Some people assume once they are approved for Social Security Disability benefits they will receive them for a long time. However, there are a variety of reasons why your benefits might stop. You should learn some of the most common reasons why benefits stop and what you can do about it. This could help you avoid a lapse in benefits or may help you fix the situation if it happens to you.
If you or your loved one's disability benefits were stopped, it is important to contact a Social Security Disability lawyer in Phoenix at Dayes Law Firm for assistance. We can help explain why your benefits have stopped and how to appeal a decision. We are here to support you and assist with making the appeal.
Why Disability Benefits Stop
Disability benefits through the Social Security Administration (SSA) usually end because of certain events. The most common reason is that the recipient had a change in life circumstances and failed to notify the SSA of the change. Benefits also stop if the claimant:
- Returned to gainful employment while still receiving disability benefits
- Reached retirement age when still receiving disability benefits
- Was institutionalized while receiving disability benefits
- Had an increase in assets, putting him or her above the limit
- Was incarcerated for an illegal activity
- Turned 18 and his or her condition does not qualify, according to the adult disability guidelines
- Experienced an improvement in his or her condition and he or she is no longer considered disabled
Once a person reaches full retirement age, which is currently 66, he or she will receive Social Security retirement benefits instead of disability benefits. Incarceration will cause benefits to be suspended until 30 days after the end of your jail or prison term.
How Do I Appeal the Decision?
Once the recipient of disability benefits receives a letter stating benefits will end, he or she has 60 days to appeal the decision. There are four levels of the appeal that depend on the decision. These levels include the following:
- Appeals Council
- Federal court
Reconsideration of the termination of benefits is a complete review by an unbiased and uninvolved party. This person looks at all previous and new evidence.
If this step fails to provide a successful outcome, the recipient can request a hearing. An administrative law judge located within 75 miles of the recipient's home will review the case. More evidence or clarification may become necessary. Witnesses and in-person attendance are beneficial to the case.
If the judge does not overturn the stoppage of benefits, the applicant can request to have the Social Security Appeals Council review the case. This Council will deny the request if it feels the hearing decision was accurate. If this step is unsuccessful, you can file a lawsuit in federal district court.
Payments and Back Pay While You Appeal
If you file an appeal within 10 days of receiving the letter ending benefits, you can ask for payments to continue while you appeal. These payments can continue through the reconsideration and hearing process but not beyond. If you lose the appeal, you will be asked to pay back some or all the money you received.
Contact a Lawyer Right Away
If you or a loved one lost disability benefits, it is important to contact Dayes Law Firm to investigate the matter. We do not receive payment unless we are successful with your case. We have a dedicated team with a track record of success in recovering disability benefits for our clients.
We offer a free consultation to determine what happened and why the payments stopped. We can guide you through every step of the appeal and deal with the paperwork on your behalf.
Contact us today for assistance by calling 1-800-503-2000.