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Social Security Q&A Part 7

By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Question: I have been getting Social Security disability benefits for many years. I’m about to hit my full retirement age. What will happen to my disability benefits?

Answer: When you reach “full retirement age” we will switch you from disability to retirement benefits. But you won’t even notice the change because your benefit amount will stay the same. It’s just that when you reach retirement age, we consider you to be a “retiree” and not a disability beneficiary. To learn more, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

Question: I get Social Security because of a disability. How often will my case be reviewed to determine if I’m still eligible?

Answer: How often we review your medical condition depends on how severe it is and the likelihood it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review using the following terminology:

* Medical improvement expected — If 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.

* Medical improvement possible — If improvement in your medical condition is possible, your case will be reviewed about every three years.

* Medical improvement not expected—If your medical condition is unlikely to improve, your case will be reviewed about once every five to seven years.

For more information, visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

Question: Is there a time limit on how long you can get Social Security disability benefits?

Answer: No. Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition has not improved, and you cannot work. We will periodically review your case to determine if you continue to be eligible. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach your full retirement age, your disability benefits will automatically be converted to retirement benefits. The amount you receive will remain the same. Learn more about disability benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/disability.

Question: How do I report a change of address if I’m getting Supplemental Security Income (SSI)?

Answer: A person receiving SSI must report any change of address by calling our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), or by visiting a local office within 10 days after the month the change occurs. You cannot complete a change of address online. You should report your new address to Social Security so you can continue to get mail from Social Security when necessary, even if you get your benefits electronically by direct deposit or Direct Express. Learn more about SSI at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

Question: What do I need to report to Social Security if I get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments?

Answer: You need to report any changes that may affect your payment amount. This includes changes in your income or resources. You must report changes of address, changes in your living arrangements, and changes in your earned and unearned income. To learn more about SSI, visit our website at www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi.

Vonda VanTil is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov 

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