The Social Security Administration (SSA) uses an elaborate procedure and a detailed criterion to determine whether or not an applicant is eligible for disability benefits. Thanks to such diligence, the instance of fraud is very low when it comes to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients. In fact, SSA claims that the figure is less than 1%. If you need help with your claim our Greenville social security disability lawyers are here to help.
What Are Disability Reviews?
To ensure that only deserving people receive SSDI benefits, SSA uses disability reviews. The purpose of these reviews is to determine whether the disability for which you are previously receiving SSDI benefits still exists.
This is simply because disabilities and the associated limitations can change over time. If you were disabled at the time you started receiving SSDI benefits, you may get better by the next year. Once that happens and you are able to earn wages at a certain level, SSA terminates the SSDI payments.
Such reviews are performed for all SSDI applicants. The frequency of the reviews depends on the nature of your disability and some other factors. Based on these reviews, SSA categorizes SSDI applicants into three categories.
However, a significant change may occur in the review process in the near future. The Trump administration is currently in the process of proposing a new category. If the change is approved, applicants will be categorized into four different categories following a disability review.
Here is a look at the three review categories that are already being used and the proposed fourth category.
Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE)
This is a category that is used for such SSDI recipients who have severe disabilities. The more severe a disability is, the less likely is a person to recover from it in the short-term. For this reason, SSA mandates future reviews for such recipients at long intervals. Typically, a review is scheduled every 7 years or so for applicants who fall under this category. If the applicant is found to have registered a noticeable improvement in a future review, SSA may change the category of the applicant.
Medical Improvement Expected (MIE)
If an applicant is probable to recover from their medical condition soon, SSA review will place him or her in this category. This typically applies to such conditions where the disability or limitation imposed on an applicant is only temporary. Applicants who are categorized as MIE are reviewed more often than MINE applicants. SSA conducts future reviews for such applicants every 6 to 18 months.
If there is a clear recovery, SSA may decide that the applicant is no longer eligible for SSDI payments, bringing them to an end. However, if the condition persists, SSA may schedule the applicant for further future reviews.
Medical Improvement Possible (MIP)
The third category that SSA uses for disability reviews is ‘Medical Improvement Possible’ or MIP. This category is used for such medical conditions where an applicant may see future improvement but the improvement is not certain. For instance, if an applicant suffers from a type of cancer from which he may recover in the future, SSA will categorize him as MIP. Applicants who are placed under this category are reviewed every 3 years.
Proposed Category: Medical Improvement Likely
Currently, the Trump administration is pushing to have a new category added to the SSA disability reviews. This new category is termed ‘Medical Improvement Likely’ or MIL.
If approved, MIL will be used to categorize an applicant between MIP and MIE. The legal definition of improvement can be taken as any decrease in the severity of disability. According to many experts, the new category will make it easier for SSA to move people to reduced benefits in the event of any improvement at all.
In all, the new category is likely to impact nearly 4.4 million SSDI benefits recipients. That being said, the category is yet to be approved and confirmed.
Hiring Disability Lawyers in Greenville SC
If you are receiving SSDI benefits and are about to undergo a disability review, it is recommended that you consult a qualified attorney. A good disability lawyer will help you prepare for the review properly and make sure you meet all the requirements.
Here at Robert Surface Law Firm, we work with new as well as existing SSDI applicants. Whether you want to apply for SSDI benefits for the first time, aim to appeal a denial, or simply want to be legally prepared for your next review, we can help you. Contact us today to book a FREE consultation with our disability lawyers in Greenville SC.