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Proposed rule could threaten SSD benefits for some

Everyday, individuals are diagnosed with illnesses and suffer injuries that leave them disabled. In addition to limiting their ability to conduct what were once routine activities, these disabling conditions can leave individuals unable to work. Without income, those who suffer from a disability can struggle to make ends meet while obtaining the medical care they need and deserve. Fortunately, those who are able to meet federal requirements may qualify for Social Security disability benefits.

New rules proposed by the Trump administration may make retaining SSD benefits tougher, though. According to reports, the new rules, if implemented, would require SSD benefits recipients to undergo more frequent continuing disability reviews. These reviews are meant to gauge the improvement of an individual’s medical condition, which can say a lot about his or her ability to return to the workforce. They also assess an individual’s income and asset holdings to determine if he or she makes too much to continue to qualify for SSD benefits. If the new standards were to go into affect, more than 4 million additional reviews would be conducted each year.

There is a stark contrast in how the new rules are viewed. Proponents say that more disability reviews will ensure the program’s integrity by only paying disability benefits to those who are truly deserving of them. Opponents say that the additional reviews will cause governmental costs to balloon and kick tens of thousands of people out of a system they have come to depend on.

While the future of this aspect of the SSD program is yet to be seen, its current status certainly highlights the importance of being diligent with every aspect of the SSD claims process, as well as any subsequent reviews. Those looking to obtain or retain benefits need to be prepared with the evidence and legal arguments to support their position, lest they risk losing the benefits they need. Legal advocates who are well-versed in this area of the law can assist with every step of the process to ensure that a disabled individual’s best interests are protected as fully as possible.