Qualifying for Social Security Disability benefits is not always easy. If you have certain medical conditions or difficult situations, the Social Security Administration may fast-track your application. For most people, however, the process of obtaining the financial help they need is long and frustrating. More than half of first-time applicants receive rejections.
Therefore, you may have been relieved when the agency approved your application for benefits. It still meant you had to wait the required time before your money began to arrive, but there was a light at the end of the tunnel during your difficult time. However, if you recently received a notice that the SSA is reviewing your case to determine whether to discontinue your benefits, you may have concerns about your future.
How might I lose my benefits?
Periodically, the SSA will re-evaluate the conditions of those receiving benefits for disabilities. With limited funds and so many people requesting assistance, the agency wants to be sure they are not sending monthly checks to those who are no longer eligible for the help. For example, the SSA may cancel your benefits in any of these situations:
- Your medical condition has improved to the point where you can return to work.
- You could return to work because you have had appropriate vocational training or certain technological accommodations.
- You are not following doctors’ orders for the treatment of your condition, and that treatment could improve your health so that you could work again.
- You are working and earning a substantial and gainful income, as defined by the SSA’s yearly rate.
- The SSA discovers that the information on your original application was false or misleading.
- The SSA’s review shows that the agency made an error in qualifying you for benefits or allowing you to continue receiving them.
If your condition has not improved or has worsened, you should not have to worry about losing your benefits. However, the SSA will investigate your case by contacting your doctors and accessing your medical records. An agent may speak with your physician or specialists to learn about the kinds of treatments you are receiving and the results of your latest tests or screenings. The SSA may ask you to submit to a medical exam at their expense.
If the review of your case results in the termination of your benefits and you believe that termination is unfair or incorrect, you have the right to appeal. For many in California who are dealing with the SSA, having a legal advocate on their side makes the process less stressful and may improve the chances of a favorable outcome.