The Social Security Administration (SSA) periodically reviews an applicant’s income, resources, and living arrangements to ensure he or she continues to meet the non-medical requirements related to eligibility for benefits and to ensure that he or she is receiving the correct payment amount. This periodic review is referred to as a redetermination. If a recipient is married or a disabled child under age 18 living with his or her parent(s), the SSA also reviews the income, resources, and living arrangements of a recipient’s spouse or parent(s). See our blog about deemed or imputed income.
Eligibility and benefit amounts of most recipients are redetermined every one to six years. If a beneficiary reports a change that affects eligibility or payment, such as marriage, the SSA may also review income, resources, and living arrangements at this time.
A redetermination is conducted by the SSA in three ways:
- by telephone interview;
- in person; or
- by mail.
For telephone and in-person interviews, a recipient typically receives a letter informing him or her that the SSA will call on a certain date and time, or a request to appear at the local Social Security office for a redetermination. The SSA staff will collect information and complete any applicable forms during the interview. If a recipient has a representative payee, the SSA will send the appointment letter to the representative payee.
If a redetermination is conducted by mail, the SSA sends a redetermination form for the beneficiary to complete, sign and return. If the beneficiary has a representative payee, he or she must complete and sign the redetermination form on the recipient’s behalf.
Once the SSA sends such a letter, the beneficiary has 30 days to:
- respond to the appointment letter;
- complete and return the form; or
- inform the SSA that the appointment may not be kept or report that he or she is experiencing problems completing the form.
If a beneficiary fails to respond, he or she may:
- have payments discontinued;
- have benefits overpaid or underpaid.
If SSI eligibility is lost, a beneficiary may also lose Medicaid eligibility based on getting SSI benefits.
A beneficiary may need certain documents for a redetermination although the SSA may not need all of the documents below. If a document is necessary, the SSA will inform a beneficiary and may even assist in obtaining it.These documents include:
- bank statements for any savings or checking accounts;
- pay stubs;
- income tax returns;
- proof of other income whether earned or unearned;
- life insurance policies;
- burial contracts; and
- receipts and bills indicating monthly expenses.
An experienced disability attorney can help claimants properly file their claim for benefits. Contact the Sullivan Law Office today by calling 888-587-0228 or visiting us online! We offer free consultations, so you have absolutely nothing to lose! We look forward to hearing from you.