What to Know About Continuing Disability Reviews

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Suppose you were approved by the SSA for disability benefits and begin collecting your monthly payments. In that case, you must expect routine Continuing Disability Reviews, or CDRs, for the SSA to ensure you’re still eligible. 

Receiving notice that the SSA will conduct a CDR for the first time could be nerve-wracking, and it could feel like your benefits may be ending. Fortunately, you can rest assured that your benefits are likely not going anywhere.

In fact, 90% of beneficiaries who receive a CDR are approved for continued benefits. However, knowing what to expect from a CDR and the information you will be asked to provide will further increase your likelihood of approval.

How Frequent are Continuing Disability Reviews?

This varies from case to case. Some beneficiaries see CDRs more frequently, while others receive them occasionally. This depends on the nature and severity of your condition and whether or not you will continue to need disability benefits down the road. CDRs and their frequency are divided into three categories:

Medical Improvement Expected (MIE): Once every 6 to 18 months

Medical Improvement Possible (MIP): Once every three years

Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE): Once every seven, but no more than once every five years

The SSA can only discontinue benefits if:

  1. Your condition’s severity has significantly decreased while your ability to work has increased.
  2. The claims examiner or vocational specialist has determined that you are capable of executing Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA)

Other Types of CDRs

While the frequency of CDRs for Social Security beneficiaries typically depends on their condition, the process may differ from others. This is primarily due to age and work restrictions, and are separated into two types of CDRs:

Child CDRs. The SSA’s standards for a child to be considered disabled are very different than that of an adult. So, these CDRs are automatically scheduled to occur when the child turns 18. To learn more about the SSA’s 

Triggered CDRs. In addition to regularly scheduled CDRs, some CDRs could be triggered depending on a few factors. For example, the SSA could conduct a triggered CDR if:

  1. The recipient returns to work.
  2. The recipient lets the SSA know that their qualifying condition has improved.
  3. The recipient’s medical evidence shows that their condition has improved
  4. An outside party reports to the SSA that the recipient isn’t following through with their required treatment
  5. A new treatment is introduced to help a recipient’s disabling condition

How Difficult is it to Pass a CDR?

Generally, a beneficiary would only have their benefits taken away if the CDR determines that their disabling condition improves and restores their ability to work and execute Substantial Gainful Activity. So, if your condition has not improved and you cannot work, you will likely keep your benefits.

Sometimes, the SSA could discontinue a recipient’s benefits while they still cannot work. In that case, they can appeal the decision and request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). In addition, they could request that they continue to receive payments while they wait for a hearing. However, if the ALJ determines that their benefits could be discontinued, the recipient may have to pay back the benefits they received in the interim.

We’re Michigan Social Security Attorneys Who are On Your Side

The Social Security Disability is complex, and that doesn’t stop at approval. Instead, it’s an ongoing process that requires careful attention and consideration. Dealing with a disability can be overwhelming enough, so you need a Social Security expert to walk you through clams, appeals, and beyond. At the Disability Attorneys of Michigan, we’re not just you’re attorneys but your advocates. We will be in your corner and work hard to win the benefits you may be entitled to by law and ensure you receive the help you need and deserve. 

Contact us today by submitting a form below or calling our office at 800-949-2900 for a free case evaluation.


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I will never forget you and the hard work you did to secure my Social Security Disability benefits. Thank you!

- Christine C.