The details of the deficit-reduction deal are starting to surface, as are the details regarding its impact on the Social Security Administration. Perhaps one of the most notable details that has surfaced as a result of the deficit-reduction deal's spending caps is that they contain an exemption for the SSA that may allow for an increase in the number of reviews of current SSD and SSI benefit recipients and their continued eligibility.
As we discussed in a previous blog post, most individuals do not have a timeline for how long they are able to receive benefits once their benefits have been granted. When it comes to continued payments, if your medical condition does not improve, your disability payments do not stop, regardless of the type of impairment. The Social Security Administration, however, has the right to review cases at intervals to assure that the individuals receiving disability payments are still, in fact, disabled. If an individual's disability improves and they are able to return to substantial gainful employment, there would no longer be a need for disability payments.
According to a recent news article, "The deficit-reduction measure doesn't appropriate money for more reviews, but it would allow Congress to allocate funds for them without being limited by the bill's spending caps." With all of the recent budget confines in recent years, the Social Security Administration has not conducted as many reviews as it once did. At current time, the SSA has a backlog of almost a million and a half cases that are due for review. The increase in reviews has the potential to save the Social Security Administration a considerable amount of money, which will undoubtedly benefit those who are currently awaiting approval of their benefits.
While the there is certainly a need for oversight, the continuing disability review process has the potential to be the source of tremendous anxiety for those who rely on their Social Security Disability benefit to make ends meet. As we noted above, if your medical condition does not improve, your disability payments will not stop just because your case is chosen to be reviewed. If you're a client and have any questions or concerns about continuing disability reviews, feel free to contact us!