People in Missouri who have been approved for Social Security benefits for an injury should understand that the simple reality that they are receiving benefits does not mean that the benefits will continue indefinitely. The Social Security Administration will conduct periodic reviews to determine whether the benefits should continue or not. This is true whether an individual is receiving disability from Social Security or Supplemental Security Income or SSI. For those with injuries that are expected to or could possibly improve, this is a legitimate concern.
When there is a review, the person will have the chance to show the SSA that the inability to work is ongoing and the benefits should continue. The condition will be evaluated. The reviews will be conducted based on the severity of the injury and its expected improvement. If it is expected to improve, the first review will generally occur between six and 18 months after the date of disability. If it is possible that there will be improvement but it cannot be predicted, the case will be reviewed around every three years. If there is no improvement expected, the case will be reviewed every seven years.
If the benefits stop, the claimant has the right to request that the SSA have another look at the case. There are four levels or appeal, which include: reconsideration, a hearing, bringing it before the Appeals Council and filing a case with a federal court. With reconsideration, an independent entity who had no part in the previous decision will review the case. If there is a disagreement with the decision on reconsideration, a hearing will be held before an administrative law judge. If there is a disagreement with the decision made by the ALJ, a request can be made for the Appeals Council to review it. Finally, the last step is to file a civil case in federal court.
Benefits will stop if there is evidence that the medical condition has improved and the claimant can work regularly. If there is no improvement and the person cannot work, the benefits will continue. Understanding the rules for Social Security disability and its federal requirements is a key to being approved and continuing to receive benefits even if there is a review. Having help from a legal professional is imperative for the entire process.
Source: ssa.gov, “Reviewing Your Disability,” accessed on Dec. 26, 2016