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Social Security Administration reviews disability payments

Disability assistance may be available from several sources. For example, a wounded veteran may receive assistance from both the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the Social Security Administration. In addition, state benefits under Medicaid or other programs may also be available.

Recent media reports have documented rare cases where a disabled individual received overpayments from the SSA. In some cases, Social Security disability insurance payments may have continued after an individual reentered the workforce. For example, current regulations allow SSDI beneficiaries to explore the feasibility of resuming work during a nine-month trial period. When that period expires, SSDI payments are supposed to stop.

However, the Government Accountability Office’s own audits estimate that fraud affects only about 1 percent of all federal disability payments. Hopefully, such news reports about alleged fraud or overpayments won’t discourage disabled individuals from seeking help when they need it.

For someone who has recently been forced out of his or her job due to disability, a consultation with a disability benefits attorney might be informative. An attorney might provide information on the criteria used by SSA officials in determining whether a specific medical condition qualifies as a disability for SSDI payments.

Even after obtaining benefits, an attorney might provide ongoing assistance. For example, Medicaid eligibility might be possible within two years of qualifying for SSDI benefits. In addition, an attorney might also be able to answer questions about monthly SSDI payments and whether an approved beneficiary might be receiving overpayments. An attorney can work to ensure that no surprises befall an SSDI beneficiary.

Source: money.cnn.com, “'I was overpaid by Social Security',” Blake Ellis, Oct. 28, 2013

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