Are You Still Disabled? What To Know About Continuing Disability Reviews

Getting approved for Social Security benefits was likely a hard-won battle, but you should know that getting your benefits approved is just the beginning. The Social Security Administration (SSA) keeps a watch on you continuously through what's called Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR). These checks are meant to see if your medical condition has improved enough for you to return to working again. Read on for what you need to know about the CDR.

When will my CDR come? The timing of this review depends on several factors, with younger people often being reviewed more frequently than older. Younger people are often more healthy overall, and have a greater potential to get better. For most people, the review can be expected about every 3-7 years.

How does my disability affect the timing of the CDR? If you have been approved for benefits based on a permanent and severe medical condition that is not likely to improve, you may only be reviewed every 7 years. For example, a person with a permanent spine injury causing paralysis, the blind or those with amputations may only be reviewed at 7 years. The other side of the coin dictates that conditions that the SSA sees as having the potential to improve could face more frequent reviews, such as every 3 years. Back injuries and head injuries may fall into this category.

What else could trigger a CDR? If you inform the SSA that your condition has improved, a review may be ordered to determine your level of improvement. Another triggering event could be that you are reporting income from doing work that you originally claimed to be unable to do because of your disability.

What if someone turns me in for working? Both the amount of money you earn and the way that you earn it must be reported to the SSA. If a third party reports that you are working and failing to report income, a CDR may be ordered. It should be noted that the reporting is not anonymous, the reporter will need to provide their contact information and their Social Security number to the SSA. The reporter's information is not revealed to the claimant, but is used by the SSA to track information.

What does a CDR involve? Usually you will be sent some forms to take along to your doctor, and the forms must be filled out and returned to the SSA by your doctor.

What happens next? The CDR is reviewed and a ruling is made. If you receive an adversarial ruling you have 15 days to appeal it.

Contact an attorney, like Glen Cook Social Security Attorney, for help.