If you receive SSA benefits, new rules could complicate your ongoing eligibility. Are you prepared for more frequent reviews?
AARP explores the new rules and how they affect disability benefits recipients. Ensure that you know how to protect your benefits and status.
“Medical Improvement Likely” category
You may already know about the SSA’s three disability groups: Medical Improvement Expected, Medical Improvement Possible and Medical Improvement Not Expected. Each category has its specific review timeline, such as a review every three years for those in the Medical Improvement Possible category and a review every five to seven years for Medical Improvement Not Expected. The SSA conducts reviews to determine if benefit recipients experience improved health, which impacts their eligibility.
Recently, the SSA proposed a new category: Medical Improvement Likely. Benefits recipients shifted from Medical Improvement Possible to the new category can expect more frequent reviews. Alternatively, those moved from Medical Improvement Expected to the new category would not undergo reviews as often. The new rule affects those who receive disability benefits and Supplemental Security Income benefits.
One reason for the new category is fraud prevention. Some of the SSA’s disability regulations have gone decades without an update. The hope is that the changes do not add undue burdens on those who rightfully qualify for benefits. Some benefit recipients have mental, physical and intellectual disabilities, which could lead to undue burdens if review changes proceed without proper evidence and reasoning.
Do you think that the new disability group category may impact your benefits? Speak with a legal advocate to explore your options for retaining and safeguarding your eligible status.