For people in New Jersey who are approved for and are receiving Social Security disability benefits, it is vital to remember that in many cases, the benefits will not go on indefinitely. This is true whether the benefits are from Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. The Social Security Administration can stop the benefits if the person no longer has a qualifying disability or if the circumstances change. However, a person whose SSD benefits are stopped still has recourse and can appeal the decision. There are important points to remember regarding an appeal of stopped benefits.
There is only a certain amount of time to appeal. It must be filed within 60 days. The countdown will begin after the person receives the letter from the SSA saying the benefits will stop. The SSA will function under the belief that the person got the letter five days after the date it was mailed. Missing the time for which to appeal does not automatically mean that no appeal can be made. If there is a good reason for missing the deadline, it is still possible to appeal.
Payments can continue while the appeal is in progress. If the appeal is requested within 10 days after the date the letter is received, the claimant can also ask that the payments continue during the appeal. For those late in asking for the payments during the appeal, it is still possible to receive payments if there is a good reason for being late. There are four levels of appeal. They are: reconsideration, hearing, Appeals Council and Federal Court.
The payments can continue during the first two levels of appeal. For those who lose on appeal but received payments during the appeal, the person will be asked to pay back all or some of the money. Cooperating with the SSA during the process will mean that the person does not have to pay the money back, provided it was for usual living costs. If medical assistance through SSI is received, it might stop when the benefits stop. Those who are concerned about their benefits stopping should be aware of their right to appeal and the related time limits. Discussing a case with an attorney who is experienced in Social Security disability can help with any questions you may have.
Source: ssa.gov, "Your Right to Question the Decision to Stop Your Disability Benefits," accessed on Sept. 3, 2017