You Are Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits — Now What?

by | Aug 22, 2023 | SSD Benefits

You’ve finally been approved for Social Security Disability Benefits, now what? There are a few options to consider to manage your finances going forward.

You will continue receiving Social Security Disability benefits as long as your medical condition has not improved, and you cannot work. There are other options to make extra income as well.

*It can get complicated quickly. If you or someone you know needs assistance with their Social Security Disability claim, don’t hesitate to contact us. We have disability experts ready to answer all your questions.

When Do Your Benefits Start?

Under the law, your payments can’t begin until you’ve been disabled for at least five full months. Then, your payments usually start on your sixth month of disability.

Your benefits won’t necessarily continue indefinitely because of advances in medical science and rehabilitation techniques, as many people with disabilities recover from serious accidents and illnesses. This is why The Social Security Administration will review your case periodically to make sure you still have a qualifying disability.

Reviewing Your Medical Condition

A continuing disability review is when SSA reviews your medical condition from time to time. If the evidence shows that your condition has medically improved and you can return to work, your disability benefits may stop.

Depending on how severe your condition is and how likely your condition will improve determines how often your medical condition is reviewed. Your initial award notice will tell you when you can expect your first medical review, which may include:

  • If medical improvement is expected, because your condition is expected to improve within a specific time, your first review will be six to 18 months after you started getting disability benefits.
  • If your medical condition shows possible improvement, the review for your case will happen about every three years.
  • If your medical condition is not expected to improve, your review will be conducted every five to seven years.

When To Update SSA on Your Medical Condition

You are responsible to notify the SSA by phone, mail, or in person if:

  • There’s any change in your ability to work.
  • You return to work.
  • Your medical condition improves.

Other things you will need to inform SSA about are:

  • If you work while receiving disability payments.
  • If you receive other disability benefits.
  • If you’re offered services under the Ticket to Work program.
  • If you move.
  • If you change direct deposit accounts.
  • If you’re unable to manage your benefits.
  • If you get a pension from work not covered by Social Security.
  • If you get married or divorced.
  • If you change your name.
  • If you care for a child who receives benefits.
  • If you become a parent after entitlement.
  • If a child receiving benefits is adopted.
  • If you have an outstanding warrant for your arrest.
  • If you’re convicted of a crime.
  • If you violate a condition of parole or probation.
  • If you leave the United States.
  • If your citizenship status changes.
  • If a beneficiary dies.
  • If you’re receiving Social Security and Railroad Retirement benefits.

Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA)

COLA is the increase of your benefits if the cost of living has gone up. For example, if the cost of living has increased by 2 percent, your benefits also increase by 2 percent.

The latest COLA is 1.6 percent, which begins in December 2019 and will be payable in January 2020 benefits.

Other Income Options

If you’re able to return to work, SSA can help by showing you incentives that can help you keep your cash benefits and Medicare while you test your ability to work. You can read more about those incentives at

If you are unable to work but need ideas on how to make extra income, read our article on options to generate more income. You can sell some of your belongings, rent out your room or driveway, or consider other options.

If you need guidance on how to continue receiving Social Security Disability benefits, contact one of our disability representatives. We can assist you every step of the way and provide advice on your options once your benefits are approved.

Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability Benefits?

    1. Do you expect to be out of work for at least 12 months?

    2. Did you earn taxable income for 5 of the last 10 years?

    3. Are you currently receiving disability benefits?

    4. Have you seen a doctor within the last 12 months?

    5. Are you currently working with a disability advocate?

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    One or more of your responses indicate that you may not qualify for benefits. Please email us at for further assistance.

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