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  • Christopher Le

Expedited Reinstatement on my Social Security Disability Benefits

How can I get my Social Security Disability Benefits back without having to reapply? EXPEDITED REINSTATEMENT

If your Social Security or SSI disability benefits were suspended because you began working and earned too much money, you may eligible for "expedited reinstatement" once you no longer are earning money over SSA's limit. So if you lost your disability benefits because you started working and earning too much money but then either lose your job or work decreased hours, you may be eligible to have your disability benefits reinstated. Expedited reinstatement (EXR) allows you to get your benefits restarted without having to reapply for benefits. If you qualify for EXR, you can get your benefits back much sooner than if you had to reapply.

Expedited Reinstatement of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

If you started working and earning above the substantial gainful activity (SGA) level when you were receiving Social Security disability insurance (SSDI), and you continued earning over SGA even after your 9 month trial work period ends, Social Security (SSA) may cut off your benefits. If your earnings fall below the SGA level within 5 years of when your SSDI benefits were stopped, you can get your benefits restarted without reapplying through expedited reinstatement. This means that if you worked earning over SGA for more than 5 years of when your benefits stopped, you will have to file a brand new claim. But if begin earning under the SGA limit, within the 5 years after your benefits stopped, you can ask for expedited reinstatement. In 2022, the SGA limit is $1,350 (or $2,260 for blind individuals).

Keep in mind, that to qualify for expedited reinstatement, you must have either stopped working or work a lot less hours, because of the same disability for which you originally received SSDI benefits for. Also, your medical condition must not be better than when you originally applied for SSDI. This means that you still have to prove that you're disabled. For example, if you were laid off due to a reduction in work force, SSA may not reinstate your benefits because you left the work force due to other factors and not because of your medical condition. Most of the time, you will have to provide proof with recent medical evidence that you are still disabled.

Expedited Reinstatement of SSI

If you lost your benefits because you started working while collecting SSI and your income falls below the SSI income limit again within 5 years of when your SSI stopped, or you stopped working, you can get your benefits restarted without reapplying. But just like reinstatement of SSDI benefits mentioned above, you still have to show medical proof that you are still disabled and that your medical condition caused you to either leave the work force or caused you to limit your hours worked. If you meet ALL of the following criteria below, you may have your benefits restarted without having to apply again. You must meet all the qualifications below.

  • Your benefits stopped because your earnings from work put you above the SSI income limit.

  • You must still be considered disabled and unable to work at or above the SGA limit.

  • Your current disability is the same as or is related to your original disabling condition.

  • You meet the SSI asset and income limit test.

  • Your disability must not have improved or gotten worse, as it related to your ability to work, since your original SSI application.

If you meet all these qualifications, your SSI benefits should be reinstated.

Waiting for a Decision on Expedited Reinstatement

When you apply for expedited reinstatement of your benefits, your application goes to Disability Determination Services (DDS). It could take months for them to review your reinstatement claim and provide a response. The good thing is that Social Security will pay you benefits for up to 6 months while you are waiting for an answer on your EXR. Even if your application for expedited reinstatement is denied, you do not have to return those 6 months of benefits, that money is yours. In addition, while you wait for a decision on your EXR, you'll be covered by Medicare (for SSDI recipients) or Medicaid (for SSI recipients). But keep in mind, if your request for reinstatement is denied, you'll end up losing your Medicare or Medicaid benefits.

Appealing an Expedited Reinstatement Denial

If your expedited reinstatement request is denied, you have 60 days from the date you receive your denial letter to file an appeal. You'll need to file a request for reconsideration within those 60 days. DDS will once again review and reconsider whether they made a mistake in initially denying your reinstatement request. If your Request for Reconsideration is denied again, you'll have 60 days to request a hearing before a Judge. You'll then receive a date and time to see a Judge. Its recommended that you seek legal counsel in helping you with your reinstatement of benefits.

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