Getting Your Disability Benefits Back After You Lost Them

Posted on: 28 November 2016


Once you have Social Security disability benefits, you can remain on disability indefinitely or you can return to work. If you choose to return to work, you have to be very careful about the sum of money you make every month, or you could lose your benefits. If you lose your benefits because SSA now considers you "gainfully employed" and therefore no longer disabled, it may be even more difficult for you to regain your disability benefits in the future. Here is how a Social Security disability lawyer can help you.

Filing and Appealing

Thankfully, you do not have to file a fresh disability application with SSA. Since they are the ones who have been tracking your work hours and pay all along, and have been paying you benefits, you do not have to file a fresh application. Instead, you have to file an appeal against the decision of the SSA and your SSA agent. Your lawyer can help you put together a convincing case as to why you could not continue your employment and why you cannot return to the job you were working when the SSA stripped you of your disability benefits. The appeals process now is more brutal than the appeals process to get benefits the first time around, so you will absolutely need the assistance of a disability lawyer to get through it and get your benefits restored.

Proving That You No Longer Have the Job or That You Cannot Do the Same Job

A big part of getting your benefits restored is proving that you no longer work the same job you did when you lost your benefits. Your lawyer can show your last paystub, as well as a letter on company letterhead from that business that states when you stopped working, why you stopped working (e.g., fired vs. quit) and what your last paycheck was. You will also have to prove that you can no longer do the same job or anything similar to it. This usually means a visit to a psychiatrist as well as an occupational therapist for testing and treatments or therapy. 

Restoration of Benefits Takes Time

Even with a lawyer's help, the restoration of your benefits takes time. It could take up to two years before they are restored after you have lost them because you earned too much from working. You may have to go through several more appeals processes and hearings before your benefits are restored. In the meantime, be prepared to be quite broke and plan ahead for how your benefits will be dispersed when you receive a large chunk again.