Recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits in Boston know what an uphill battle it can be to secure payments. What they may not realize is that once benefits are obtained, that isn’t the end of the story.
The fact is, all SSDI benefits claims are periodically reviewed upon approval. How often and with what degree of scrutiny will depend on the type of illness claimed and the stated prognosis at the time benefits were awarded.
For some facing an upcoming review of benefits, it’s advisable to consult with an attorney, just to make sure you aren’t overlooking any aspect that could jeopardize future payments.
The perils of what could happen when you don’t was recently highlighted in a Tennessee case spotlighted by WATE.com, ABC-6.
According to the report, recipient is a mother of two whose SSDI coverage was abruptly cut off despite having no change in her condition. She had first been approved for SSDI benefits two years ago, having been a worker who paid into the system for years and then later became disabled.
The standards for getting benefits in the first place is strict. One’s condition either has to be listed on the Social Security Administration’s list of ailments, or else one has to be severely disabled and incapable of doing any reasonable job for a period of at least one year.
In order to obtain benefits, the recipient in this case had to undergo a battery of tests and medical examinations and then have her claim approved by an administrative law judge.
A widow, she previously worked as a teacher in a nursery school. But then, she fell ill with a condition called osteomyelitis, which is an infection of the bone. It was attacking her spine and the infection was very difficult to keep under control. She had to undergo surgery to have four separate metal plates installed in her lower back. She also now suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and a lung condition.
Once she was finally awarded SSDI benefits, she was able to scrape by on the $700 a month she received from the government. But then, the Social Security Administration office said it was time for a review. She was asked to undergo some additional independent medical examinations as part of this process.
During this exam, recipient said the doctor had her bend over, touch her toes, crouch, squat, lift her legs, walk forward, turn around and walk back. She did all this, she said, but was not able to do them repeatedly. Even so, she got word two months later that her benefits would be abruptly cut off
As she told the local television station, “I don’t think you can examine someone in 15 minutes and know whether or not they are disabled.”
That’s probably true in a lot of cases, and that’s also why it’s important for recipients preparing to undergo a review to consult with an attorney. You want to make sure the Social Security Administration has all the information and documentation they need to find a case in your favor.
If your benefits are cut off, you definitely need to consult with a Boston SSDI lawyer because at that point, you have to file an appeal. In this case, the Social Security Administration had initially said benefits would be cut off pending appeal, but that has since been corrected (when the local television station contacted the SSDI office).
It’s important to note that you must file your notice of appeal within 10 days of receiving a termination of benefits letter from the SSA in order to continue receiving benefits while your appeal is pending.
If you don’t file notice within 10 days, you still have 60 days to file, but you may not receive your benefits while the appeal is pending.
If you have received a termination of benefits correspondence, you need to act quickly and consult with an attorney now.
If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at (617) 777-7777.
Oneida woman’s Social Security disability cut off, despite no change in condition, July 13, 2016, By Don Dare, WATE.com
More Bog Entries:
Social Security Disability Judges Allegedly Used Racial and Sexual Terms on Claimants’ Applications, July 22, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog