SSI Recipients Now Have 50 More Days to Appeal and Retain Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued an Emergency Message extending the time that Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries have to file a request for reconsideration and still receive continuation of their benefits.
SSI recipient whose benefits are reduced or suspended will now continue to receive benefits while their appeal is pending provided, they file a request for reconsideration within the 65-day appeal period, unless benefit continuation is waived. Under prior rules, recipients had to respond within 15 days after the date on the Notice of Planned Action in order to qualify for what SSA calls “Goldberg Kelly payment continuation,” named for the U.S. Supreme Court case, Goldberg v. Kelly, that established due process protections for recipients of means-tested benefits like SSI.
“The revised procedures recognize the challenges that the COVID-19 national public health emergency has presented for the vulnerable SSI population,” the Emergency Message states. “The ability of SSI recipients to file a request for reconsideration has been significantly affected by the closure of our field offices to the public and delays in mail delivery.”
The Message notes that SSA has faced challenges in timely processing requests for reconsideration and ensuring SSI recipients’ right to benefit continuation.
Although SSA states that it expects “that these challenges will continue to affect our ability timely process requests for GK payment continuation even after the end of the COVID-19 national public health emergency,” the new procedure is slated to end on April 29, 2022.
“Now,” says the advocacy group Justice in Aging, “those who file a request for reconsideration more than 15 days after the date on the Notice of Planned Action, but within 65 days after the date on the notice shall also continue to receive their SSI benefits, unless the recipient waives this in writing.”
An SSI recipient who files a request for reconsideration more than 65 days after the date on the notice may still qualify for reconsideration and payment continuation if they are found to have “good cause” for the late filing. See POMS SI 04005.015, “Good Cause for Extending the Time Limit to File an Appeal.”
In September, Justice in Aging was among those filing a class-action lawsuit against the SSA, charging that the closure of its offices and failure to process certain paperwork has made it impossible for many beneficiaries to effectively challenge adverse decisions.
For the SSA’s Emergency Message, “Goldberg Kelly Payment Continuation Period,” click here.
If you have any questions regarding SSI or your loved one’s benefits, please contact Oak Wealth Advisors.