White House Proposes New Category for Disability Reviews

The Trump Administration has proposed a new rule that, if accepted, could subject recipients of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to reviews of their disability status more frequently. The rule change is expected to result in millions more disability reviews, which will need to be carried out by the Disability Determination Services (DDS) offices in each state. Critics say the rule change is likely to be strenuous for disability recipients and may place additional strain on the Social Security Administration (SSA) and state DDS offices.

When the SSA assigns someone a disability status, it also assigns them a so-called “medical diary.” This diary determines the likelihood that they will recover from their disability. Currently, the three classifications for medical diaries are “Medical Improvement Expected” (MIE), “Medical Improvement Possible” (MIP), and “Medical Improvement Not Likely” (MINE). People categorized as MIE have their disability reviewed every six to eighteen months, MIP people are reviewed every three years, and MINE people are reviewed every five to seven years. In some cases, a disability may be determined to be permanent, in which case disability reviews will be waived entirely.

The new rule proposal would add a fourth category, “Medical Improvement Likely” (MIL), which would need to be reviewed once every two years. The rule changes also revise the criteria for determining who fits into what category, resulting overall in disability recipients needing to undergo disability reviews more often. It will also solidify the MINE category to require a review once every six years, rather than anywhere between five and seven years. The rule is still in its open comment period, however, and will remain open for public comment until January 17, 2020.

If you or a loved one need assistance applying for SSDI or SSI benefits, it is important that you seek the guidance of an experienced Social Security Disability benefits lawyer. The lawyers at Sullivan & Kehoe, LLP have over 50 years of combined experience between its attorneys and are available to you or your loved one in obtaining Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income benefits. To schedule a consultation with our New York Social Security Disability benefits lawyers, call (631) 823-7155.

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