If you have been fortunate to have your Social Security disability claim approved, you might want to remain vigilant about your ability to collect benefits. Periodically, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will check to see if you are still unable to work because of your medical condition. These checks, called Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR), can occur in various frequencies depending on your disability. Read on to learn more about what to expect with these reviews.

How should I handle a CDR request?

As with all SSA communications, you will be informed of the CDR through the mail. You will be sent one of two forms to fill out and return, a shorter form or a long form. The short form is normally about 2 pages long and the long form can be 10 or more pages in length. Both forms question you about your medical condition, and ask such questions as:

  • Do you still have the medical condition that qualified you for benefits in the first place?
  • Have you had recent medical care for your condition?
  • Have you had any recent medical tests or treatment for your medical condition?
  • Are you still unable to do the work you were doing in your previous job?

And more.

The SSA will review the forms and any medical records or reports and make one of two determinations: that you are still afflicted with the medical condition and are still unable to return to work or that your medical condition has improved and your benefits will be suspended. If you are ruled to be unable to work due to your condition, the CDR will be closed and you will continue to receive benefits.

What would trigger the need for a CDR?

There are several factors at work in the determination of the frequency of a CDR. In general, the younger you are, the more often you can expect a CDR. Some cases are randomly selected for review about every 3 to 7 years. Additionally, the type of disability plays a large part in the frequency of a CDR. Permanent conditions, like spinal paralysis and amputations could face these reviews only every 7 years. On the other hand, for those with a condition like a back injury, which has the potential to improve over time, the frequency of a review could be less than 3 years.

Some other possible triggering events include:

  • The SSA gains information about your medical condition improving from a third-party (such as an anonymous tip).
  • You are able to return to work.
  • Your income exceeds the limit set by the SSA for the month.

If you have had your benefits suspended as a result of a CDR, contact a Social Security attorney for help with your appeal. Time is of the essence when filing for this appeal, so act quickly to get help. Contact a firm like Fessenden Laumer & DeAngelo, PLLC to learn more.