Read And Respond To Ssa Notices
The SSA sends notices when there is something you need to know or do about your benefits claim, status, or amount. Many notices have important deadlines that may require your response or action by a certain date. If you dont understand or cant respond to a notice, contact your assigned SSA office with questions about the notice. You can also contact an advocate or attorney who can explain the letter and what you need to do to meet your responsibility.
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.
Our Team Understands How To Navigate The Appeals Process
The disability attorneys from Berger and Green handle Social Security disability appeals often. We know how to navigate this process and can guide you through every step of it. When you enlist our help, our team will:
- Instruct you to file an appeal within 10 days of receiving your notice, when possible, to ensure you continue receiving benefits during your appeal
- Compile and submit new or additional evidence to prove you qualify for benefits
- Walk beside you through the entire process, explaining what you can expect
- Represent you in your appeals hearing and argue for you to keep the benefits you deserve
For a free legal consultation, call
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Your Options When You Receive A Notice Of Cessation Of Benefits
The Social Security Administration has been putting increasing emphasis on terminating disability benefits for claimants.
In theory, SSA is looking for individuals whose medical conditions have improved but I see many comments on my YouTube channel to suggest that there is a certain randomness to cases selected for termination.If I had to guess, I would suspect that there is some sort of computer algorithm being used to identify likely cases for termination. Again I have no inside knowledge about this but there are some of the factors that seem to signal which cases are flagged:
How Long Does It Take To Appeal Long Term Disability Denial
It can take months to successfully appeal a long-term disability denial. So, you need to work on a Plan B for other sources of income or financial support. You should consider if you would qualify for employment insurance sickness benefits or creditor disability benefits on bank loans or credit cards.
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Preparing For Your Hearing
Whenyour DHO hearing is first scheduled, you will be sent a letter lettingyou know the time and location of the hearing. The letter will also askyou to notify the disability hearing officer about whether youwill bring any witnesses to testify about your impairment and whether alawyer will be present.
Once your hearing is scheduled, you shouldgo to your local DDS field office and look at your file to make surethat it is accurate and that nothing is missing. Specifically, youshould review the following:
- your reported work record
- your residual functional capacity forms, and
- the SSA’s technical rationale forms .
Do I Need An Attorney
Thelaw does not require you to hire an attorney to represent you throughthe CDR process but because the procedure can be complicated, and a lotis at stake, it’s a good idea to consult an attorney who specializes inSocial Security disability law. Attorneys’ fees are paid directly to theattorney from the SSA out of any back benefits you are paid. For thisreason, however, it may be difficult to find an attorney to representyou if you continue receiving benefits during the appeal, because therewould be no funds available with which to pay the attorney. In thesecases, an attorney can petition the SSA for a reasonable fee. You canuse our disability attorney locator to find a local lawyer to help you appeal a CDR denial.
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Will I Still Get Medi
Medi-Cal pays for medical care for low income families. If you are on SSI, you are automatically eligible for Medi-Cal without a separate Medi-Cal application. Many families with adults with I/DDs may qualify for Medi- Cal this way. If you lose your SSI benefits, Medi-Cal does not automatically terminate. Medi-Cal continues while the county looks for any possible way for you to continue to get Medi- Cal. This makes it very difficult to lose Medi-Cal.
- Terminations and Continuing Disability Reviews 22
Attach Medical Records Or Any Additional Evidence
To make your appeal more convincing, you need to attach evidence backing up your claim. This can include:
- medical records showing that your condition is more severe than the SSA believes
- recent medical records from your doctor indicating that your condition has worsened
- a written statement from your treating doctor detailing your disability and exact limitations
- new medical test results showing the extent of your condition
- any other documents that will support your claim
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You Will Have Trouble Finding Legal Representation
A practical problem that you will face if SSA moves to terminate your benefits will involving finding a lawyer to help you. In new cases, where a claimant is seeking benefits, lawyers like me accept cases under a no fee unless you win contract whereby we are paid 25% of past due benefits with a cap of $6,000.
- If you elect to continue receiving benefits , there would obviously be no past due benefits from which a lawyer could collect a contingency fee.
- If your benefits are stopped either because you did not ask for them to be continued or because SSA did not honor your request the amount of past due benefits at issue when you get to a hearing a year or so down the line may only be 12 to 18 months. Many lawyers will not accept these cases because the fees are too small.
