I’ve filed an appeal for review. Will my benefits continue?
When you file an appeal after the Social Security Administration denies your application, you may still be able to keep your benefits. However, to continue receiving benefits while your appeal is pending, you must file a request for consideration within ten days of receiving your notice of cessation. The appeal should be filed along with your request for continuing cash benefits, Medicare, or both.
What Happens If You Do Not File an Appeal for Social Security Benefits?
If you do not file an appeal within ten days, the Social Security Administration will likely terminate your benefits. However, it is also important to note that the SSA allows five days for mail. This means that you have 15 days to file this request.
What Happens if the SSA Denies My Request for Consideration?
If the SSA denies your request for consideration, all is not lost. You can still file a request for a hearing along with a request for continuing benefits within ten days after receiving the notice of reconsideration.
Can You Request a Hearing With the SSA?
Yes, you can request a hearing with the SSA if they deny your request for consideration, usually the second time. In that case, you may meet face-to-face with a Disability Hearing Officer (DHO). If the SSA denies your appeal at the hearing level, you may file another appeal with the Appeals Council.
Can I Still Receive Benefits If My Appeal Is Denied?
This will depend on the decision of the Appeals Council. In most cases, when your appeal is denied at the hearing level, you will lose your disability benefits. However, the Appeals Council has the power to reinstate your benefits by ordering a new hearing. When that happens, you will continue to receive your benefits, and no further action on your part will be necessary.
How Do I File a Request to Continue My Disability Benefits?
To file this request, you will need to fill out Form 795, Benefit Continuation Election Statement. This form is not usually available online; you will need to request one from the SSA.
Can Other People Continue Receiving Benefits Under My Earnings While My Appeal Is Pending?
Yes, if someone else is receiving benefits based on your earning records, they may be able to keep their benefits even if your appeal is pending. However, for this to work, you must request the SSA to continue their benefits. This means that the request to continue your own benefits does not imply that you also wish the SSA to continue with your loved one’s benefits. Rather, you must file a separate request.
Can I Still Receive Benefits If My Income Changes While My Case Is Still on Appeal?
The SSA will likely terminate your benefits if your circumstances change while your case is still on appeal. However, the specific change in circumstances will determine whether the SSA will terminate the benefits. For example, the government agency has an income limit for each recipient ($1350 for 2022). So if you earn more than the set limit, you will likely lose your benefits, and it will not matter that your case is still on appeal.
Can I Still Work While My Appeal Is Pending?
Yes, you are allowed to work while your appeal is pending. However, you must adhere to the income requirements even as you work. If you engage in Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA), meaning you have earned more than the limit set by the SSA, you may lose your benefits even if your appeal is still pending.
Is There a Limit to the Number of Hours I Can Work While My Appeal Is Pending?
There is no limit to the number of hours you can work while your appeal is pending. You are free to work as many hours as you wish. However, there is a limit on the amount of money you can earn while receiving disability benefits. Earning more than the set limit means you have engaged in SGA, which gives the SSA a good reason to terminate your benefits even if your appeal is pending.
What Happens If My Appeal is Unsuccessful?
If you have explored every option available to you and your appeal is unsuccessful, the SSA might ask you to repay the SSDI or SSI cash benefits you received while your case was on appeal. However, you may not be required to repay the value of the Medicaid or Medicare benefits you received during that period.
It is also important to note that the SSA might waive this requirement, even though this decision is entirely up to them. Specifically, the agency might waive the recovery of paid disability benefits if you filed your appeal in “good faith.”
What Does “Good Faith” Mean?
The term “good faith,” in this context, means that you cooperated with the SSA throughout the appeal process. It means that you agreed to provide the required documentation, such as medical paperwork, attended medical exams as directed, etc.
It is also important to note that even if it appears that you did not act in good faith, meaning you did not cooperate with the SSA, the agency will consider whether your lack of cooperation is excusable. For example, if you could not cooperate due to mental, physical, or linguistic cooperation, the SSA would consider these factors before making their decision.
Can an Attorney Help With My Appeal?
An experienced social security attorney can help review the reason for the denial of benefits. The attorney might then be able to help you build a strong case to prove your eligibility for benefits.
If you or your loved one has been denied social security benefits, contact Morgan and Morgan right away. Our social security attorneys might be able to help convince the SSA to overturn their decision.