Checking Up: What To Know About Continuing Disability Reviews

Being approved for Social Security Disability benefits is a major milestone, but you should know that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically monitor your medical condition for changes. Medical conditions do sometimes improve over time, so the SSA conducts Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR) to ensure that you are still unable to work and earn money. To learn more about this process, read on.

When will a CDR happen?

Most people will face a review every 3-7 years after their date of approval or other triggering event. Younger recipients face more frequent reviews. Additionally, the nature of your medical condition can affect the review frequency. The more severe and permanent your disability, the less often you are likely to be reviewed. Conditions like amputations and blindness are not as likely to improve, so they garner less frequent reviews. On other hand, if you have a condition the SSA has categorized as having the potential to improve, you may be subject to a 3-year review. For certain conditions, you could face a review even more frequently than 3 years. For example, a back injury may involve a very long recovery process, but does sometimes improve enough for you to return to work within a few months.

Other possible issues that could trigger a CDR include:

  • You return to work.

  • The SSA has been informed of an improvement in your condition by a third party.

  • You inform the SSA that your condition has improved.

What happens with a CDR?

This review usually means filling out one of two different types of form packages. The short report is about 2 pages long and is referred to as the Disability Update Report. The Continuing Disability Review Report is a longer 14-page report. Both of these ask for information about your medical condition, your medical treatments and tests and your doctor's visits in the past year. The SSA will review the submitted information along with any medical records. It's important to note that the SSA will either ask for copies of your medical records or request them themselves, but either way your records will be used to verify your answers to the questions on the forms. The SSA will determine either that you will continue to receive benefits or that you are well enough to return to work, which means a stoppage of benefits.

Appealing the CDR

If you disagree with the ruling, you have the right to appeal. While your case is under appeal, you will continue to receive your regular benefits. Caution: the timeline for filing the reconsideration of the ruling is very tight; you may have as little as 10 days to file after receiving the adverse action letter.

For help with your appeal, contact a Social Security law office such as Knollmeyer Law Office.