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Reevaluation of disability under Social Security disability

Those who are able to successfully seek out Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can feel like they've been given a financial life raft. The program can provide disabled individuals with monthly payments that can help them maintain a certain standard of living and put food on the table at a time when they are unable to work. However, many SSD benefit recipients wrongly think that once their claims succeed they will be entitled to benefits indefinitely.

In an attempt to curtail costs and ensure that only truly disabled individuals are receiving benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts re-evaluations of disability. For those who have a disability that is expected to improve, their cases may be reviewed every 18 months. Those whose conditions might improve but are hard to gauge may have their situations reassessed every three years. Those with irreparable conditions have their matters reviewed every seven years.

During a reevaluation, the Social Security Administration analyzes any medical documentation created since benefits were awarded. This will give the SSA a glimpse into the individual's condition, whether it has improved, and, most importantly, whether the condition still prevents the individual from working.

Just as an initial SSD claim denial can be appealed, so, too, can the decision made after disability reevaluation. There are four levels of appeal, which can go all the way to federal court. Those who disagree with the determination made after reevaluation should be sure to familiarize themselves with this appeals process.

One way to do that is to discuss the matter with an experienced Social Security Disability attorney. A dedicated and competent attorney can help disabled individuals better understand and navigate the process. A lawyer can also assist with creating legal arguments that support the disabled individual's position, hopefully leading to a favorable outcome.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Reviewing Your Disability," accessed on May 9, 2016

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