A popular misconception about Social Security disability benefits is that once a person is approved, he or she will retain them without question for the rest of his or her life. In actuality, the Social Security Administration, or SSA, conducts continuing disability reviews to ensure that a person is still eligible. If you have been notified that a review is being conducted, here is what you need to know.
What Is The SSA Looking For?
During a continuing disability review, the SSA is basically re-examining everything it did when you were initially approved. The agency will ensure that your income is still under the allowed amount each month. It will also re-evaluate your medical condition to ensure that you are still considered impaired and unable to work.
The agency can rely on a number of resources to verify you still meet the criteria to receive assistance. For instance, it is possible that the agency will request your medical records from your medical care providers again. You might even have to undergo a medical examination.
Once the review is completed, the agency will inform you whether or not you are still eligible. If so, your benefits will continue without interruption. However, if the agency has determined that your income is higher than what is allowed or that you are not impaired any longer, you can be denied.
What If You Are Denied?
After the denial, your benefits will stop. Your denial notice should detail the last date that you are considered eligible for benefits. You can choose to accept the denial or choose to fight it.
If you do file an appeal, do so as quickly as possible. The agency allows you to continue to receive benefits if your appeal is filed within a certain period of time. It is important to note that if you are still considered ineligible after the appeal is completed, you could be responsible for paying back the benefits you received during the process.
What Can You Do To Avoid Denial?
The most important thing you can do to improve the odds that your benefits are not taken away is to ensure that you have the documentation available to support your claim. For instance, collect all of the financial documents needed to show exactly how much income you have each month. It is possible for the SSA to have the wrong figures.
You also need to ensure that your medical care providers have properly documented your condition. Ensure that all procedures, prescriptions, therapies, and other treatments have been included.
In addition to this, you need to be as detailed as possible on the continuing disability review form you receive from the SSA. Do not over-exaggerate your impairment, but be sure to explain how your condition impacts your ability to do everyday tasks.
If possible, work with an experienced lawyer who can help you find additional ways to improve your chances of keeping your disability benefits. An attorney like Krueger C Roland Atty At Law may be able to help.