The requirements a disabled individual must meet in order to qualify for Social Security disability benefits are meant to reserve funds for those who are most deserving. However, the government’s tight pocketbook and the interplay between the SSD process and other benefits programs can have dire consequences for individuals who are struggling just to get by.
Florida readers may have heard of a recent case in which a woman lost her Social Security disability benefits as well as her Medicare benefits. The woman suffers from epilepsy, causing her to have uncontrollable seizures that have led to her biting her tongue, suffering a head injury, or being unconscious for significant periods of time. The woman successfully sought out benefits, as her illness rendered her unable to work. However, utilizing Medicare and based on her doctors’ advice, the woman started taking medications that curtailed her seizures.
Once the Social Security Administration caught wind of her medicated status, they discontinued her $1,200 a month disability check. According to the SSA’s letter to the woman, the agency determined that her health had improved enough to allow her to work. But the woman is also losing her Medicare benefits, and is therefore unable to afford the medication that improved her condition. She is caught in a catch-22. She has appealed the SSA’s decision to terminate her benefits, but her appeal is still pending.
This is a story that is very real for many Floridians. The cessation of SSD benefits can make it difficult to pay for medication and long-term care. Therefore, those who have had their benefits come to an end should carefully consider their appeal options. An experienced attorney may be able to help develop a strategy, backed by evidence that is persuasive enough to get benefits reinstated.
Source: WATE.com, “Knoxville woman with epilepsy loses Social Security disability, Medicare,” Don Dare, Sep. 21, 2016