Causes of Discontinued SSI Benefits

SSI Benefits

Some people are worried about recovering or getting better because they think that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will take away their disability benefits. It’s pretty rare for your benefits to stop from health improvements, but it can be taken away for other reasons.

In this article, we’ll discuss the different reasons that Social Security benefits can be terminated. If you have any more questions, feel free to contact our experienced Monroe Social Security disability attorneys.


Continuing Disability Reviews

If you’re a recipient of Social Security benefits, you’d know that your case undergoes a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). SSA conducts CDRs to ensure that you are still eligible to receive disability, or if you have improved enough to get back to work 

CDRs occur around every three years. However if your condition is unlikely to get better or if you’re over 50 years old, then the CDRs will be conducted about every seven years. 

There have been cases where the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) requires that the CDRs happen much sooner than three years. This usually happens when the ALJ thinks that your health will improve in a short amount of time. If a CDR has been scheduled, your local Disability Determination Service (DDS) agency will review your case. 


Review Standard for Discontinuing Benefits

There are different standards for adult and child CDRs.

Children will stop receiving benefits if :

  • There has been medical progress, 
  • or the impairments no longer cause “marked” or “severe” functional constraints. 

An adult’s disability benefits will be discontinued if:

  • The individual’s medical condition has improved about their ability to work, and
  • The individual is capable of engaging in substantial gainful activity (SGA), which is defined as earning $1,310 per month from work.

Below we’ll discuss some situations that may cause the SSA to withdraw your benefits. 


Common Reasons for Stopping Benefits

Turning 18

If a child gets SSI benefits from their parent’s eligibility, it will be suspended once they reach 18 years of age. If the child is still a full-time student by the date of their 18th birthday, the benefits will continue until they turn 19. 

If the child receives their Social Security benefits from their disability, they will undergo a re-determination of their eligibility once they turn 18, where they decide whether they are still eligible for benefits under adult standards. SSA will continue giving them benefits while re-determination is ongoing. 


Working A Lot

One of the primary conditions is that the disability prevents the person from performing SGA. When a Social Security disability recipient is subjected to a periodic review, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will examine the recipient’s wages. Whether full-time or part-time, you will stop receiving benefits when you earn above the SGA amount. 

If you’re engaging in work where you’re not getting paid, SSA may still consider that as a substantial work activity and end your benefits. This happens when the activity will put your income above the SGA limit in other circumstances. For example, volunteer work can count as a substantial work activity. 

If the money is acquired under a return to work plan, it should not result in a CDR.

Unlike SSDI, SSI recipients can work at the SGA without losing their benefits. However, the beneficiary must have been receiving benefits for at least a month before returning to work, be disabled, and meet all other disability standards.



If a recipient dies, their benefits will be discontinued. Their family members can become eligible for benefits. Talk to our skilled Social Security benefits lawyer to see whether you’re eligible.


Changes in Assets or Income

Recipients of supplemental security income can get their benefits reduced or discontinued if there’s been a change in their income or assets. 

You cannot have assets totaling more than $2000. Assets include all things that have value, like your investments. Certain investments like your primary residence will not count towards this total. If you’re unsure, it’s best to ask a knowledgeable SSI benefits attorney. 

Likewise, your earned and unearned income cannot exceed the $794 limit. Earned income includes your wages while unearned income can be things like alimony. The spouse’s or parents’ income is also part of what SSA uses to determine your eligibility. Married SSI recipients will get their partner’s income counted towards their total while child recipients will include a portion of their parents’ income.   

If you receive free food and shelter, it counts towards “in-kind” income, which SSA also uses to determine your benefits. 



If SSA discovers that there was fraud involving your disability, you’ll be shut off from your benefits and face criminal charges. Here are some instances where a person can be charged with fraud. 

  • uses someone else’s benefit money for anything other than the support of the person entitled to the benefit.
  • hides or fails to report anything that could affect their rights to benefits
  • gives false information about whether or not they are  self-employed 
  • gives false information about how much money they have earned 
  • gives a false statement about or misrepresents facts relevant to his or her disability case 
  • provides misleading information regarding their identity (such as Social Security number)



When you reach retirement age, your Social Security disability benefits will be converted to retirement benefits (if eligible). The money you’ll be receiving will not change due to this conversion. 



If you’re jailed or imprisoned for a misdemeanor or a felony, then that will cause your benefits to cease. This may be permanent or temporary, depending on different factors. The logic behind this is that incarceration already provides you with your basic needs.

Federal crimes involving subversive acts like treason or sabotage can make you ineligible for SSI or SSDI. The court may decide that the wages you received during the quarter in which you were convicted of those crimes be deducted from your benefit amount.

After a month of incarceration, SSI benefits will be halted. Once you’re released, you can start again as long as you show SSA proof of release. 

Other benefits like survivor or retirement benefits will stop on the date you’re convicted. Once you provide proof of release to the SSA, your benefits will restart.


Talk to a Social Security Benefits Lawyer

If your benefits have been discontinued or you’re afraid they will be, you can ease your worries by talking to our experienced Monroe Social Security Disability attorney!

A disability does not have to mean the end of the world. Our disability lawyers at the law offices of E. Orum Young are committed to helping you continue receiving benefits so you can live as comfortable a life as possible. 

Call our savvy Monroe disability lawyers so we can help you regain your benefits!