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Policy change may endanger SSD benefit recipients

| Mar 6, 2020 | Social Security Disability

New Jersey residents may be concerned about proposed changes that could affect the way Social Security Disability Insurance cases are handled. The proposals, released in November 2019, would require SSDI recipients to show repeatedly that their medical conditions had not improved and they were still too disabled to work. These programs provide some income assurance for people who have become disabled, preventing them from bringing in an income. Social Security Disability, in particular, is a program that people who have worked in the past, but now cannot, may access to obtain some financial security.

SSD benefits are paid to people who have already contributed to the system through years of work. In many cases, it takes months and even years to gain approval after suffering a disabling condition, leading to severe stress for many applicants. Under the proposed rules, an increased number of recipients would be subjected to the “continuing disability review” process. The Social Security Administration says that it wants to save money by cutting off benefits if they can show that a person has experienced a medical improvement.

Advocates have warned, however, that the changes may be more likely to affect the most severely disabled recipients. Going through a disability review requires navigating paperwork and appointments, tasks that can be difficult for people with serious physical or mental challenges, especially if they are not represented by a lawyer. They also say that the proposal is unlikely to generate significant savings in excess of its costs.

People who are informed that their Social Security Disability benefits are being reviewed may feel overwhelmed by the voluminous paperwork. A disability lawyer may help people to present their medical records and impairments and work to protect their benefits.