The Social Security Administration has resumed its reviews of disability recipients to see if they are still unable to work and will notify about 80 people this week that they have been found ineligible to remain on the rolls, spokesman James M. Brown said yesterday.
The notifications will be the first in two years. In April 1984 Margaret M. Heckler, then secretary of health and human services, suspended reviews after public and congressional protests that routine examinations of the rolls were being handled hastily and unfairly in an effort to push people off and save money. Courts all over the nation had taken action to block reviews within their jurisdictions.
Congress subsequently passed legislation revising procedures and requiring that improvement in medical condition be shown before a person could be removed from the rolls.
Brown said that in January the Social Security Administration sent the names of 55,000 people to state disability agencies to learn whether they are still eligible for benefits. In February, 8,000 more names were sent.
The state agencies have completed reviews on 15,700 people and have made initial determinations that 80 of them no longer qualify for benefits. Those found ineligible can ask for reconsideration and file appeals.
Brown said that by Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins, about 150,000 cases will have been sent to the state agencies and it is expected that reviews will have been completed on 90,000.
Under the Social Security disability program, workers under 65 can qualify for monthly payments if they are so disabled that they are unable to work at any normal job. However, they cease to be eligible if their condition improves enough so they can work. In 1980 Congress ordered periodic reviews of all those on the rolls whose disabilities were not classified as permanent.
From 1981 until reviews were suspended in April 1984, about 1,182,000 people were reviewed and 491,000 received initial notices that their benefits would be cut off. But appeals restored 210,000, leaving 281,000 terminated, Brown said.