Why Does SSA Review My Case After I’ve Been Awarded Disability Benefits?

By Disability Group

Will the Social Security Administration (SSA) continue to determine whether or not I’m disabled even after I begin receiving benefits?

Once you begin receiving Social Security Disability benefits, the SSA will periodically review your case to make sure that you are still disabled.  This review is known as Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

How often can I expect a CDR?

CDR varies from case to case.  At the time a claimant is found disabled, a disability determination specialist sets a date for performing the next review. Dates for reviews are based on the expectation of recovery and are generally set for three or seven years, but can be sooner:

  • If medical improvement is expected, a case will generally be reviewed within six to 18 months;
  • If medical improvement is possible, a case will generally be reviewed in no sooner than three years;
  • If medical improvement is not expected, a case will normally be reviewed in no sooner than seven years.

What does the SSA look at to determine whether I am still disabled?

SSA decides if your level of disability has improved to the point that allows you to return to work. The evidence SSA uses for the CDR is similar to the evidence required for the initial application.  SSA will have you fill out forms that ask you to describe your current condition and list all the places you have received treatment.  In addition, SSA will obtain copies of all recent medical records and schedule a Consultative Exam if necessary.

What happens if my condition has improved?

If your condition has improved, SSA will look to see if your condition meets the current disability requirements.  If your current medical condition does not meet the current disability requirements, SSA may terminate your benefits.

What can I do if I receive notice that my benefits are terminated?

If you receive notice that your benefits are being terminated, you are entitled to an interview with the person making the final decision on your case.  If your benefits will still be terminated after this interview, you may appeal the decision to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  You may also have an attorney represent you during this process.