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SSD benefits and continued eligibility

When a Tennessean receives benefits through Social Security disability, it is a mistake to believe that the benefits will continue unabated forever. The Social Security Administration will periodically schedule a review of the issues that led to the approval of SSD benefits. When a claimant receives a letter regarding a review, it is imperative to have an understanding of how the process works.

In general, if the health of a claimant has not improved, the benefits will continue, but there are other aspects that have to be taken into account. The SSA will gather new information regarding the medical condition. Doctors, hospitals and other medical professionals will be asked about the medical condition and the claimant's limitations. An assessment of utilized medical tests and treatments will also be part of the process. If more information is needed, then a special examination can be ordered. The SSA will pay for this.

The SSA will then look at how the claimant's medical condition was during the previous review. If new health issues have come up, they, too, will be considered. If the SSA determines that the condition has improved, the amount of improvement and whether the person can get back to work will be the determinative factors in keeping the SSD benefits. The medical condition might also have an influence on the type of work the claimant can do. After that, the requirements of the work that the claimant did in the past and any other kind of work that he or she can do in the present will be important.

If the condition has improved and the SSA decides the claimant can work, then benefits will stop. They will also stop in the following circumstances: the claimant can work due to improved medical treatment, training in a particular vocation or advances in vocational technology; if a mistake was made in a previous decision in continuing the benefits; if the claimant is not adhering to medical treatments; if there was false or misleading information given; if there is a lack of cooperation with the SSA without good reason; or if the claimant is working and the amount earned per month shows that it is substantial gainful work. If benefits are stopped, a claimant has the right to appeal.

Receiving a letter saying that SSD benefits are up for review will be intimidating, but it is not necessarily a sign that disability benefits will stop. Those who are facing this issue or any other concern regarding Social Security disability benefits should discuss the matter with an experienced legal professional.

Source: Social Security Administration, "How We Decide if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability," accessed on Dec. 5, 2016

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We serve clients throughout the United States. We charge no fees in disability cases unless we recover benefits for you. To schedule your free consultation with a Social Security Disability lawyer, call 800-945-4950 or contact us by email.

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