If a person in Alabama receives Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits, he or she may think that once he or she qualifies for benefits, that is the end of the story and the benefits will continue forever. However, that is not true. If a person in receives SSD benefits, his or her eligibility for such benefits will be reviewed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) based on the severity of the recipient’s medical condition.
If the recipient’s disability is expected to improve, in general, his or her eligibility for benefits will be reviewed six to 18 months following the date upon which the recipient became disabled. If the recipient’s disability may possibly improve, but it is not possible to predict whether such improvement will take place, then his or her eligibility for benefits will be reviewed approximately every three years. Finally, if the recipient’s disability is not expected to improve, his or her eligibility for benefits will be reviewed every seven years.
At the review, the SSA will want to know how the recipient’s medical condition affects the recipient’s life and whether the recipient’s medical condition has improved. The recipient will need to provide the SSA the names, addresses and phone numbers of any physicians he or she sees. The recipient will also need to provide the SSA the record numbers for any periods of hospitalization or other treatments the recipient underwent since the last review. If, since applying for SSD benefits, the recipient has been able to work, information about when the recipient worked, how much he or she was paid and the nature of the work will need to be provided.
These reviews are meant to ensure that the recipient still qualifies for benefits and conversely, his or her benefits are not incorrectly discontinued. But, it is important that a review is performed correctly.
Therefore, those who are receiving SSD benefits that are up for review may want to talk to a legal advocate. That advocate will help them understand more about the review process and how they can best make their case for the continuation of benefits.