Could you imagine having a serious, chronic illness and relying on Social Security Disability benefits for your necessary medical treatments, only to have your benefits abruptly stopped, when your condition is getting worse?
This is what unfortunately happened to a 22-year-old woman diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, an incurable disease that causes serious lung damage. She suddenly had her Social Security Disability benefits stripped away, because the office deemed that her health was improving.
The statement baffled Megan Willis and her mother, as they didn’t understand who would make such a conclusion, as Megan’s condition worsened in the last year.
She depended on the monthly benefits to afford more than $100,000 a year in costly medical treatments to stay alive.
Chronic Disease Causes Life-Threatening Infections
Cystic Fibrosis causes mucus to line the lungs, which blocks the airways and leads to serious and persistent lung diseases, such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Mucus also lines the pancreas, making it difficult to properly digest food and absorb necessary nutrients. The mucus buildup can also cause cirrhosis of the liver, and cause infertility due to buildup on the reproductive tract.
Cystic Fibrosis can eventually lead to respiratory failure, and the average life expectancy is only 40 years old. This, however, is higher than the grim outlook for Cystic Fibrosis six decades ago, when children who were diagnosed did not survive past their teen years.
Given the severity of the illness, on a “good day,” Megan spends up to six hours undergoing necessary breathing treatments, and taking medications.
Lawyer Helps SSA Reconsider, Wins Back SSD Benefits at Critical Time
The sudden loss of the benefits was devastating, as Megan’s family cannot afford private insurance to pay for her extensive medical bills.
Megan contacted Attorney Beth Sufian, and with her help, the SSA reconsidered her case, and fortunately, coverage was reinstated eight months after it had been taken away.
Timing was critical, as Megan was hospitalized for her illness the same month benefits were reinstated.
However, these benefits should not have been removed in the first place. It’s wrong that Megan had to wait up to eight months for the benefits she deserves. What would have happened if she was hospitalized before benefits kicked back in?
With Backlog, SSA Conducting Unpresented Number of Reviews to Stop People from Receiving Benefits
The article explained that the SSA conducts periodic reviews, called Continuing Disability Reviews, to ensure that those receiving benefits are still eligible for disability.
According to the SSA website, these reviews are typically conducted once every three to seven years, depending on the severity of the illness. If a condition is expected to improve, reviews could be conducted earlier than three years.
However, the frequency of these reviews is increasing, with up to nearly one million reviews in the past year. Attorney Sufian believes this is done in an attempt to target young adults with serious illnesses, in order to save the organization money by ending necessary benefits.
This practice is troubling, as halting benefits for those in need is not ethical. Beneficiaries like Megan have serious medical conditions, and rely on the benefits they receive for their treatments to live.
We Can Help
If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.
Let Michigan’s experienced disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.
Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.