The Social Security Administration (SSA) encourages individuals who receive SSI (Supplemental Security Income) to work if their disability allows them to do. When a person goes to work and begins earning money, SSI benefits typically stop. Unfortunately, some individuals who attempt to work may be unable to continue working because of their disability. Therefore, the SSA has an expedited reinstatement process to help those individuals regain their SSI benefits. A New York social security disability claims lawyer can help you complete the reinstatement process so that you can get your benefits restarted as quickly as possible.
What is the SSA Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits Program?
The Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits Program is a part of the SSA’s program that encourages individuals to work — the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Improvement Act. The work program was created as a safety net for individuals who wish to attempt to work instead of drawing their SSI benefits.
The SSA understands that individuals may be fearful of returning to work or attempting to work because their SSI benefits stop. Individuals may worry that if they lose their benefits and become unemployed again because of their disability that they will wait for months or years before receiving SSI benefits again. They worry that they must go through the lengthy, time-consuming process of completing a new SSI application for benefits.
To encourage individuals to work, the SSA created the EXR or Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits Program to assist individuals in receiving SSI benefits again quickly and without going through the entire SSI application process again.
Do I Qualify for Expedited Reinstatement of My SSI Benefits?
If your SSI benefits stopped because you worked and received earnings, you might qualify for the EXR program if:
- Your SSI benefits ended because you went to work and had earnings;
- You are now unable to perform a substantial gainful activity (work) because of your disability;
- Your current disability is the same disability you had when you originally applied for SSI benefits or an impairment related to that disability which allowed you to receive the SSI benefits which stopped; AND,
- You are filing your request for EXR within 60 months from the date your SSI benefits ceased.
If you meet the above criteria, you should qualify for expedited reinstatement of your benefits. Typically, individuals who qualify for the EXR program begin receiving temporary (provisional) SSI benefits within one month of completing the EXR application. They also become eligible again for Medicaid coverage.
The SSA can pay temporary SSI benefits under the EXR program for up to six months while it considers your application for expedited reinstatement of SSI benefits.
How Do I Apply for EXR of Benefits?
In most cases, you can begin the EXR process by calling the SSA or visiting your local SSA field office. The paperwork you must complete is not nearly as complicated as the original petition for SSI benefits. You will also need to meet with an SSA representative to discuss your request to resume SSI benefits. While you receive your temporary benefits, the SSA obtains updated medical records and other information to determine whether you qualify for disability benefits.
If the SSA determines you do not qualify for disability benefits, it typically does not ask you to repay the benefits you received while it was making its determination, unless your application for EXR was made fraudulently.
Contact a New York Disability Law Attorney for Help
In many cases, individuals can reinstate their SSI benefits quickly and easily if they qualify for the Expedited Reinstatement of Benefits Program. However, there may be cases in which the SSA may deny reinstatement without a valid reason. If you are having difficulty obtaining your disability benefits, schedule a consult with a New York social security disability claims attorney to review the matter and advise you of your legal rights and options.