How Long Can You Be on Disability? Find Out Here!

Living with a disability can be challenging. However, having access to disability benefits can ease the financial burden and make life a little easier. Disability benefits can be provided by the government or by a private insurance company. But, how long can you be on disability? Let’s find out.

What Is Disability?

Disability refers to a physical or mental impairment that limits an individual’s ability to perform day-to-day activities. Disabilities can be temporary or permanent and can be caused by various factors, such as accidents, illnesses, or injuries.

Types of Disability Benefits

There are two main types of disability benefits which include:

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

SSDI provides benefits to people who have worked and paid Social Security taxes. To be eligible for SSDI, you must have a disability that is expected to last for at least one year or result in death. The amount of benefits received depends on your earnings and the number of years you have worked.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

SSI provides benefits to people who are disabled, blind or aged and have little or no income. To be eligible for SSI, you must have a disability that is expected to last for at least one year, be 65 or older, or be blind. The amount of benefits received depends on your income and resources.

How Long Can You Be on Disability?

There is no set time limit for how long you can be on disability. The length of time you receive benefits will depend on various factors, such as:

  • The severity of your disability
  • Whether your disability is temporary or permanent
  • Your age
  • Your medical history

It’s important to note that the duration of disability benefits may be affected by changes in your medical condition or changes in the law.

When Do Disability Benefits End?

Your disability benefits will end if:

  • Your medical condition improves and you can return to work
  • You reach full retirement age
  • You receive disability benefits for a set period of time and meet certain criteria (only applies to some disability benefits)
  • You pass away

Can Disability Benefits Be Renewed?

Yes, disability benefits can be renewed. However, you will need to undergo a medical review to ensure that you still meet the requirements for disability benefits.

Can You Work While Receiving Disability Benefits?

Yes, you can work while receiving disability benefits. However, there are limits on how much you can earn. If you earn more than the allowed amount, your benefits may be reduced or stopped altogether. There are also programs that allow you to work and keep your benefits, such as the Ticket to Work program.

How to Apply for Disability Benefits?

To apply for disability benefits, you need to fill out an application form and provide medical documentation to support your disability claim. You can apply online, by phone, or in person at your local Social Security office. It’s important to note that the application process can be lengthy and you may need to provide additional information or attend a medical exam.

What If Your Disability Claim Is Denied?

If your disability claim is denied, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeals process consists of four stages:

  1. Reconsideration
  2. Administrative Law Judge hearing
  3. Appeals Council review
  4. Federal court review

It’s important to seek legal assistance if your disability claim is denied to increase your chances of a successful appeal.


Disability benefits can be a lifesaver for individuals with disabilities. However, the length of time you can receive benefits depends on various factors such as the severity of your disability, the type of benefits you receive, and changes to your medical condition. It’s important to keep in mind that disability benefits can be renewed, and appeals can be made if your claim is denied.

Common Questions and Answers

  • Q: Can I receive disability benefits if I have a mental illness?
    • A: Yes, mental illnesses are considered disabilities and can qualify you for disability benefits.
  • Q: Can I receive disability benefits if I have a short-term disability?
    • A: It depends on the severity of your disability and the type of benefits you’re applying for. SSDI requires a disability that is expected to last for at least one year, while SSI has no time limit on how long you can receive benefits.
  • Q: Is there a limit on how much I can receive in disability benefits?
    • A: Yes, there is a maximum amount of benefits you can receive each month. The amount varies depending on the type of benefits you receive and the amount of income you have.


  • Social Security Administration. (n.d.). Disability Benefits. Retrieved from
  • US Department of Labor. (n.d.). Disability Insurance. Retrieved from

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