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The Disability Claims Digest
Paralegal Owned and Operated Company and
Member of National Association of Disability Representatives

Volume 9  (Revised)                                                            Copyright 2009
In This Issue
Peruse Our Archived Newsletters
Visit our Disability Forum
Prescription Assistance
Overpayment Notice from Social Security: What to do?
What You Should Know About Continuing Disability Reviews and Reopenings
Quick Links

Social Security's Wounded Warrior Program

Disability Dollars and Sense

Social Security Requesting 2010 Recovery Relief

Special Needs and Financial Planning

Returning to Work While Receiving Disability Benefits

National Council on Disability

Disabilities-The White House

The National Arts and Disability Center

Federal Communications Commission Disabilities Rights Office

US Dept. of Health & Human Services Office on Disability

Social Security Retirement Benefits Calculations

HUD -People With Disabilities

We represent Social Security disability claimants locally, regionally and nationally.
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Feel Free to view our archived E-Newsletters by clicking on the following link:

Our Disability Forum
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You may find that the manufacturer of the medicine you already take will provide you with a discount or completely waive the cost.

To find out if you qualify and to find your manufacturer's prescription assistance contact information

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What Information Would You Like to Know????

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Welcome to the ninth edition of our Disability Claims Digest.  In this edition, we will be focusing on several topics including:

Overpayment notices from Social Security can be extremely frightening. We will give you some guidance on what action you should take should this unfortunate event occur.

What happens when Social Security conducts a Continuing Disability Review or Reopening?

Social Security will not be issuing a cost of living increase for the year 2010.

Estimate your retirement benefits through Social Security's retirement benefits calculator.

Social Security has implemented the Wounded Warrior program which helps to quickly identify and efficiently process claims for those individuals who have become disabled while at war.

Many of the topics that we will discuss in our monthly digests are frequently asked questions by our clients, and we hope that the information we are sharing will help to clarify some of these complicated issues.

We warmly welcome the referral of anyone you may know who needs help with their Social Security disability claim.  We are here to answer any questions that you may have regarding the disability claim process.  And if you choose to have a representative assist you with your claim, please reach out to us.

 You can reach us at:



Please read on....

Please visit our website for more helpful information and guidance regarding the Social Security claims process.

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Overpayment Notice From Social Security: What Action Should I Take if I Receive One?


Social Security may, from time to time, review active claims for those individuals receiving disability benefits.  These reviews are required to be conducted by statute.

An "overpayment" happens when a person receives funds from Social Security that they believe should not have been paid.

There are several reasons for an overpayment situation to arise.  The most common reason is that a person returns to work while receiving disability benefits and they are working at substantial gainful activity level.  Another reason is that Social Security may believe that a person's medical condition has improved since they began receiving disability and they may no longer be deemed "disabled" under Social Security's rules.  Another reason an overpayment notice may be sent is because Social Security erroneously issued benefits to a claimant that should not have received them, or who was erroneously paid too much. Other reasons may include a marriage or a chance in living status.

If a person receives an overpayment letter from Social Security stating they were paid too much, Social Security must provide a reason for this overpayment, the amount of the overpayment, options to repay the funds and they must explain to you how you can submit an appeal.

An appeal must be filed immediately.  This is done by way of "Request for Reconsideration.  In the appeal, you must state that you do not agree with the overpayment and that you do not want any money withheld from your monthly benefits while the appeal is taking place. 

If a person believes that the overpayment was not their fault or that it would be a hardship to have to repay the overpayment, a Request for Waiver may be filed.  It should also be filed immediately to prevent any money from being deducted from the person's monthly benefits.

If the overpayment is correct, and a person needs to pay the overage back to Social Security, a payment plan may be requested to avoid financial hardship.

Both the request for reconsideration and the request for waiver may be appealed if denied but there are deadlines within which this may be done.

Please understand that this is simply an overview of the process that one must take when an overpayment situation occurs and should not be considered as legal advice.

