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When SSD becomes a Catch 22

Cases like this are why there should be real reform to the Social Security Disability law. One of the benefits of being awarded SSD benefits is that you eventually become eligible for Medicare. This can allow those on the program, who often receive payments that are just above the poverty line, to be able to afford medical care.

Sometimes, with the help of SSD and Medicare benefits, an individual can recover their health with time away from the demands of a job, proper medical treatment and drug therapy. As their health improves, they will eventually be able to regain the ability to work and earn income.  When that happens, their SSD benefits, of course, end, as they are no longer disabled under the definition used by Social Security.

But what happens when the impairment is only treated, but not cured? A woman with epilepsy and who suffered severe, violent Grand Mal seizures, was no longer able to work. This led to her obtaining SSD and Medicare benefits. This allowed her to be able to afford the anti-seizure drugs she needed to prevent her violent seizures.

Ironically, because the medication managed her seizures, she was now found by SSA to be no longer disabled and it will be ending her benefits, including her access to Medicare. Of course, the only reason she has medication that can control her seizures is because of her disability status.

She is appealing this determination, but she is faced with the stress and worry over how the agency will decide her case. With a chronic condition, which can never be cured but only controlled, SSD can become a catch-22. The benefits eliminate the impairment, but that control leads to your loss of benefits.

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