How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Can You Lose Your Social Security Disability Benefits When Your Case Is Reviewed?

All disability beneficiaries will face a review of their disability case at one time or another. Many individuals will have multiple disability case reviews during the course of their time receiving Social Security Disability benefits. Generally, these case reviews result in no change in benefits for the disability beneficiary.

Disability claims that are approved for benefits are all "diaried" (i.e. scheduled) for a future continuing disability review, or CDR. Depending upon the likelihood of medical improvement, and sometimes the age of the individual, the disability claim will receive a diary date of one of the following: less than three years, three years, or seven years. Seven-year diary dates are given to disability cases that have very little likelihood of medical improvement.

In fact, a seven year medical diary is considered a permanent disability diary date. However, it may be safe to say that most cases will be reviewed on a three year schedule, and just a few claims will be scheduled for a yearly review (these, of course, would be cases in which medical improvement would be considered somewhat likely).

When a person’s disability case comes up for its review date, Social Security will contact the disability beneficiary by mail or phone. Some Social Security claim representatives schedule all of their continuing disability review cases for in-person interviews, while others do their continuing disability reviews by phone, and some just mail out the continuing disability review paperwork for the disability beneficiary to complete and return by a designated date.

The method of completing the continuing disability review is usually determined by the CR, or Social Security claim representative (the person at the social security field office who has been assigned to handle your case: usually, assignments are made simply according to where your last name falls in the alphabet).

However, disability beneficiaries can ask for another method if they are unable to complete their disability review in the manner suggested by the Social Security claim’s representative.

Once a Social Security claim representative has all the necessary paperwork completed, they forward the continuing disability review to a state Social Security Disability-processing agency for a decision as to whether or not an individual has medically improved.

This is the very same agency that makes decisions on disability applications and it is known in most states as DDS, or disability determination services.

Medical improvement can cause an individual’s disability benefits to be terminated. While it is always possible that medical evidence contained in an individual’s treatment notes could indicate that the individual has medically improved to the point of no longer being disabled, it is unlikely.

Medical improvement can only be proven through objective medical evidence, or by an individual’s return to substantial gainful employment, i.e. working and earning the SGA amount. SGA, or substantial gainful activity, is just an arbitrary monthly earnings amount that Social Security considers to be supporting.

Each year the SGA monthly earnings amount may be increased. For example, more than a decade ago, the SGA limit was $700, meaning that a person could not earn more than $700 if he or she wanted to maintain eligibility for disability benefits. Since then, the SGA limit has risen considerably.

If an individual is not working, or is working at a level that is not SGA, they will not lose their disability benefits at a continuing disability review as long as their medical records do not indicate that their condition has medically improved.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Will my disability case be reviewed after I have been approved for disability benefits?
How does the Social Security Disability Review work?
The, CDR, or Continuing Disability Review, for SSD and SSI claims
Advice for a Social Security Disability Continuing Review
What will trigger a review of a Social Security Disability claim?
Are SSDI and SSI Benefits Normally Continued After A Continuing Disability Review?
How Often Does Social Security Disability Review Cases?
Can You Lose Your Social Security Disability Benefits When Your Case Is Reviewed?
What Should I Expect at my Social Security Disability Review if I am working part-time?
How long can you receive SSI or Social Security Disability benefits?
If you apply for disability in Alabama
Will I qualify for disability Alabama
Is there a time limit for how long you can collect Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
If Your Disability Benefits Are Stopped Can You Get Them While You Appeal?
What is a Social Security Disability or SSI work CDR?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

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?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.