Understanding Continuing Disability Reviews

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Once you have gone through the long process of applying for your Social Security disability, you may think you will receive your benefits for life. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily true. Although uncommon, some circumstances can cause the Social Security Administration (SSA) to terminate your benefits. A Continuing Disability Review (CDR) may unearth some of these reasons.

Learn more about what a CDR is and how it can affect the continuation of your benefits.

What is a Continuing Disability Review?

A CDR is an assessment performed by the Social Security Administration to determine if your disabling condition continues. Required by law for permanent disabilities, the reviews are conducted at least once every three years. The SSA may extend this period if they do not expect your situation to improve, but the agency will still perform the reviews at least every five to seven years. 

If you have a disability that is expected to improve or you are only approved for temporary disability, the reviews may occur every six to 18 months.

What Other Factors May Trigger A Continuing Disability Review?

In addition to the statutory imposed time limits, other things can trigger a review. Some of these include:

  • Successful return to work
  • Successful completion of Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Substantial earnings report near or above the Substantial Gainful Activity limits
  • Failure to submit requested medical information

If the SSA receives a believable report from someone you know that suggests you no longer need benefits, they may perform a CDR. This report would have to state you are committing fraud, engaged in gainful employment, or are no longer disabled.

What Does a Continuing Disability Review Include?

Once a CDR is triggered, you will receive the SSA-454-BK form in the mail. After collecting basic information about you, such as your name, address, and telephone number, the form will ask you if you speak or understand English.

The purpose of this question is not discriminatory but to ensure you receive the assistance you need in a language you understand. Being a non-English speaker or writer is also considered when the agency looks for other types of work you may perform.

The SSA-454-BK will also ask you for a contact person who is familiar with your case. The person should know how your disability affects your day-to-day activities.

The listed contact can be a former co-worker, friend, or family member but should not be a medical professional you have received services from. Your contact may also receive the form Daily Activities Questionnaire, Third Party. If they do not receive this form, you may want to submit an affidavit from one or more persons to assist in your case. 

The SSA-454-BK will collect additional information about your disabling medical conditions. You should list:

  • Circumstances that initially caused your disabling condition
  • Other current illnesses, including mental/emotional diagnosis
  • Side effects of your medications
  • Conditions you may have not yet seen a medical doctor for
  • Physical or mental disorders caused by current or previous addictions

You will be required to submit information about any medical care you are currently receiving and have received in the past. Provide as much information as you can since these are the records the SSA will use to reconsider your disability. If you already have copies of these medical records, consider sending the documents, as this would help speed up the process.

List all of your current medications as well as medications you have taken in the past for your condition. Make sure you list over-the-counter and herbal remedies. List the dosage and frequency. 

Social Security will also ask you about your education, training, participation in vocational rehabilitation, and daily activities. You must truthfully answer these sections and all other sections of the form. Untruthful answers can hurt your case. 

Do not take Continuing Disability Reviews lightly. More than 25% lose their benefits during this process. Benefitsclaim.com can help you keep your benefits. We understand the review process and can advise you on the information you need to submit. Contact us today for a review of your case. 

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