Blog

Continuing Disability Reviews

In the last year, SSA, with direction and funding by Congress, has initiated a more aggressive campaign to review and potentially terminate disability status, benefits and Medicare to tens of thousands of people. At a meeting with Administrative Law Judges locally, it was estimated that as many as 35 to 40 percent of the cases being appealed in 2016 to area SSA hearing offices will be disability cessation appeals, rather than the typical “initial entitlement” cases.

Court Raises the Bar for SSA Judges’ Decisions Denying Social Security Disability Claims

A federal appeals court recently issued a decision containing good news for Social Security disability claimants residing in California, Nevada, Hawaii, and the other states within the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Court determined that when Social Security disability judges decide that a claimant’s testimony at the hearing level is not entirely credible, they must provide “specific, clear, and convincing” reasons for rejecting the testimony, and cite to medical evidence in the record that contradicts the claimant’s testimony.

Waiting Time for Social Security Disability Hearings and Appeals Decisions

Average Wait Time Until a Hearing is Held (as of April 2016)

The average waiting time for a Social Security Disability hearing has increased significantly this year. The chart below shows the average wait time – in months – between the date a hearing is requested and the date a hearing is held for the hearing offices in Northern California, Reno and Honolulu.

How to Respond to a Notice of Overpayment

If an individual is overpaid SSI or SSDI benefits, what happens? When the Social Security Administration (SSA) finds that it has overpaid disability benefits, either due to a calculating mistake, change in circumstances or other factors, it will issue a Notice of Overpayment which instructs repayment of the overpaid amount within 30 days.