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Once you begin receiving disability benefits, you are not always guaranteed your benefits will continue indefinitely. The Social Security Administration will periodically review your claim to be certain that you still meet the requirements to be found disabled. Some reviews take place when a child turns 18 years of age and other reviews are recommended by an administrative law judge at the time a claim is adjudicated.
So what happens if you come up for review and are found ‘not disabled?’
You will receive notice that your benefits will stop on a particular date. This notice will also inform you of the date that the Administration feels you no longer meet the requirements to be considered disabled. At this point, you have two options:
If you file a Request for Reconsideration your claim will be sent to the Disability Determination Section (DDS). During this time, you may opt to continue receiving your monthly disability payments. In order to continue your benefits you must request this in writing within 10 days of your original benefit denial letter. Please note, any benefits received may have to be paid back if your claim is ultimately rendered unfavorable.
DDS will gather any additional evidence available or required in order to adjudicate your claim. If the adjudicator is unable to approve your claim, your will be scheduled a hearing with a hearings officer from DDS. Your hearing with the officer is very informal and they will go through the evidence in your file and ask you additional questions on why you feel you are still disabled. If the claim pertains to a child, the child’s parent or guardian will attend the hearing with the child and assist on answering these questions.
If the disability hearings officer renders your claim unfavorable, you will continue through the disability claims process. After you receive your denial letter from the DDS hearing, the next step is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge. Again, you may continue your benefits during this process.
Consistent medical treatment after you are found disabled is imperative to continuing your disability benefits. If you come up for review and you’ve been treating regularly and your medical providers can provide detailed documentation of your limitations, your benefits are more likely to continue.
If you wish you to learn more about cessation claims, feel free to contact our office at 1-877-526-3457 or visit Social Security’s website at www.ssa.gov. If you’d rather be contacted by a member of our staff, fill out this form now.
Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law