Potential Policy Change Could Disrupt Social Security Disability Payments

Posted on: January 15, 2020

If you have applied for and obtained Social Security Disability benefits, the approval of benefits is not necessarily the end of the process.  There are several ways in which your benefits could be terminated.  The easiest way to trigger a review and termination is if you earn more than $1,090 per month.  Another easy way is to fail to respond to a request from the Administration.  They will periodically review a beneficiaries’ condition, and refer to the process as: Continuing Disability Review (CDR).  This is a routine review done by the Social Security Administration to make sure that people receiving disability benefits are still disabled and entitled to those benefits.  The frequency of your review is based upon how your disability is categorized.

Once approved for disability benefits, you are placed into one of three categories: “medical improvement not expected,” “medical improvement expected” and “medical improvement possible.”  If medical improvement is expected, you can anticipate a review within 6-18 months of approval.  If improvement is considered “possible”, you can expect a review no sooner than three years.  And if “improvement is not expected” then you can assume your benefits will never be changed so long as you don’t exceed the monthly earnings threshold.

The Trump administration is considering a fourth category, “medical improvement likely.”   It is unclear at this point how these changes will affect the frequency of reviews of the standards applied in determining disability.  If you are on disability, it is always important to comply with your doctor’s orders and accurately report any change in your condition.  If you are considering applying for disability or are subject to a review contact our firm and we can assist you through this complicated process.

Attached is a recent article providing grater details.   https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2019/12/26/trump-administration-disability-plan-could-cut-benefits-tens-thousands/2642632001/

This month’s post is by Attorney Jay Barger.  Jay focuses his practice on social security disability, family and business law, and personal injury.
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