What happens after you receive a favorable Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits decision will depend on the level of favorability you are assigned. If your disability is deemed fully favorable, it means that Social Security Administration (SSA) officials deem you disabled from the date of your application. You will begin receiving disability benefits shortly thereafter, although your initial payment will have to wait until your elimination period – sometimes called the waiting period – has expired.
Your financial circumstances may be reviewed again, and if you are owed back pay, this amount will be assessed and calculated (as will your regular monthly payment amount). Your monthly award could also be affected by other government awards you receive. You will be informed of your initial monthly payment date and the anticipated amount.
How Does SSD Determine Your Favorability Status?
Your application for SSD benefits will initially be assessed to make sure that you meet the basic eligibility requirements. Next, it will go through the disability determination process. This will yield one of three possible determinations: fully favorable, partially favorable, or unfavorable.
What happens after you get a fully favorable disability decision?
Your fully favorable status entitles you to benefits. If your disability is deemed partially favorable or unfavorable, the outcome of your case will be far different.
- Partially favorable: Your disability is deemed valid. Yet it has been determined that your disability date was invalid, you were disabled for a short period of time, or you are not currently considered disabled.
- Unfavorable: You are not considered disabled.
Either of these determinations will disqualify you for benefits, at least partially. However, you can appeal either status through the SSA’s four-phase appeals process. If the appeals process reveals your disability as valid, you will receive current and retroactive approval and payments.
What Happens If I Appeal a Partially Favorable Determination?
Appealing a partially favorable status can be risky because you must appeal the determination in its entirety. If your appeal is unsuccessful, you could be determined wholly ineligible for benefits. The SSD appeals process involves:
- The reconsideration phase: When your application is reexamined by an impartial assessor who was not involved in the initial review of your application
- The hearing phase: When an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) reexamines your application (the ALJ will not have been previously involved in assessing your application)
- The Appeals Council review: When the ALJ’s denial of your application is reviewed
If your application is found to be valid during the Appeals Council review, it will be upheld. If not, you can proceed to the final appeals phase. The final phase is a federal court review, which is essentially a civil case that you file in federal court. Legal representation is highly recommended for these appeal phases so that you can obtain a fully favorable decision.
Are My Benefits Permanent After Receiving a Favorable SSD Benefits Decision?
Even if your disability is deemed favorable, you are still subject to an SSD evaluation process called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). Usually conducted once every three years, this review reevaluates your disabling medical condition.
Your CDR will also include:
- Your income
- Your available resources
- Your living arrangements
SSA officials will contact you for this evaluation, which is conducted for recipients of SSI, SSDI, and concurrent benefits. You may have the option to submit your reevaluation form online.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Benefits
SSDI benefits are entitlement-based. They are available for qualified men and women who paid into the Social Security system when they worked. The payments you and your employer made are held in a specific trust fund. If you qualify for SSDI benefits, they are drawn from this fund. The benefits you receive are based on your previous work history and history of contributions.
Supplemental Security Income Benefits (SSI) Benefits
SSI benefits are needs-based. They are available for men and women who have no demonstrable financial support and little or no available resources. The benefits awarded through the SSI program are funded by a designated tax fund. Your benefit amount is based on your financial picture, household size, and state of residence.
Because SSDI benefits are based on previous earnings and contributions from previous employers, some people who receive SSDI benefits will receive lower payment amounts. If your benefit award meets income guidelines, you will also qualify for SSI payments, which are based almost solely on financial need.
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Any disability status other than fully favorable could prevent you from getting the benefits you are entitled to. Find out what happens after you receive a favorable Social Security Disability benefits decision and how our social security disability lawyers can help you prove that your disability qualifies for one. Contact Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC today.