After a hearing with an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the ALJ will issue a decision on whether or not a person applying for Social Security disability is disabled. If the ALJ finds the Claimant to be disabled, the ALJ will issue a Fully Favorable Decision. When an ALJ makes a favorable decision in a case, the Appeals Council (AC) may decide on its own motion to review the decision or reopen the decision of the ALJ. The AC will decide to review a decision for one of two reasons: 1) an office protests the ALJ's decision to the AC or 2) random quality assurance sampling of ALJ decisions.
If the AC decides to review your case, it will send you a letter stating that your case is being reviewed and that your benefits will be delayed while the case is under review. However, there is a limit to how long your benefits can be delayed. The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required under federal law to pay monthly benefits if a final AC decision has not been made within 110 calendar days after the date of the ALJ decision. These benefits are called "Interim Benefits" because they are temporary benefits given while waiting for a final decision from the AC.
For a Title II disability claim, a Claimant will receive interim benefits beginning the month before the month in which the 110th day occurs after the hearing decision expires, and will end in the month before the month in which a final decision is issued. For a Title XVI supplemental security income claim, interim benefits will start the month in which the 110th day falls and end with the month in which the final decision is made. Any interim benefits paid will not be considered overpayments, unless fraudulently obtained.
If you have received an AC own motion remand following your favorable decision and have questions concerning your interim benefits, contact an experienced Social Security disability attorney at Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. at (251) 343-1111. Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. represents Social Security disability claimants in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Louisiana at all levels of the disability process from initial application to appeals to Federal Court.