How a Continuing Disability Review Could Affect Your SSDI Benefits

Woman Filling Out a Continuing Disability Review FormIf you are determined to be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) will conduct periodic reviews of your case to determine if you are still disabled and unable to work. This process is referred to as a continuing disability review (CDR).

If the SSA decides that your medical condition has improved enough so that you can work, you will no longer receive benefits. Fortunately, it is easier to pass a CDR than it is to qualify for SSDI benefits initially.

How Often Does the Social Security Administration Conduct a CDR?

Under the law, the SSA is required to conduct a continuing disability review of adult disability claims every three years. However, they conduct CDRs at different time periods depending on the recipient’s age and the medical condition causing them to be disabled.

If a person has a medical condition that is not likely to improve, the SSA may conduct a CDR every five to seven years. However, they could conduct a CDR in less than three years if the medical condition is expected to improve. Individuals receiving SSDI benefits who are under 50 years old are also more likely to have the SSA conduct a review more frequently.

Other events can also trigger a continuing disability review earlier than three to seven years. They include:

  • An individual begins working again.
  • The recipient notifies the SSA that their medical condition has improved or their medical records show an improvement.
  • A third party informs the SSA that the person is not following their treatment plan.
  • There is a new treatment for the medical condition that caused the individual to become disabled.

How the CDR Process Works

The Social Security Administration begins a CDR by sending a short-form or long-form Disability Update Report that you must complete. You would receive the short-form report, which is two pages, if your condition is not expected to improve.

If your condition has improved or there is another red flag in your file, the SSA would send you the 10-page longer form that asks more detailed questions about your recent hospitalizations, doctor visits, and diagnostic tests. You should submit any updated medical records to the SSA to review with the completed Disability Update Report. If you don’t, the SSA can request them from your doctors.

The SSA would first determine if your medical condition has improved when reviewing your case. If it hasn’t, the CDR process would be concluded.

If your medical condition has improved, the SSA could determine that you are no longer disabled and terminate your SSDI benefits. They may send you to a consultative medical exam, which is a medical examination conducted by a physician that is paid for by the SSA, if they have questions about whether you continue to be unable to work.

Tips on How to Pass a Continuing Disability Review

You can take steps after you begin receiving SSDI benefits to make it easier to pass your CDR. First, you need to continue with your medical treatment. You should attend all your doctor appointments and follow your physician’s advice. You do not want to have any gaps in your medical history. You should try new treatments for your condition recommended by your doctor that could help you enough to return to work.

You also want to keep the SSA updated on your medical treatments for the condition preventing you from working. You should provide the SSA with all your medical records.

Even if you are still disabled, the SSA could decide that your medical condition has improved enough for you to return to work. You have the right to file an appeal if you disagree with their decision.

Are you applying for SSDI benefits? Has your application for SSDI benefits been denied? Our experienced Social Security disability attorneys are here to explain your right to benefits to you and to fight for the SSDI benefits you deserve. Call our Roswell office at 575-300-4000, start a live chat, or fill out our online form to schedule a free initial consultation to learn how we can assist you.


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