Yay! Your Disability Has Improved. Uh-oh! You're No Longer Eligible for SSI Benefits. What Can You Do?
We are getting a lot of calls from Social Security beneficiaries asking for help because Social Security (SSA) is stopping the payment of their benefits. There are several reasons why this might happen.
- When a child who is on SSI benefits turns 18, he/she is no longer eligible for Child’s SSI. That person needs to reapply for Adult SSI. It’s best to complete the Adult application before Child’s SSI ends, since SS will not automatically continue benefits.
- SSA always wants to make sure that only those who are disabled receive benefits. So they do what’s called Continuing Disability Reviews. This review might determine, for example,you’re your medical condition has improved enough that you are no longer disabled. Well, what if you disagree? The decision is appealable. If appealed within 10 days of the notice, your benefits will continue until a decision has been made. If you appeal beyond 10 days but before the deadline of 60 days, your benefits will stop. If disability is found after an appeal, all of your past due benefits will be paid to you. To avoid having your benefits stopped, it’s really important for you to see your medical providers regularly and continue taking any prescribed meds.
What can you do if Social Security decides your disability has improved and stops your benefit payments?
Again, this decision is appealable. The first appeal is a Request for Reconsideration, which is reviewed by the state agency that determines disability. If they do not agree that you are still disabled, you can file a Request for Hearing to be done in front of an Administrative Law Judge.
Do you need an attorney to file these appeals? Actually, no, you don’t. As a matter of fact, it’s extremely difficult to find an attorney that will take your case because if you continue to be paid your benefits, there will be no past due benefits for attorney fees. You see,SSA is very strict on how an attorney can be paid. First, the claimant must be found disabled and there must be past due benefits payable on the claim.
If you end up pursuing the appeals, try to learn on your own as much as you can about the process. Call the hearing office and ask questions. Most importantly, make sure you meet all deadlines, go to the exams set up for your, and definitely show up for your hearing. Good luck!