I'm on SSDI. Initially, I was approved for 2 years for substance abuse, though my most disabling symptoms from a serious accident, were never reviewed by the ALJ. It's been almost 4 years now, and I haven't been contacted by SSA for a CDR. All along, I have been supplying my TWO LTD carriers with physician's statements and evidence of disablilty, and they have no problem - both have put me on annual reporting/documenting status. I am now 51 years old. Here are my questions:
1) Do my SSDI payments continue while SSA conducts the CDR?
2) Will the evidence I've been giving to my LTD carriers be sufficient for SSA to certify me as disabled (along with new physician's statements, etc.)?
3) The lawyer who handled my initial case said he will handle any CDR. Will I have to pay him separately?
Social Security Lawyers
1) Yes, during a CDR, your benefits continue. However, if you lose, they will stop unless you ask within the noted time frame of the cessation letter, that they continue, pending your timely appeal.
2) This is impossible to say. The definition of disabled in your LTD policies is likely not the same as that in the SS Act/regulations.
3) That will be between you and him. Usually, because there are no back benefits available if you DO win your CDR (because you will have been getting benefits owed the whole time), a lawyer will require that you pay $3-4000 as a retainer to go into the trust account. If you win and a fee is approved by the SSA, the lawyer can then pay himself the approved fee, from that trust account, with any remaining balance paid back to you.
If you are not having your ongoing claim for benefits legally monitored in preparation for future CDR, you may want to consider doing so. Once the CDR is upon you, it is generally too late to "fix" any bad evidence or missing evidence needed to prove ongoing SSA disability, or refute significant improvement in condition. Some firms provide this affordable service.
Stephanie O. Joy, Esq., of JoyDisability, is an attorney licensed in New Jersey, but currently practicing federal Social Security Disability law in all 50 states from her PA office. Answers to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship, nor do they constitute legal advice. Rather, if you need representation or legal advise, you need to make direct contact yourself, and inquire. We welcome and respond to all phone calls and emails.
Social Security Lawyers
You have a lawyer already. I think you should be asking him these questions.
Workers' Compensation Lawyer
1) Yes your benefits will continue doing a CDR;
2) if your LTD carriers are accepting disability forms to continue those benefits from your doctors then Social Security may well also accept those forms; and
3) Lawyers usually don't work for free!
This response is meant to be information only and should not be considered to be legal advice. This information is not meant and should not be construed to be the formation of an attorney client relationship. I practice Virginia Workers compensation law and Social Security Disability law.