social security disability claim

Are Social Security Disability Benefits Permanent?

The Social Security disability benefits application process can be long and frustrating. Therefore, when an individual is finally approved for benefits, he or she certainly doesn’t want to lose them. This often leads recipients to wonder whether Social Security disability benefits are permanent. After all, no one wants to lose their benefits after going through the trouble of obtaining them. As is the case with many legal issues, the answer to this question is “it depends.” In this article, we discuss whether Social Security disability benefits are permanent. 

Social Security Disability Benefits Categories

After an individual is approved for Social Security disability benefits, his or her case is assigned one of the following three categories:

  • Medical Improvement Expected (“MIE”), 
  • Medical Improvement Possible (“MIP”), and 
  • Medical Improvement Not Expected (“MINE”). 

The category to which a Social Security disability benefits recipient is assigned determines how long his or her benefits will last.  

Duration of Social Security Disability Benefits 

MIE: A recipient in the MIE category has a condition that is expected to improve. The Social Security Administration (“SSA”) reviews MIE cases approximately six to 18 months after benefits are approved. If it is determined during this review that a recipient’s condition has improved enough for him or her to return to work, then benefits will be discontinued. If a recipient’s condition has not sufficiently improved, however, the SSA will conduct a review in another six to 18 months.

MIP: A case is labeled MIP if the SSA believes that improvement of a recipient’s condition is possible but unlikely. The SSA reviews MIP cases approximately two to five years after benefits are approved. If it is determined during this review that a recipient’s condition has improved enough for him or her to return to work, then benefits will be discontinued. If a recipient’s condition has not sufficiently improved, however, the SSA will conduct another review in another two to five years.

MINE: The MINE category is reserved for recipients with conditions that are unlikely to ever improve. Recipients in this category undergo continuing eligibility reviews every five to seven years. As long as a recipient in the MINE category’s condition fails to improve, he or she will continue to receive Social Security disability benefits until retirement age, at which point his or her disability benefits will convert over to Social Security Retirement benefits.

Contact Our El Paso Social Security Disability Benefits Attorney 

If you need help applying for Social Security disability benefits, we recommend that you contact a Texas SSDI and SSI attorney for assistance. When you choose attorney Jon Sipes to assist with your Social Security disability benefits claim, he will do everything legally possible to ensure a successful outcome. Jon Sipes regularly helps individuals who can’t work due to disability obtain Social Security disability benefits. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.