The main criterion for Social Security Disability benefits is that you have a disability that will last at least one year. That said, it is not uncommon to get benefits and never be able to return to work again. However, this may be disheartening if you are the main wage earner in your family and used to working every day.
Suddenly being unable to work at all can be a huge change. The Social Security Administration is quite strict with approvals for SSDI, so it expects that many people who receive benefits will not return to work. Even so, the SSA conducts regular reviews of every case to ensure that you still meet the requirements for benefits and cannot return to work.
The SSA will require a lot of documentation about your disability. It will rely on doctors and other medical professionals to clearly explain what is going on with your medical situation. The SSA needs to understand what type of disability you have and how it impacts your ability to work. It also will use this information to categorize your case, depending on whether your condition will improve.
There are three categories. Which category you are in will impact how often the SSA reviews your case. If you have a disability that medical professionals do not expect to improve, then the SSA will categorize you as “not expected” and will probably review your case every seven years, at most. In most cases, reviews go longer in between. You will continue to get benefits as long as you meet the SSA’s most recent definition of disabled.
You may also qualify for programs that can help you rehabilitate so that you may return to work and earn a living. The SSA has programs that assist you in finding new employment or gaining the skills you need to return to the workforce.