How do Social Security Disability Benefits Work?

When you have been approved for social security disability benefits, you, your spouse and dependent children will receive monthly benefits of a certain amount for the length of the disability, usually life. If for any reason you return to the workforce and make less than a certain amount of money, you will continue to receive a portion of your benefits. If you return to the workforce and make more than a certain amount of money your benefits will stop. If the condition that makes you eligible for benefits improves and you are no longer considered disabled then you will lose the benefits. If you are still receiving social security disability benefits when you reach retirement age, the benefits will change to retirement but the amount will stay the same.

Applying for benefits takes proof of identity, income, work environment, and disability. It may take 3 to 5 months before an application is approved or denied, and it may take one or more applications along with legal assistance to get your benefits approved. The amount you earn each month depends on how much you paid into the system in taxes when you worked a regular job. Family members will only earn a portion of your benefits, anywhere from 50% to 80% depending on the situation.