For example, if your benefit is $1,000 per month and your hearing is 12 months after cessation, the past due available is $12,000. 25% of this is $3,000, which is half of what a lawyer would earn for the same work in a new case. Social Security disability is not a high margin business for lawyers. The $6,000 fee cap has not been raised in over 10 years, even as office expenses, support staff salaries and other expenses have gone up. At the same time, approval rates at hearing have dropped by one-third. This means that Social Security disability lawyers have to be extremely selective when choosing cases.
What Can You Do
If you decide to appeal the cessation of benefits and you elect to continue receiving benefits, and you want a lawyer to help you, you are going to have to find a way to pay a lawyer out of pocket. If I take a cessation case, I am going to ask for a retainer of $3,000 to $4,000 up front. I do not take these cases under a contingency, meaning I will ask SSA to approve my fee, win or lose.
If you appeal and do not elect to continue receiving benefits, there will be past due benefits. In these cases, I may ask for a minimum fee retainer and enter into a contingency fee contract. This protects me in the event that the 25% is too small.
I am very selective when it comes to cessation cases and I generally will not travel to try a cessation case. Your best bet, therefore, is likely going to be looking for a local Social Security disability lawyer who will work with you on fees.
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Can I Appeal The Termination
Yes. You may fight the proposed termination by asking for reconsideration. If you request reconsideration within ten days of the date on the notice, you will keep getting benefits after the proposed termination date in the notice. Social Security will give you a specific form asking for benefit and Medicare/Medicaid continuation.
You fill out a form called Request for Reconsideration Disability Cessation . Get the form from your local Social Security Office or from www.ssa.gov. You must make this request within 60 days of the date on the notice OR have a good reason to make a late request. You must request reconsideration within ten days of the date on the notice to keep getting benefits while Social Security decides the appeal.
You can review your file and give Social Security more evidence. Do so as soon as possible. Contact your Social Security office to set up a time to look at your file. Call toll-free1-800-772-1213 to ask for your local Social Security office number. You must give Social Security names and contact info for all your doctors, therapists, counselors, or anyone else with info about your disability.
At the hearing, tell the hearing officer why you think you are still disabled. You testify, give the hearing officer your medical records, and have any witnesses testify.
Impact Of Decision On Employers
Employers should contact their Insurers to determine whether their damages for loss of disability benefits can extend far beyond the end of the reasonable notice period ensure that they have well drafted Hiring Letters or Employment Agreements that limit the extension of disability benefits and, that they obtain signed Releases from terminated employees which provide for the cessation of disability benefits.
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The Social Security Administration Wants To Terminate My Disability Benefits: What Are My Options
Is the Social Security Administration trying to end your disability benefits? Do you believe they are doing so in error? If so, it is crucial you take immediate action to protect your rights you can still file an appeal, but there are strict deadlines to do so. Here, Harold W. Conick explains the most important things you need to know about saving your benefits from an unjustified termination.
The SSA Will Send a Written Letter Notifying You of Termination
Your disability benefits should not be cut off without an explanation. Pursuant to federal regulations, the Social Security Administration is required to send you written notification of its intent to terminate your disability benefits. If you have received this letter, your benefits will be terminated immediately. Once this occurs, the only way to keep receiving Social Security disability checks is to file an appeal.
Appeal an SSDI Termination: An Overview of Your Options and Deadlines
To start the appeals process, you should fill out and submit the appropriate form. When doing so, it is imperative you include any relevant supplement evidence. For example, if your disability benefits are being terminated because the SSA believes your condition has improved, an appeal should include additional medical records. In appealing the termination of disability benefits, claimants have two options:
Understand Why Your Claim Was Denied
As mentioned, the reasons why the SSA denied your claim will be detailed in their decision notice. As such, you need to carefully read their decision and understand why you were not approved for disability benefits. It will help you come up with a convincing argument for your case.
The SSA usually denies a disability claim due to either medical or non-medical reasons. But it can also be because of both. The notice will usually explain this in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.
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Impact Of Decision On Employees
Employees should not sign Releases that contain a clause which permit for the cessation of disability benefits, especially if there is any likelihood that they may become disabled during the common law notice period, in which event they should also place the Employer and Insurer on notice of a potential claim for benefits. Additionally, Employees should have their Hiring Letters or Employment Agreements reviewed.
Getting Your Denied Disability Claim Appealed Through Social Security’s System
By David A. Morton III, M.D.
To appeal a denial of Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits, you’ll need to follow the instructions included in your notice of denial from the Social Security Administration . The first step is to file a request for reconsideration. If that fails, you may want to take your case to the next level of appeal. This article covers the various levels of appeal after denial of Social Security disability benefits.
