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What if my SSD benefits are up for review?

New Jerseyans who are approved for Social Security disability benefits after suffering from an injury or being diagnosed with a condition or illness must be aware that the Social Security Administration will conduct periodic reviews of the circumstances to ensure that the SSD benefits are still warranted. The claimant will be informed in writing. In general, if the person's health has not improved or if they cannot work because of the disability, the benefits will continue.

Information will be accumulated about the person's condition. Medical professionals will be contacted, medical records will be examined and anyone involved in the treatment will be asked about the medical records and treatments. If there is a need for more information, there will be a special examination request, which the SSA will pay for. The facts of the case will be reviewed and compared to what the condition was the previous time the case was reviewed.

If there are new health issues, these will also be considered. The decision will be made based on whether the medical condition has sufficiently improved enough for the person to get back to work. The type of work the person can do is also relevant. Next, the requirements of the work the person did in the past will be taken into consideration, as will what requirements the person might be able to fulfill at the time of the review.

If the medical condition has improved sufficiently to get back to work, then the SSD benefits will cease. Other reasons that the benefits may stop include: being able to work after advancements in treatments or from getting vocational training; a mistake was made in a previous decision to provide or to continue giving benefits; a failure to follow the medical advice and not have a good reason for doing so; misleading or false information was provided for an earlier decision; a failure to cooperate; and working with an average monthly earning that is high enough to be considered substantial gainful activity.

It is possible to appeal a decision to stop the benefits. With these matters, it can be confusing and worrisome for a person who is receiving SSD benefits and is suddenly confronted with a review or has already had the review and the benefits have stopped. Having legal assistance from an attorney who is experienced with all areas of Social Security Disability can help with any aspect of a case.

Source: ssa.gov, "How We Decide if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability," accessed on Aug. 22, 2017

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