Social Security Disability Definitions
Social Security Disability and SSI Overview
The Requirements for Disability
Social Security Disability and SSI Applications
Tips and Advice for Disability Claims
How long does Disability take?
Common Mistakes after Receiving a Disability Denial
Disability Denials and Filing Appeals
Social Security Mental Disability Benefits
Disability Benefits offered through Social Security
Benefits through SSI disability
Disability Benefits for Children
Disability Qualifications and How to Qualify
Social Security Disability and Working
Winning your Disability Benefits
Social Security Back Pay and the disability award notice
Disability Lawyers and Hiring an Attorney
Social Security Disability SSI List of Conditions
What is considered a Disabling condition by Social Security?
Social Security Disability SSI and Medical Evidence
Filing for Disability Benefits
Eligibility for Disability Benefits
SSDRC authored by Tim Moore
Ask a question, get an answer
Will my disability case be reviewed after I have been approved for disability benefits ?
Yes, your disability case will be periodically reviewed to ascertain if there has been medical improvement. A review is known as a CDR, which stands for continuing disability review.
Sometimes, a CDR will be triggered by work activity that the claimant is engaging in (note: individuals are allowed to file for disability benefits and even to receive disability benefits if they are working as long as their gross monthly earnings do not reach the level of SGA, or substantial gainful activity). However, usually a CDR will be conducted simply because it has been scheduled to occur.
When a disability benefit recipient's case comes up for its scheduled review, it will be sent by the CR (claims representative, the individual at the social security office who has control of the case) to the state disability agency--DDS, otherise referrred to as disability determination services--where the continuing disability review will be performed by a disability examiner, the same type of specialist who makes decisions on disability applications and reconsideration appeals.
Most individuals have a continuing medical review every three years or so. Although, there are some disability claims that will be reviewed more often because medical improvement was thought to be likely (at the time the disability case was approved).
Some individuals will have medical reviews every seven years or so, because medical improvement was considered by a disability examiner or disability judge to be very unlikely.
Medical reviews are a fact of the Social Security disability, SSI system; therefore you should not be upset when the time comes for your disability case to be reviewed. Nor should you worry too much about the outcome. The fact of the matter is, the majority of all social security disability and SSI disability cases that are reviewed are continued---in other words, the benefits are continued.
Why are disability benefits usually continued following a review?
Because for a disability examiner to discontinue, or cease, a person's benefits, they must obtain recent medical evidence that indicates that the claimant's condition has improved. In other words, the records must show that the same level of physical or mental limitations that were in place at the time benefits were granted no longer exist, at least not to the extent that they would prohibit the individual's ability to engage in substantial and gainful work activity.
Proving this (medical improvement), howevever, tends to be fairly difficult, even more difficult than proving that the person was disabled in the first place. Why? Because medical records tend to say little about functionality.
To summarize, in actuality, a review of your case is much the same as when you first applied. Continuing medical reviews involve updating your medical sources, investigating any work activity, and a medical review decision from the state medical disability agency (DDS). The vast majority of continuing medical reviews, of course, are favorable to the individual.
However, should you have a negative decision, you have appeal rights and you may choose to find representation to assist you. In fact, in the unlikely event that your benefits are cut off, you should proceed with the help of representation since you will be headed to a subsequent hearing before an administrative law judge.
Return to: Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions
Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:
Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI
These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.
Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria