The Social Security Administration periodically reviews your Social Security disability eligibility if your claim has been previously awarded. If the Social Security Administration determines that your medical condition has improved to the point that you are no longer disabled, your benefits will terminate.
The Social Security Administration calls this review a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). Federal law calls for such a Continuing Disability Review of your Social Security disability eligibility approximately every three years. This review may be even sooner if the Social Security Administration determined when you were awarded benefits that you have a condition likely to improve sooner than three years from your date of award. If you have a condition that is not expected to improve at all, the Social Security Administration may still review your Social Security disability eligibility, but not as often as every three years. Younger persons who have been awarded benefits tend to be reviewed more often than those approaching retirement age.
For Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients, the Social Security Administration also periodically reviews your income, resources and living arrangements to ensure that you still meet the non-medical requirements.
As part of the Continuing Disability Review of your Social Security disability eligibility, the Social Security Administration will collect updated medical records. It is very important that you continue to maintain contact with your doctors and other health care providers while you receive disability benefits. You should also always tell your doctors about ongoing medical problems and symptoms. If your medical problems are not documented in your records, you could lose your benefits when your continuing eligibility is reviewed.
During the Continuing Disability Review, the Social Security Administration will usually mail forms for you to complete and return that provide updated information about your medical treatment. You may also be asked to attend a Consultative Examination appointment with an independent medical expert to examine you. You must cooperate with this process to ensure your continued Social Security disability eligibility.
The Social Security Administration is only supposed to decide that your Social Security disability eligibility has ceased if there has been medical improvement in your physical and/or mental condition. If there has been no medical improvement the continuing disability review is supposed to end, and your Social Security disability eligibility will not be affected. However, if the Social Security Administration -rightly or wrongly – determines that your condition has improved enough that you can return to work, you will receive a Notice that your benefits will terminate.
If the Social Security Administration decides that your Social Security disability eligibility has ended, and sends you a Notice that proposes to terminate your payments, you have the right to appeal.
You may be able to continue receiving your payments during the appeal if you file a Request for Reconsideration within 10 days of receiving the notice that your benefits will stop. If you do so, however, and the original decision to terminate payments is sustained on appeal, you will be asked to pay back the money you received during the appeal period.
If you are denied after the Reconsideration of the decision to terminate your payments, you can then request a hearing. You will at that point have an opportunity to have your case heard in front of an independent Administrative Law Judge.
If you’re Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit payments have been wrongfully terminated, we may be able to help you. Please contact us right away at the Law Offices of Goss & Fentress.