Continuing Disability Reviews and Reopenings

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Hopefully, claimants who are receiving disability benefits from Social Security are actively treating for all of their medical conditions and they are keeping an accurate journal of all of their doctors appointments or other medical treatment, diagnostic testing, the dates of any treatment, contact information for all medical providers, a list of current medications, and so forth.  This is very important so that when a Continuing Disability Review is conducted by Social Security, all of the information that they are seeking can be provided easily.

Social Security is required to conduct a continuing disability review also known as a "CDR" of individuals who are receiving disability benefits or SSI.  How often this review is conducted depends upon the person's age, education, past job experience and the nature and severity of the disabling medical conditions.

Additionally, Social Security may reopen an awarded disability claim at any time if they feel there is just cause, such as the fact that the disabled person returned to work and is earning substantial gainful activity level or that a person's medical condition has improved.

If a claimant receives notice from Social Security that they are in the process of conducting a review of the claim, it is imperative to respond promptly.

During this review, Social Security will ask a claimant to update them with their current medical status, medical treatment, current medications, current symptoms and current activities of daily living.  They will also need to obtain and review any updated medical records to see if the claimant's condition has improved, worsened or stayed the same. 

Of significant importance is whether or not a claimant attempted to return to work since their disability claim was awarded and benefits commenced.  There are very strict rules regarding a claimant's attempt to return to work.

If you wish to review Social Security's rules regarding working while receiving benefits, please click on the appropriate link provided in the "Quick Links" section of this E-Newsletter.

If Social Security stops your disability benefits because you returned to work and earned substantial gainful activity level, ("SGA") which is $980 per month for 2009, you may appeal this decision.  If you earned SGA level, but you worked very limited hours and your employer provided you with numerous accommodations in order for you to be able to work, you will need to obtain a report from your employer reflecting this.

Examples of accommodations are: working limited shifts, working any hours out of the day that you are able to, working at home instead of at the office when others in the same position work in the office, your employer provides you with help from other employees in order for you to accomplish your work, your employer allows you to take breaks whenever you need to and for as long as you need to, allows you to miss work whenever necessary to attend doctors appointments, be hospitalized or simply because you are too ill to work, provides you with special transportation to and from work, allows you to work at a lower productivity level then others in your position, and so forth.

Providing such a report by your employer to Social Security can help substantiate the fact that even though you may have earned SGA level income, you did not work in a gainful manner.  It will further help to show that you were provided numerous accommodations by your employer, otherwise, you would not have been able to work at all.

In summary, it is very important for claimants to be aware of Social Security's CDR and Reopening procedures throughout the time that they are receiving disability benefits.  Even though their claim has been won and benefits are being paid, keep in mind that the claim is never really over. 

From The President's
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We hope that the information in this edition of our Disability Digest will prove to be beneficial to you or someone you know that is applying for or receiving Social Security disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits.

It is our mission to help as many people as we can to make their way through the frustrating claims process.  We are here to help anyone who is on this journey.  In addition to excellent representation services, we provide all of our clients with guidance, words of comfort, compassion, encouragement and kindness.

If you know of anyone that may benefit from the information contained in our newsletter, please forward it along to them by using the link below.

Until next time, take care and be well.
Sincerely yours,

Lisa S. Wagman, CP
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Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants is a subdivision of Premier Legal Services, LLC.  We are independent benefit consultants authorized by law to represent claimants before the Social Security Administration from the initial application to the Appeals Council level.  We are in no way affiliated with the Social Security Administration directly.

We do not provide any legal advice.  Our newsletter is a general service that provides legal information.  We are not a law firm.  The information contained in this newsletter is general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual information.  We do not endorse any content provided by any linked sites, nor do we assume any responsibility for the interpretation or application of any information originating from such content.

Copyright 2007-2009 by Social Security Disability Benefit Consultants.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Any use of materials from this newsletter,
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