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When does disability end?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

623. When does disability end?

Your disability ends when:

  1. There has been a medical improvement in your impairment(s) relating to your ability to work; and

  2. The impairment does not meet or equal a current listing in the Listing of Impairments; and

  3. You are not currently disabled; or

  4. One of the following conditions exists:

    1. One of certain exceptions to medical improvement applies and your impairment(s) considered together with your age, education, and work experience (see §609) does not prevent you from doing substantial gainful activity (see §603);

    2. Subject to the trial-work period provisions (see §§ 520-521), you demonstrate the ability to do substantial gainful activity by working (see §603) (See §617 for exceptions.);

      Note: In SSI cases, disability does not end on this basis.

    3. You do not cooperate with us (e.g., you refuse to give us needed medical or other evidence);

    4. We cannot locate you (e.g., a question of whether you are still disabled needs to be resolved); or

    5. You fail to follow prescribed treatment that could restore your ability to do substantial gainful activity.

Last Revised: Sep. 11, 2007

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