Loss of Social Security Disability puts Knoxville woman in tough spot

A woman with a seizure disorder lost her Social Security Disability payments but cannot go back to work without her medication.

For many people in Tennessee, Social Security Disability payments are a matter of life and death. Having access to Medicare programs and money to pay for basic necessities is essential.

One local woman has relied on these payments for years. However, she recently learned that the funds would be cut off, leaving her in a dire situation.

Her story

WATE reports that a young woman qualified for Social Security Disability payments as well as Medicare six years ago. She has epilepsy that would cause her to have severe, grand mal seizures. Though she did have a job in a factory, her condition eventually rendered her unable to work.

The young woman started taking anti-seizure medications and in the last 15 months has seen dramatic improvements in her health. She said that for the first time in 15 years, she has been able to be independent without the threat of an episode.

Unfortunately, the Social Security office saw this as an improvement in her health. The department sent her a letter stating that her benefits would cease because her condition could be controlled with medication.

The catch-22

Ordinarily, it is a great thing to be able to return to work. However, when this young woman loses her Social Security Disability, she also loses the medical benefits that gave her access to the very medication that kept her seizure-free. She said she will no longer be able to afford the pills that her doctors have said are imperative to her health.

The young woman has filed an appeal with the department. According to WATE, appeals can take a significant amount of time.

Appealing decisions

Appealing a decision from the U.S. Social Security Administration can be done online, which the agency says can save time. In instances such as the one concerning this woman in which it is determined that a health condition had improved, the person will have to meet with a representative to explain the circumstances. This would be called a reconsideration. There are also appeals that happen through administrative hearings, a meeting with the Appeals Council and a review in federal court. When handing down a decision, the SSA alerts the recipient as to how an appeal may be initiated.

It is possible that while the decision is under review, the person may still receive benefits. The SSA states that in order for benefits to continue, the recipient must request an appeal within 10 days of receiving the letter.

These cases can become complex and overwhelming, especially for people who are dealing with medical circumstances. Anyone who has questions about this topic should speak with a Social Security Disability attorney in Tennessee.