If you receive Social Security disability benefits through either the Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance programs, you know how long and difficult the application process can be. It is, therefore, quite understandable for panic to set in when you receive notice that the Social Security Administration plans to review your case. Fortunately, as long as you meet the disability requirements to remain eligible, you will continue to receive your SSD benefits each month.
Federal regulations require that the Social Security Administration periodically review disability cases to determine that beneficiaries meet the disability standards to continue to receive their SSI or SSDI payments. Representation by a skilled and experienced disability advocate from London Eligibility eases the anxiety brought on by a disability review. The information in this article about the continuing disability review process, including events that may trigger a review, should also help to ease concerns that you may have about it.
What is a continuing disability review?
A continuing disability review or CDR is not an effort by Social Security to find an excuse to terminate your benefits. Federal regulations require periodic reviews of disability cases to determine that you continue to meet the medical guidelines that allowed you to qualify for Social Security disability benefits.
As long as you continue to be disabled or blind within the guidelines used to determine eligibility for SSD, your benefits will continue and not be affected by the review. The review process starts by asking you for information to determine whether there has been an improvement in the physical or mental impairment or impairments upon which you were found to be disabled and eligible for benefits.
If Social Security determines that your condition has improved, it must decide whether you continue to qualify for benefits as blind or disabled as those terms are defined in the federal regulations. A determination that your SSI or SSDI benefits will be stopped or reduced as the result of a continuing disability review may be appealed, but you need to speak with a disability advocate as soon as you get the notice because you only have 60 days to request reconsideration of the determination.
How frequently will Social Security review my SSD case?
The scheduling of a continuing disability review depends on the likelihood that your medical condition will improve. The following are the intervals recommended under federal regulations for scheduling disability reviews:
1). Medical improvement expected: Some types of cases, such as those involving fractures or where corrective surgery for a medical condition is planned, may be scheduled within the first 18 months after approval of the application for benefits. A review will not, however, be scheduled sooner than six months from the initial date of approval.
2). Permanent impairment: Some types of conditions are considered as so severe as to be unlikely to improve sufficiently for a person to engage in substantial gainful activity. Examples include Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and amputation of a leg at the hip. When medical improvement is not anticipated, disability reviews may be scheduled at seven-year intervals.
3). Nonpermanent impairment: Some types of impairments are not permanent in nature and are not expected to improve based on their level of severity and facts of a particular case, so they are classified as “nonpermanent,” which means there is a possibility of improvement. Examples of conditions causing nonpermanent impairment include hyperthyroidism and chronic ulcerative colitis. Cases with nonpermanent impairments are scheduled for continuing disability review about once every three years.
There are circumstances that may cause Social Security to conduct a continuing disability review at times other than those based on the expectation of improvement in your medical condition. Situations that may result in a review include the following:
A). Development of a new or improved treatment for your particular medical condition.
B). You return to work after successful completion of a trial work period.
C). You show a substantial increase on your earnings record.
D). You report that you have recovered and are no longer disabled.
E). You completed state vocational rehabilitation services.
F). You report that you returned to work.
G). Someone in a position to know reports that you are no longer disabled, have returned to work or are not following the treatment plan prescribed by doctors.
If you may be scheduled for what is referred to as a “vocational reexamination” upon completion of vocational therapy or training. The purpose of this type of review is to determine if you have the ability to return and no longer meet the definition of disabled to continue to be eligible for SSD benefits.
Learn more about disability reviews from an advocate
If you receive notice of a disability review, you will lose your benefits by not complying with it. As soon as you receive any type of notice from Social Security pertaining to your SSD benefits, contact an SSDI and SSI disability advocate at London Eligibility for assistance. Contact us today for a free consultation.