Do You have A Chance Of Losing Disability Benefits If Your Case Gets Reviewed?

When you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD) or SSI, your claim is automatically diaried, which means a date is set for a review at some point in the future.

The purpose of the continuing review process is to allow Social Security the opportunity to determine which individuals have improved to the level that they can now participate in substantial, gainful employment.

Continuing disability reviews (CDRs) seldom result in an individual losing benefits. Most medical records establish, not only a lack of improvement, but a deterioration in the condition or conditions upon which approval was based. However, if your medical records indicate significant improvement at the time of your CDR, you could lose your disability benefits.

Another instance that could result in the loss of disability benefits is if the claimant is currently working and earning a salary that meets or exceeds the substantial gainful activity (SGA) amount each month. This factor alone would jeopardize one's Social Security Disability entitlement, and is can result in a loss of benefits.

Keep in mind that Social Security Disability is awarded only to those who are so impaired they are unable to perform their past job or any other work to which they may be suited. Working full-time, unless there have been special considerations or subsidies from an employer, will on its face be a sign of significant medical improvement. Working part-time, or on an occasional basis might not disqualify you from receiving benefits, if your condition prevents you from working enough to meet the current SGA amount.

Most periodic reviews are set for 3 to 7 years from the date of the initial approval; however, some cases are diaried for dates as soon as one year, 18 months, or any other period of time less than 3 years. The date of your CDR depends not only upon your condition, but on the disability decision-maker's (examiner or judge, depending on the level the claim is at) opinion of your prognosis and the likelihood that your symptoms or limitations could improve over time with proper medical treatment.

If you have been awarded disability benefits, be sure to continue to get ongoing medical treatment for your physical or mental impairment(s), so that when the time comes for your review you can continue receiving benefits if necessary.

About the Author: Tim Moore is a former Social Security Disability Examiner in North Carolina, has been interviewed by the NY Times and the LA Times on the disability system, and is an Accredited Disability Representative (ADR) in North Carolina. For assistance on a disability application or Appeal in NC, click here.

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