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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Default Denied Social Security After Receiving It for 10+ Years

    Hi -

    some background information: My mother (49) had esophageal cancer and had 50% of her esophagus and part of her stomach removed. She has received social security since then (10+ years ago). She still has severe pain from the surgery, doesn't sleep for long due to discomfort, she struggles in any position (sitting, standing or laying) due to pain. Also due the removal of esophagus and part of stomach, she struggles to keep food down and will choke easily. Due to lack of sleep she struggles to remember things and sometimes can't say what she means.

    She was just up for review for her social security and they denied saying "the medical evidence shows your health improved in June 2012" - this was on a letter dated June 1,2012. It also says that "medical information shows your cancer has not returned." They did not review any information from her PCP who primarily works with her medical needs.

    My question is - now what? Obviously she has to appeal within 10 days so she can keep her benefits. But, the lady she spoke to said she will only receive 2 more months of checks and the appeal process will take 4 months. Also the lady, so kindly (sarcasm), stated: "get a job." They also explained that if she is denied again she will have to repay those 2 months.

    We have never had to appeal before and have no idea if this is how the process works or what to do. She only receives about $650 a month and obviously cannot go without that. What are your recommendations?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Toledo, OH

    Default Re: Denied Social Security After Receiving It for 10+ Years

    She can request an internet appeal, for starters, and you both should read this.

    Call your local Bar Association for a referral to an attorney who can help your Mom for free or for very little money.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default Re: Denied Social Security After Receiving It for 10+ Years

    Apparently, her approval was based on the cancer. Pain and lack of sleep can be solved by medication, tolerance and sleeping pills. I speak from experience. I have used sleeping pills for years to keep rested as many nights I am in too much pain to sleep. I have worked for decades.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: Denied Social Security After Receiving It for 10+ Years

    The appeal should be filed within the 10 day period (add 5 for mail) and payment continuation requested. She can deal with the issue of repayment at another date. It is true that if the end result of the appeal is still that she is 'not disabled' then anything paid after the date of cessation would be considered an overpayment, but in some cases, there can be relief from repayment or deferment of repayment.

    Does she have a copy of the form completed for her CDR? Did she list her current medical problems and her current PCP? Or did she assume that SSA would figure it out? Do you know what is actually written in her current medical records? Has anyone done an examination of her cognitive disorders and memory problems?

    The appeal can be done online. She should list every single problem she has in terms of how her medical problems really affect daily living and work related physical and mental demands. How many hours of sleep can she get at one time? How long (in terms of minutes/hours) can she sit, stand, lie down? How much weight can she lift? How far can she carry it? Using terms like "not very long" is just not precise enough. How poor is her memory? What are examples of her poor memory? Has she had a sleep study? How often does she nap every day and how long are the naps? What does she do all day? How long does it take her toke care of herself/her home? What do other people have to do for her?

    Doing nothing means the money stops. Appealing can seem overwhelming and can take much longer than 4 months. Could be years. There are stages in the appeal process. In the initial application process as well as in a CDR process, having an attorney can be very helpful, but they don't work for free. Generally, it is a percentage of retroactive benefits up to $6000. In a CDR with benefit continuation, the attorney may want payment monthly put into an escrow account so that there is something to pay him/her if there is a favorable decision since there would be no retroactive benefits. Finding a rep may take some time. Perhaps the family might be willing to sign as guarantors of payment.

    She can also ask for a CD of the current medical file to see just what is in there.

    Might want to go to and read the Blue Book about what is considered to be a disabling condition. If she has memory problems, she needs an evaluation by a psychologist. This needs to be tested.

    She can't assume it will all work out for her. If she can't be proactive, someone needs to do it for her.

    Or, she can go to work (trying to say that with no sarcasm) or rely on the family to support her.

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