What Is The Continuing Disability Review Process?

Continuing Disability Review Process?

When applying for Social Security disability benefits, many people believe they'll receive payments for life. However, this isn't always the case. In fact, the Social Security Administration (SSA) proactively reviews nearly all disability claims at regular intervals. The majority of SSDI beneficiaries undergo a continuing disability review annually or every few years. This is done to ensure their medical conditions remain unchanged and they're still eligible for benefits.

What Is A Medical Review?

The SSA conducts two review types: work continuing disability review and medical continuing disability review (CDR). The medical review examines a beneficiary's impairment to see if it still meets the requirements to receive SSDI. Federal law requires the SSA to regularly review disability cases before extending additional benefits.

How Often Does The SSA Review Disability Cases?

The SSA examines cases depending on your medical impairment(s) and prognosis. According to the SSA, whether your doctor expects your medical condition to improve or not determines your continuing disability review schedule. When you should eventually get better, the SSA reviews your case 6-18 months after benefits begin. If improvement is only possible, but not probable, you won't undergo a continuing disability review for three years. And if your doctor doesn't expect you to get better, the SSA conducts its review every seven years. The New York Makes Work Pay Initiative notes the SSA also reviews a case if you tell them you recovered or start working again. One such option for returning to the workforce is through the Ticket to Work program.

What Happens During A Continuing Disability Review?

For a continuing disability review, the SSA sends beneficiaries a form to fill out. Beneficiaries will receive either a short form (easier to fill out) or a long form (more similar to the initial benefits application paperwork). The short form is only two pages long and typically goes to beneficiaries whose medical conditions aren't expected to improve. It simply confirms the person is still disabled. The long form is more complicated and asks for updated personal information, medical condition records and any work done since the beneficiary started receiving SSDI benefits.

Keep Copies of Your CDR Paperwork

The New York Makes Work Pay Initiative suggests making copies of completed forms before sending them to the SSA. That way, beneficiaries have personal copies for their records, which makes it easier to complete new paperwork during the next continuing disability review.

You May Qualify for Legal Assistance

Need help with your paperwork? You may qualify for legal assistance from an experienced attorney or advocate in your area. People who qualify for legal assistance typically get $10,000 in lump-sum backpay as well as monthly SSD benefits. Those who apply on their own without help usually wait at least 18-24 months for their first disability payment. However, the SSA approves less than 2 in every 5 SSD applicants every year, on average.

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