Many people in Illinois believe that once they are approved to receive benefits for their disability from Social Security, they are in the clear. However, it is important to understand that benefits can be withdrawn for a number of reasons.
Health condition improves
After the approval of Social Security Disability benefits is given, the Social Security Administration will still conduct continuing reviews of people’s conditions. The frequency of these reviews depends on how permanent the condition is or the recipient’s age. For example, someone with a treatable disability, like fibromyalgia, may experience a review every couple of years while someone who is paralyzed with permanent nerve damage could receive a review every six years.
If a review shows that the person’s condition has improved and that the symptoms of the condition no longer meet the qualifying criteria for SSD benefits, then the SSA will terminate those benefits. People will receive a notice for an upcoming review by mail and it is a good idea to make sure that the SSA receives updated medical information to show that the benefits are still necessary.
Returning to work
People who are on disability and return to work run the risk of losing their benefits. The SSA has clear guidelines about how much a person can earn each month and still receive benefits. However, people can use what is called a trial work period which extends over a nine month period during a 60-month period. If people on disability work longer than a summary of nine months, they could lose their disability.
The SSA establishes an income limit of $1,070 each month for disabled people. However, each person’s situation can be different and people may be able to earn more than this amount without it having an adverse effect on their benefits. When examining income amounts, the SSA does include free food and housing.
People on disability will automatically lose their disability benefits when they reach retirement age. However, the loss of disability is simply transferred over to regular Social Security. This may or may not affect the amount that someone receives. However, people at, and over the retirement age, are no longer eligible for the disability program.
Questioning benefits cancellation
When SSA cancels someone’s disability benefits, that person has the right and the option to file an appeal. The person must submit the appeal request within 60 days of the cancellation letter having been received. The person can ask for benefits to be paid out during the appeal process, but if the appeal is denied, they may have to pay some or all of the benefits received, back. Due to the complexity of the SSA appeal process, people would benefit from seeking advice from an experienced Illinois disability attorney.