How To Reinstate Suspended Social Security Disability Benefits

Published on: September 5, 2023

If you are disabled and receive Social Security disability benefits, those benefits may be an essential part of your monthly budget. After all, being unable to work can be difficult in many ways – not the least of which is financial. Understandably, it can be very distressing if those benefits are suspended. This can happen for any number of reasons, and when it does, most recipients want to know if and how those benefits can be reinstated. Let's take a closer look at the law together. 

Why Are Benefits Suspended? 

There can be any number of reasons why the Social Security Administration may suspend disability benefits, and those reasons may vary depending upon whether or not you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.  

Some of those reasons may include:  

  • Returning to work and earning more than the “substantial gainful activity” (SGA) limit other than during a trial work period 
  • Medical improvement 
  • Reaching retirement age 
  • Being incarcerated or institutionalized  
  • Receiving substantial income and/or assets 
  • Fraud 
  • Failure to respond to a request from the Social Security Administration 
  • Any number of other reasons. 

These are only a few of a variety of reasons that benefits might be suspended. When and if this happens, you'll want to consult with an attorney who knows and understands the law as soon as possible to see what options you may have for pursuing reinstatement.  

When Can Benefits Be Reinstated? 

If you were receiving disability benefits and they were suspended because your disability improved to the point that you could perform a substantial gainful activity or you exceeded the monthly substantial gainful activity amount through earned income, unearned income, or a combination of both, you may be able to seek expedited reinstatement of benefits (EXR), if certain conditions apply. More specifically, if the SSA terminated your benefits because you earned excess income, but you once again find yourself unable to work, you may be eligible to seek reinstatement.  

As with any complicated legal matter, it is always essential to seek advice from a qualified legal professional and to have that attorney guide you through the process. A couple of things to keep in mind as you seek reinstatement include: 

  • Making sure you file your request in a timely fashion: Generally, a request for reinstatement must be made within five years from the month that the benefits were suspended. Waiting longer than that will require a claimant to demonstrate good cause as to why the request for reinstatement was not timely made.  
  • Gathering necessary evidence: If benefits were suspended because you temporarily returned to work, but your condition has again worsened to the point that you can no longer do so, you may need to provide medical proof that this is the case. Likewise, you may need to provide financial proof if you were receiving non-earned income from some source other than employment and that income has now ceased. Gathering and organizing this necessary information will be essential to ensure you present the best case for reinstatement of benefits. 

Often, while the Social Security Administration reviews your claim for reinstatement, they will temporarily continue your benefits for up to six months while they make a determination. These provisional benefits will cease if you reach retirement age during that time if the SSA makes a determination sooner than six months, or if you again begin working above the substantial gainful activity limit. 

What If My Claim For Reinstatement Is Denied? 

If the Social Security Administration denies your claim for reinstatement, you will typically have 60 days from the date of receipt to file a Request for Reconsideration. If that request is also denied, you may request an expedited reinstatement hearing before an Administrative Law Judge. If the ALJ also denied your request, the final option is typically to submit your case to the Appeals Council 

Understandably, in any of these circumstances, it will be essential to have a legal team on your side who knows the law and can pursue the best legal strategies on your behalf. At Disability Experts, we’re here to help. 

Disability Experts – Here For You 

Being disabled is challenging in so many ways. When you're struggling with those challenges, you don't need the added stress of worrying about complicated legal matters. For many disabled individuals, Social Security benefits are a necessary component of ensuring that you can continue to provide for yourself and those you love. At Disability Experts, we understand that, and we’re here to help you pursue the disability benefits you need and deserve.  

Whether you’re trying to reinstate suspended benefits, applying for benefits for the first time, or facing any other legal issues regarding disability benefits, we’re here for you. Give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon. 


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