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What To Do If You Receive A Notice Of Cessation Of Benefits
When you receive a notice of cessation of benefits, you do have the option of appealing. The first step in this appeal is to file a request for reconsideration. The form to use is Form SSA-789 and Form SSA-3441.
When you appeal you have the option of asking SSA to continue paying benefits while your appeal is pending. However, you must notify SSA of this request within ten days of receiving the notice of cessation.
Ten days is a very short period of time by contrast, every other appeal in a Social Security disability case allows for a 60 day time frame.
Further, SSA does not give you a form to request continuation of benefits. What I use is Form SSA-795
As far as what to say, I use the language from SSAs Program Operations Manual . You have to type or write your choice on the the form then get this form back to SSA within 10 days from your receipt of the cessation of benefits.
I would mail , fax, hand deliver or all of the above. I would get this request in immediately. Even if you really do get the form requesting continuation of benefits to SSA, there is no guarantee they wont lose your paperwork or deny that you submitted this request on time. If SSA loses or does not process your request, you have no recourse the money gets cut off.
Ontario Court Of Appeals Decision
The issues for the Court of Appeal were the awarding of damages for disability benefits, mitigation and punitive damages. The Court of Appeal agreed with Justice Echlins decision that the definition of being totally disabled under Canac Kitchens sponsored disability benefits plan was met and therefore upheld the award of damages for lost disability benefits. Additionally, the Court of Appeal believed that the evidence presented at Trial by Mr. Olguin was sufficient to satisfy the evidentiary burden to establish total disability. As to Canac Kitchens submission that Mr. Olguin failed to mitigate his damages by not undertaking job re-training efforts or by seeking alternative employment after his short term disability benefits expired, the Court of Appeal clarified, there can be no obligation to mitigate damages by finding alternate employment where the employee is totally incapable of working. Regarding the award of punitive damages, the Court of Appeal found that since Mr. Olguin did not claim punitive damages in his Statement of Claim or propose this amendment up to or during Trial that this award should not be upheld. Further, the Court of Appeal awarded Mr. Olguin $20,000.00 in costs as he was substantially successful on appeal.
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A Continued Benefits Pending Appeal Of A Medical Cessation Determination
General. If we determine that you are not entitled tobenefits because the physical or mental impairment on the basisof which such benefits were payable is found to have ceased, not tohave existed, or to no longer be disabling, and you appeal thatdetermination, you may choose to have your benefits continuedpending reconsideration and/or a hearing before an administrativelaw judge on the disability cessation determination. For thepurpose of this entire section, the election of continuedbenefits means the election of disability cash payments and/orMedicare, if applicable. You can also choose to have the benefitscontinued for anyone else receiving benefits based on your wagesand self-employment income . Ifyou appeal a medical cessation under both title II and title XVI , the title II claim will be handled in accordancewith title II regulations while the title XVI claim will be handledin accordance with the title XVI regulations.
When the provisions of this section are available. Benefits may be continued under this section only if thedetermination that your physical or mental impairment hasceased, has never existed, or is no longer disabling is made on orafter January 12, 1983 .
Benefits may be continued under this section only for monthsbeginning with January 1983, or the first month for which benefitsare no longer otherwise payable following our determination thatyour physical or mental impairment has ceased, has neverexisted, or is no longer disabling, whichever is later.
Use A Lawyer Or Advocate Who Specializes In Ssi Disability Cases
Statistics show that applicants who pursue the SSI appeal process with proper representation are more likely to receive disability benefits than applicants who choose to represent themselves. Essentially, there are two main categories of lawyers specializing in SSI those in private practice, and those in legal aid. While there are many lawyers who handle Social Security and SSI cases, few have experience working with people with invisible disabilities. Make sure your lawyer has the experience needed to handle the complex disability claims process.
Once you find an attorney or representative, they will act on your behalf in resolving the matter with the SSA. If the time for your hearing arrives and you havent found an attorney yet, you can request a continuance. When looking for a lawyer, bring your SSI notices and medical or other records to the initial meeting. Many lawyers, whether legal aid or private practice, shy away from taking cases in which too little evidence exists. You can improve your chances of finding an attorney by being organized in your materials. Whether or not you hire a lawyer to handle your SSI claim is up to you. It is a personal decision that only you can make. Fortunately, finding a qualified attorney or advocate doesnt have to be an overwhelming process. Below is a list of such attorneys and advocates provided for your convenience. You can also always contact the following organization,
5 Five Best Practices for Managing Your Benefits