benefits may eventually convert to retirement benefits. Once a worker is 65 years old, their benefits typically terminate after their birthday. Thankfully, they can start receiving Social Security retirement benefits instead at that point.

Those facing an unfair termination of SSDI benefits may require assistance learning about their rights and re-starting their benefits. Understanding the rules that apply to the SSDI benefits program can help people obtain the support they need when they are unable to work.