How do I stay eligible to keep getting my disability benefits?

How do you remain eligible to receive disability benefits after approval?

Each disability claim has a set diary date for medical review. Your disability claim will be reviewed to see if you have had medical improvement to the point that you are no longer disabled by Social Security regulations.

How often is a disability case reviewed? It usually depends on the severity of a person's condition at the time they were approved. However, a person who has been approved for disability can usually assume that reviews will occur every few years.

How is the review done? Not that differently in concept to how the case was approved in the first place. The case will be, once again, determined by a disability examiner who will gather recent medical evidence from the treatment sources a person has.

As always, Social Security uses objective medical evidence to determine if medical improvement has occurred. If your condition has not medically improved, as indicated by the records, it will not be possible for Social Security to stop your disability benefits.

Working and SSD or SSI

Work activity can also trigger a review of your claim. If you are working and receiving disability, your disability claim may be sent for a continuing work review, or CDR.

If it is determined that you are indeed working and earning over the SGA limit, your disability claim could be sent for a medical review to determine if you have medically improved. Even if technically you have no medical improvement, your work could cause your disability to be terminated simply as a result of your earnings being over the allowed SGA limit.

But'if neither of the above mentioned situations occur (medical improvement, or working and earning too much), you will remain eligible for disability benefits.

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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