The disability benefits you received from the Social Security Administration may have come just in time. You may recall the long, tedious process of applying for disability and the tense weeks of waiting to learn if the SSA accepted your application. Meanwhile, you were dealing with the pain or inconvenience of your medical condition and the struggle of being unable to work to support yourself.
Receiving benefits for a disability is something that most applicants do not obtain, even some who may deserve them. While you may have been fortunate in qualifying for disability funds, you should be aware that your benefits may not continue indefinitely. In many cases, the SSA will do periodic reviews of your condition to determine if you are still eligible for financial assistance.
What you can expect
If you receive a letter from the SSA telling you they are preparing to review your case, you do not need to panic. However, you may want to take every precaution to improve the chances that the SSA will agree that your condition still qualifies you for benefits. The SSA will investigate the status of your condition compared to when you first applied for benefits. Agents will typically do the following:
- Contact your doctors for copies of your medical records
- Discuss your condition and treatments with your medical team to determine how your health limits your ability to work and whether you have been following medical advice
- Potentially ask you to submit to a medical exam at the SSA's expense
- Consider any new symptoms or health issues you may be experiencing
- Measure whether you have had any improvement and if that improvement changes your disability status
- Review your original application for any errors or false statements
- Determine whether you would be able to return to work if you obtained additional vocational training or took advantage of new treatments or technology
If the SSA feels that your condition has improved or that you could return to the workforce, they may decide to discontinue your benefits. Additionally, if agents detect any fraud or errors in your application, or if you fail to follow the medical protocol your doctor prescribes, you may lose your disability funds.
You can assist the SSA during this review of your case by providing any documentation they request and complying with any exams or interviews they schedule. You can help yourself by seeking advice from an Ohio attorney, especially if you feel the SSA has wrongly terminated your benefits after a review.