I am presenting below my understanding of the time line -- please comment as appropriate.
1) I have received a long form CDR from social Security. If I do not respond then ROUGHLY within 4 months (can be more or less) SS office would send me a cessation letter. However, If I send the long form CDR to SS office them say in 2 months -- then likely I will get a response from them in a couple of months where they would either deny my disability, approve continuation of my disability or ask for more information. I have to respond (appeal if the decision is negative) to their response within 10 days if I want to continue to be paid disability while I am appealing . Otherwise I have 60 days to appeal – but in this case I would not be paid for my disability while appealing. If I win on appeal I will get reimbursed for whatever SS did not pay me.
2) If I do not respond to the long form CDR – then roughly within 4 months the SS office will send me a cessation letter. I have to appeal within 10 days to continue receiving the disability or within 60 days if I do not want to continue to receive the disability payments while I am appealing.
3) After I appeal to the cessation letter – I would either get a reconsideration with the hearing officer or denial of my appeal. My question – how long is this process?
4) If I get the denial of my appeal – then I can go the ALJ judge – the wait for the decision from him is about a year or so. Would I still be able to have benefits while I am waiting on the decision from the judge? And if not – if there is a back pay if I win?
5) What are the reasons for SS to ask me to pay back if I lose on appeal. If I start working – would that be a good reason to ask for paying back? I have heard that SS office does not ask for pay back unless you did not cooperate with them? Is submitting the long form CDR late (within 2 months) means being non-cooperative?
6) Can I drop the appeal at any time (for example I started working, etc). Are there any repercussions in doing this?
7) What about the Medicare – if I keep the Medicare and get paid for the medical services – and later on lose on appeal – can SS ask me to pay for the medical services provided by the doctors? This can be a lot of money. Can I drop the Medicare coverage (I also covered by another insurance
) during the appeal but continue with the disability appeal?
I will follow up later with another separate question on hiring the attorney.