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How long can you receive SSDI or SSI benefits?

The approval process for social security disability or social security indemnity benefits can be as little as a few months to two to three years.  The process may also end with a request for a hearing with an attorney.  Once someone is approved, he/she can receive disability benefits indefinitely, depending on a few factors.  Factors that affect an individuals' entitlement to SSDI or SSI benefits include medical improvement and work ability.


A beneficiary will fall under a periodic review to determine if their medical condition has improved.  This usually occurs every three to seven years.  If there have been no changes in the medical condition, the benefits will continue unchanged and is referred to as a medical continuance.  Most times medical continuances are the norm for individuals.  This may be because of the rigorous examination period for initial approval of a disability status.

A work activity review will usually be conducted at the same time as the medical review.  A work review may also be conducted if  the Social Security Administration receives new information about a claimant's work earnings.

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