The Social Security Administration (SSA) sometimes stops claimant benefits if the agency decides he or she no longer qualifies. When disability benefits are stopped, you must act quickly to appeal, or else you could lose your ability to continue benefit payments.
Dayes Law Firm's disability attorneys share more about what you need to do to protect your benefits. If your benefits have been cut off, learn how we may be able to help you through an appeal when you schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our legal team today.
The Appeals Process When Benefits Are Terminated
The SSA does not often abruptly end benefits. However, on occasion the agency may conduct a continuing disability review (CDR) and restrict benefits payment if the SSA feels you no longer qualify.
If the SSA cuts off your disability benefits payments because they feel you no longer meet the qualifications, you will receive a written notice of benefits cessation. To avoid losing your benefits entirely, you must appeal this decision.
To appeal, you must submit a request for continuation of benefits to the SSA in writing or make a request for hearing. You have only 10 days to do so after you receive the cessation notice for your benefits to continue to be paid through the appeals process. If you fail to meet this 10-day deadline, you have a total of 60 days to submit your request or else you will not be able to pursue an appeal.
Upon receipt of your request, a staff member at your state's Disability Determination Services (DDS) office reviews your file. He or she may choose to reverse the decision and restore your benefits. If the review does not result in a decision to restore benefits, you then have a hearing with a DDS officer.
If your hearing does not result in restoration of benefits, your next step is to request a hearing with an administrative law judge (ALJ). After this hearing, the ALJ makes a decision regarding your benefits. If the ruling is not favorable, you may continue to appeal the decision through the Appeals Council, then federal district court if necessary.
Forms Needed to Appeal a Decision
To appeal this decision, you need to file the following forms:
- Request for Reconsideration – Disability Cessation Right to Appear (SSA-789-U4): This form requires your basic details and allows you to address why you disagree with the decision to stop your disability benefits. Additional information about your medical condition and any new medical evidence can be submitted with the form.
- Disability Report – Appeal (SSA-3441-BK): This form requires updated contact and medical information and provides another opportunity to submit new documentation and evidence supporting your claim for disability benefits.
Will Benefits Continue During an Appeal?
If you receive a notice that the SSA has discontinued your benefits, two more months of benefits are paid following this notice, then they will be cut off. If you file your appeal within 10 days from the date you received the notice, benefits will continue to be paid while your appeal is ongoing.
If you fail to meet this 10-day mark, you do not lose your opportunity to appeal. Everyone has a total of 60 days following receipt of notice to appeal the decision. You still receive two months' worth of benefits following the notice, but after that two months is up, benefits are cut off and you will not receive anything until if and when your appeal is approved.
Attending an Appeal Hearing in Person
If a hearing is scheduled with the DDS, you are sent notice in writing of the time and date. You will need to respond telling the office if you intend to bring witnesses and if you will have a lawyer present.
This is an informal hearing that does not take place in a courtroom. First, the hearing officer explains what will happen during this meeting, then discuss details of your appeal, including your employment history, medical impairments and their treatments as well as why you feel disability benefits should be continued. Failure to appear at the hearing could result in your appeal being dismissed.
Speak With a Disability Lawyer Today
If your disability benefits have been terminated, you need a lawyer with experience pursuing disability claim appeals. Our Phoenix Social Security Disability lawyers have helped many claimants over the years access the benefits they need.
There is no obligation to hire our firm to assist with your appeal, but if you choose to do so, there are no upfront fees. We operate on contingency, so you only pay us if we recover compensation for you.
Call us toll-free anytime day or night at 1-800-503-2000.