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Did You Get Re-Evaluated Back to Good Health?

Did You Get Re-Evaluated Back to Good Health?

Laws that govern Social Security disability benefits require that disability claims be reviewed periodically to see if current recipients of disability benefits remain eligible for them.  In order to fix a backlog of claims, full medical reviews recently quadrupled, and they are expected to reach 900,000 this year.

Megan Willis was an unfortunate recipient of one of these full medical reviews.  She suffers from cystic fibrosis, which causes extensive lung damage. She is twenty-two years old and spends about six hours each day administering therapy and medications.  She frequently catches severe infections that bring about additional complications.

Ms. Willis had been receiving access to Medicaid because she qualified for disability insurance under the SSA.  Medicaid paid her health care costs of over $100,000 annually. In March 2018, however, she received a letter telling her that her health had improved since her last review and she would be able to work.  Except she cannot.

Sadly for Ms. Willis, she lives in Florida, a state that does not have expanded Medicaid.  Her family cannot afford private insurance, and Medicaid was the only way for her to receive health care.  So, she hired attorney Beth Sufian who suffers from cystic fibrosis as well. Ms. Sufian observes: “We’ve seen a five-times increase in the number of people with cystic fibrosis that have been reviewed in the past 18 months.  And we think that Social Security is targeting young people with chronic illness in an effort to reduce the number of people getting benefits.”

Social Security was persuaded to reconsider, and Ms. Willis began receiving benefits again in November.