§ 404.316. When entitlement to disability benefits begins and ends.

(a) You are entitled to disability benefits beginning with the first month covered by your application in which you meet all the other requirements for entitlement. If a waiting period is required, your benefits cannot begin earlier than the first month following that period.

(b) Your entitlement to disability benefits ends with the earliest of these months:

(1) The month before the month of your death;

(2) The month before the month you attain full retirement age as defined in § 404.409 (at full retirement age your disability benefits will be automatically changed to old-age benefits);

(3) The second month after the month in which your disability ends as provided in § 404.1594(b)(1), unless continued subject to paragraph (c); or (4) subject to the provisions of paragraph (d) of this section, the month before your termination month (§ 404.325).

(c)(1) Your benefits, and those of your dependents, may be continued after your impairment is no longer disabling if—

(i) You are participating in an appropriate program of vocational rehabilitation services, employment services, or other support services, as described in § 404.327(a) and (b);

(ii) You began participating in the program before the date your disability ended; and

(iii) We have determined under § 404.328 that your completion of the program, or your continuation in the program for a specified period of time, will increase the likelihood that you will not have to return to the disability benefit rolls.

(2) We generally will stop your benefits with the earliest of these months—

(i) The month in which you complete the program; or

(ii) The month in which you stop participating in the program for any reason (see § 404.327(b) for what we mean by “participating” in the program); or

(iii) The month in which we determine under § 404.328 that your continuing participation in the program will no longer increase the likelihood that you will not have to return to the disability benefit rolls.

Exception to paragraph (c): In no case will we stop your benefits with a month earlier than the second month after the month your disability ends, provided that you meet all other requirements for entitlement to and payment of benefits through such month.

(d) If, after November 1980, you have a disabling impairment (§ 404.1511), you will be paid benefits for all months in which you do not do substantial gainful activity during the reentitlement period (§ 404.1592a) following the end of your trial work period (§ 404.1592). If you are unable to do substantial gainful activity in the first month following the reentitlement period, we will pay you benefits until you are able to do substantial gainful activity. (Earnings during your trial work period do not affect the payment of your benefit.) You will also be paid benefits for the first month after the trial work period in which you do substantial gainful activity and the two succeeding months, whether or not you do substantial gainful activity during those succeeding months. After those three months, you cannot be paid benefits for any months in which you do substantial gainful activity.

(e) If drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability as described in § 404.1535, you may receive disability benefits on that basis for no more than 36 months regardless of the number of entitlement periods you may have. Not included in these 36 months are months in which treatment for your drug addiction or alcoholism is not available, months before March 1995, and months for which your benefit payments were suspended for any reason. Benefits to your dependents may continue after the 36 months of benefits if, but for the operation of this paragraph, you would otherwise be entitled to benefits based on disability. The 36-month limit is no longer effective for benefits for months beginning after September 2004.

(f) If drug addiction or alcoholism is a contributing factor material to the determination of disability as described in § 404.1535 and your disability benefits are suspended for 12 consecutive months because of your failure to comply with treatment requirements, your disability benefits will be terminated effective the first month after such 12-month period. Benefits to your dependents may continue after the 12-month period if, but for the operation of this paragraph, you would otherwise be entitled to benefits based on disability.

[44 FR 34481, June 15, 1979, as amended at 47 FR 31542, July 21, 1982; 47 FR 52693, Nov. 23, 1982; 49 FR 22270, May 29, 1984; 51 FR 17617, May 14, 1986; 60 FR 8145, Feb. 10, 1995; 68 FR 4704, Jan. 30, 2003; 70 FR 36505, June 24, 2005]