female attorney with female client

February Case Spotlight

In November of 2019, attorney Erika Riggs was contacted by a woman from Harrison Township, Michigan, who had been referred to her from another attorney after receiving a letter from Social Security that her son’s disability benefits was reviewed and would soon end. Social Security decided to review her son’s disability case even though he was found disabled years prior. Social Security periodically reviews the claimant’s medical impairment(s) to determine if the disabling condition(s) has continued. If Social Security determines that the person is no longer disabled or blind, then benefits will stop.

While there are a number of reasons why the Social Security Administration could review a disability case to determine ongoing entitlement to disability benefits, they will typically do so regardless of a reason at least once every three years if the condition is expected to improve. However, if the disabling condition is not anticipated to improve, Social Security may still review the case but typically only every five to seven years. Social Security should reach out to you to obtain any updated information about your condition(s) using form SSA-454 called a ‘Continuing Disability Review Report’ or form SSA-455 which is a ‘Disability Update Report’ that can be completed online. Other factors that may affect entitlement to disability benefits may also be reviewed, including income, resources, and living arrangements, for example, to determine whether benefits should continue, stop, or be changed in any way. In some cases, the claimant may be responsible for paying back benefits, called an overpayment, if it is determined that benefits were improperly paid.

In any case, it is important to have an experienced, compassionate disability attorney on your side to help you win and keep the disability benefits that you deserve. If Social Security deems that the disabling condition has ended, you will have appeal rights contained in correspondence from the Social Security Administration. In this case, the disability benefits had recently been denied on October of 2019 and they had only 60 days to file an appeal called a ‘Request for Reconsideration’ at this stage. Attorney Erika Riggs carefully reviewed all of the documentation, medical records and notice of Cessation of benefits they had received from Social Security. However, this client desperately needed ongoing benefits – both monthly financial support and insurance that they had been accustomed to in order to continue seeing his doctors and maintaining treatment. Attorney Riggs agreed to represent the woman’s son pro bono in his claim for continued disability benefits so that he could continue to see his doctors, keep up with the medical treatment, and receive the ongoing support that he desperately needed.

Immediately, Erika got to work on her client’s case. She filed the appeal, prepared new medical evidence and updated his file to make sure that all the supportive information was received; she then submitted all documents over to Social Security and began following-up with his case examiner with Social Security’s Disability Determination Services. Next, Social Security scheduled her client for a consultative examination where a doctor contracted through the Social Security Administration would evaluate him. Attorney Riggs explained what to expect at this examination and helped ease their nerves about the entire process. Shortly after this examination took place, Disability Law Group received notice that the case was approved, and that Erika’s client would continue to receive his monthly benefits and insurance without any interruption. This decision provided immeasurable relief and comfort to both the client and his family who could now focus on other, more important things like his health and healing without worrying about an overpayment, additional appeals, or losing critical monthly benefits.

If you or someone you know are suffering from pain or other serious problems that keep you from being able to work and affect your ability to function normally, contact Disability Law Group today for your free consultation. Our attorneys and staff specialize strictly in disability benefits, and we will fight to help you win every benefit you deserve. We pride ourselves on helping disabled individuals receive disability benefits as quickly as possible. Whether you have been denied or if you would like advice from the very start, contact us today and speak with an attorney for a free consultation to understand your rights and get the representation that you deserve.