§ 182. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - End of Disability

A claimant who has been found entitled to disability benefits may lose those benefits if he or she later ceases to be disabled. A determination that the disability has ended can come from the individual's return to substantial gainful activity without any other evidence that the level of impairment has changed. However, beneficiaries are entitled to a period of trial work before that judgment is reached. A determination that the individual's medical condition has improved to the point that he or she no longer meets the disability test will also lead to the end of benefits. The Agency is required to reevaluate beneficiaries' impairments from time to time to determine whether they remain disabled. The frequency of such reviews depends on the likelihood of improvement. The process of reevaluation is termed a "continuing disability review."

Before beginning such a review, the Agency must notify the individual of the review and the grounds for it. Because those subject to review have previously been determined disabled, determinations that disability has ceased generally require substantial evidence of a change.

Disability beneficiaries threatened with termination have an option to continue payments through the hearing stage, subject to having those payments treated as overpayments should the hearing decision by the administrative law judge affirm the termination.

Encouraging recipients to return to work or increase their work is Social Security's "Ticket to Work" program.

See generally SSA, How We Decide If You Are Still Disabled; Incentives To Help You Return To Work; Employment Networks In Social Security's Ticket To Work Program; What You Need To Know: Reviewing Your Disability; Working While Disabled - How We Can Help; Your Right To Question The Decision To Stop Your Disability Benefits.

Rev. 2/12

  • Related Sections:
    • Part 1
      § 170. Disability Benefits - In General
      § 172. Disability Benefits - Amount
      § 173. Disability Benefits - Relationship to Prior or Subsequent Benefits Received by Worker
      § 174. Disability Benefits - Benefits for Others That Are Linked To
      § 180. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - In General
      § 181. Disability Benefits - Disability Determination - Procedure Employed
      § 190. How Disability Affects Non-Disability Benefits
      § 610. Events Causing Loss or Reduction of Benefits
      § 611. The General But Not Complete Symmetry of Entitlement (Disability / Death / Dependence)
    • Part 2
      § N 600. Claim Resting on Initial Finding of Disability
      § N 800. Issues of Terminating Disability Benefits - In General
      § N 810. Issues of Terminating Disability Benefits - Medical Improvement
      § N 820. Issues of Terminating Disability Benefits - Trial Work
      § N 830. Issues of Terminating Disability Benefits - Revised View of Original Determination
      § N 840. Issues of Terminating Disability Benefits - Reasons Other Than Medical