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Social Security Q-and-A

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

A: Your disability benefits will continue as long as your medical condition does not improve and you remain unable to work. We will review your case at regular intervals to make sure you are still disabled. If you are still receiving disability benefits when you reach full retirement age, we will automatically convert them to retirement benefits. Learn more about disability benefits by visiting www.socialsecurity.gov and selecting the Disability tab along the top of the page.

Q: How often will my case be reviewed to determine whether I'm still disabled for Social Security purposes?

A: How often we review your medical condition depends on how severe it is and what the likelihood is that it will improve. Your award notice tells you when you can expect your first review. It will either say "Medical improvement expected" (first review in six to 18 months); "Improvement possible" (first review in about three years); or "Improvement not expected" (first review in five to seven years). For more information, read the publication What You Need To Know: Reviewing Your Disability, available at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10068.html.

This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at 800-772-1213.