continuing-disability-reviews

New Proposed Rules Of Continuing Disability Reviews

continuing-disability-reviews

New Changes Could Mean Re-Approval

The Social Security Administration has proposed new rules on the nature and frequency of Continuing Disability reviews.  This new proposal is complex, but in general, it would require millions of  Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries to re-prove their eligibility for benefits as often as every six months.  This is far more frequently than what is currently required

There is no justification for this policy. The United States already has some of the strictest eligibility criteria for disability benefits in the world.  As it stands today, more than half of all claims are denied. The less than 50% of claims that are approved, must then go through an extremely rigorous analysis of a claimant’s condition and work ability.  

It is our opinion that if an individual is granted benefits, they are suffering from, genuine and well documented, impairments that preclude them from performing substantial work activity. It is unlikely that they will be returned to normal functional health in the near future.  It is unfair and unreasonable to require a beneficiary to complete the disability analysis process within months of being granted benefits.  

Extensive Requirements, Too Frequently continuing-disability-reviews

Currently, most claims are considered for review every two years.  At that point in time, medical evidence for current treatment is requested and reviewed for medical improvement.  

Under the new rule, a full analysis of a disability recipient’s condition, medical records, credibility and work capacity is performed.  The paperwork required of a disabled individual will be extensive and the work on the part of the Social Security Administration will also be extensive and time consuming.  In particular, disabled individuals have difficulty gathering information, filling out forms and meeting deadlines. Expecting them to do this on a near continual basis is unreasonable.

Some recipients of disability benefits achieve medical improvement that would allow them to return to work.  However, our opinion is that a requirement of a frequent and continual analysis of a disabled person’s condition and work capacity is burdensome.  This creates a drain, not only the individual who receives the benefits, but on the system. 

The Social Security Administration staff is already overburdened and understaffed.  The average wait time for analysis of a claim and receipt of benefits, for a person who is deemed disabled and entitled to benefits, can be over 18 months.  The extensive man hours needed of the Social Security Administration staff to allow for the increased reviews would be a waste of current low resources and could possibly cause further delay in benefits. 

You can read the full rule here.

 Make Your Voice Heard and Act Now! 

We urge our clients, their friends and families to make their voice heard. All those who believe that individuals receiving disability benefits have a credible and genuine disability that prevents them from working, stand with us. Please, make a public comment on this rule and urge the Social Security Administration to not increase the frequency of reviews. We must band together to ensure this ruling doesn’t affect millions of Americans receiving disability. 

You can make a public comment before January 16, 2020 here.  

2 Comments

  1. A FEW WEEKS AGO I already made comments on the fedral register via on line voicing my opinion that I am against these proposed social security rule changes in connection with disability benefits. Here is a question, to your attorney staff if these disabilty changes go into effect, should a disabled recipent.such as me be at risk of losing benefits? Should some one in my situation be worried? Here is my situation, currently I am 61 years old, I have been receiving SSD the last 19 years since I was 42 years old for my herniated disks in lumbar and cervical, / degenerated disk disiese, with bi lateral CTS., due to a line of duty accident while working as a law enforcement officer back in 2001 forced to retire then on a accidental disability pension. For the last 19 years Social Secuity every 3 years always sent the short disability review forms to complete and mail back, I never had any problems with past reviews. Naturaly these past 19 years my health has got worse which I have other disabling medical conditions on top of the original disabilitys already mentioned such as enlarged prostrate with urine frequency problems, water in my legs, servere sleep apnia on daily bi pap therapy, high blood pressure, in near future will need knee replacement and left shoulder rotater cuff surgerys, etc. I have read before social security rules disability criteria which mentioned 55 years old and older are under special SSD rules when considering there SSD disability status such as can they still do the job they became disabled from, and not.be exspected to be retrained for a differant career such as a desk job? I read education and job skills always factored in to the SSD criteria before, if these new rules go into effect do tou think some one like me will be messed with, after all I am less than 1 year from turning 62 and only 4 years away from full social security age? Please respond to some of my questions and concerns. Thank you, Ed. M.

    • Hello, thank you for your efforts and response on this problematic issue. The short answer to your question is no, I do not think you are at much if any risk of losing your benefits as long as you comply with requests for information and you are receiving medical treatment. From the information you have given me, because of your age and medical conditions, you would fall in a category where “improvement is not expected” and you would be very low priority for any kind of review. Even if a full review were done, it does not seem likely that there would be a finding of medical improvement which is necessary for a cessation of benefits.

      However, there are many, many people who are deserving of and dependent upon disability benefits who will be subject to extensive and almost continual reviews, often shortly after spending months and years proving their initial entitlement to benefits. As a person who has the ability to speak about how important the benefits have been to you, it is vital that you continue to advocate on behalf of others and their need for benefits.

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