For Social Security Disability or SSI, What Does It Mean When Your Case Gets Sent Out For Review?

All Social Security Disability and Supplemental Securing Income disability (SSI) beneficiaries will have a continuing disability review (CDR) if they receive disability benefits long enough. When Social Security approves a disability claim, that claim is scheduled for a future medical disability review.

Generally, continuing disability reviews are scheduled every three years based upon the possibility of medical improvement; however there are some disability claims that receive medical review dates that are less than three years. And some receive medical review dates that are more that three years--up to seven years. The likelihood of medical improvement, and sometimes the disability beneficiary's age play a part in the length of time between disability reviews.

If Social Security feels that there is a strong likelihood of medical improvement, they sometimes schedule a medical review date that is less than three years. But if the disability beneficiary's disabling condition has very little chance of medical improvement, they may receive a seven year medical disability review diary.

If your disability case comes up for medical review, your local Social Security office will contact you for your CDR, or continuing disability review. Some claims representatives do their continuing disability reviews in person, while others will do them by phone or even allow you to complete the necessary paper work and return it by mail. It really depends upon the method the claims representative prefers.

Although the claims representative has a choice in how they do their continuing disability reviews, nothing is written in stone. If you feel that you cannot do an in-person interview for your continuing medical review due to your condition or other impediments, you can request a method of contact that is more suitable for you.

Once your continuing medical review is completed by the claims representative at the social security office, it is sent to a state disability determination agency for a decision (DDS, otherwise known as disability determination services). This is most likely the same state disability agency that made your initial disability (and your reconsideration appeal if you had to use the Social Security Disability appeal process to win your approval for disability benefits).

For the most part, continuing medical reviews will not change your eligibility for disability benefits unless your medical information shows that medical improvement in your case is supported by objective medical information, or your have shown medical improvement by going back to work at a substantial and gainful activity level. Substantial gainful activity or SGA is a monthly earnings amount that Social Security has determined is self-supporting.

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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