How To Reinstate Suspended Social Security Disability Benefits

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    How To Reinstate Suspended Social Security Disability Benefits

    Living with a disability is challenging in many ways – not the least of which is financially. Many people who are disabled and unable to work receive disability benefits – and they depend upon those benefits as a vital part of their monthly budget. Understandably, it can be extremely stressful when those benefits are discontinued or suspended for any reason. As a result, disabled individuals often want to understand what might cause benefits to stop – and how suspended benefits might be reinstated.

    What Could Cause Disability Benefits To Stop?

    Generally, there are two reasons why disability benefits might be suspended or discontinued. Let’s take a closer look at those two reasons together, and then turn to whether or not reinstatement of suspended benefits it possible.

    The first reason benefits might be discontinued is the improvement of the medical condition for which benefits are received. If an individual has been declared disabled and is receiving disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will typically conduct what is known as a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) every three years – or every five to seven years if the medical condition for which the individual receives benefits is not expected to improve. If, after conducting a CDR, the Social Security Administration determines that the medical condition has improved to the point that an individual is no longer “disabled” under the law, benefits will stop.

    Another reason that benefits are commonly suspended is that a disabled individual returns to work. Typically, those who attempt to return to work are given a nine-month “trial work period” by the Social Security Administration. Those who continue working beyond that point typically have their benefits suspended.

    How To Pursue Reinstatement Of Benefits

    If disability benefits are discontinued because a condition has improved to the point that it is no longer disabling under the law, then it is unlikely that benefits will be reinstated. If, however, your disability benefits were suspended because you temporarily returned to work, you may be eligible for something known as Expedited Reinstatement (EXR).

    EXR provides recipients with the option of having their benefits reinstated without having to completely reapply. This means that you may be able to get your benefits reinstated much sooner than if you had to start the application process from the beginning. Any request for EXR must be made within five years from the date benefits were suspended.

    To qualify for EXR, you must be able to prove that:

    1. Your income has fallen below the “substantial gainful activity” limit established by the Social Security Administration. In 2023, that limit is $1,470 for an individual (or $2,460 for blind people). 
    2. The disability for which you stopped working was the same disability for which you initially applied for benefits.
    3. The disabling medical condition is no better than it was when you originally applied for Social Security disability insurance benefits.

    A request for expedited reinstatement of benefits will typically be sent to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) department of the Social Security Administration. While it can take some time to receive a decision, the good news is that the Social Security Administration will usually pay the applicant six months of benefits while waiting for a decision to be rendered.

    In addition, while waiting for a decision, Medicare will typically cover those who receive SSDI benefits, and those who receive SSI benefits will usually receive Medicaid. Generally, even if the request for expedited reinstatement is ultimately denied, Social Security will not require repayment of those benefits.

    What Happens If A Request For Reinstatement Is Denied?

    If a request for EXR is denied for any reason, there is always the option of filing an appeal. Those who wish to do so will have 60 days from the date of receiving their denial letter to file a request for reconsideration. If that is also denied, a final appeal may be made to an administrative law judge. That appeal process is very similar to the process of appealing an initial denial of disability benefits. 

    Certainly, as with any legal matter, the process of seeking reinstatement of benefits or appealing a denial can be complicated. That’s why having the right legal team on your side is essential. At Liner Legal, we are here for you.

    Liner Legal – Here For You

    At Liner Legal, our knowledgeable and experienced team of attorneys understands every aspect of the disability benefits process. We also understand how vital those disability benefits are for many of our clients – and how incredibly distressing when those benefits are suspended for any reason. That’s why we’re here to help. Whether you are seeking reinstatement of benefits or facing another issue concerning the benefits you need and deserve, we’re here for you, and we’re ready to help. Give us a call today. We look forward to speaking with you soon.