What You Need to Know About Continuing Disability Reviews

person filling out a form with a pen

When you are awarded your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) you may believe the benefits are guaranteed for a lifetime. However, it is important to know that the Social Security Administration conducts periodic reviews of those receiving benefits, called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

As long as you are continuing to see your doctors and receive treatments, your condition has not improved and you are not working, there is virtually nothing to worry about. These reviews are typically only conducted every three or every seven years, depending on the severity of your condition. The process begins with a form from the Social Security Administration, and it may be determined you do not need a full CDR until the next time you are up for an evaluation.

When Can You Expect a Continuing Disability Review to Happen?

If the SSA decided your condition is likely to improve, you can typically expect a review every three years. If your condition is likely not going to improve, the continuing disability review would be every 7 years. However, some may be conducted sooner than 3 years. In the award letter for benefits, the SSA should have indicated when your first CDR will likely occur.

There are some exceptions to the rule, including if medical evidence is found that determines your condition has improved or you go back to work. In these cases, the SSA can conduct a CDR at any time.

What Will You Receive from the SSA to Begin the Process?

For the review, you will be mailed either the short Disability Update Report or the longer Continuing Disability Review Report, depending on the circumstances of your condition. If you receive the short form, you will be asked questions about your condition, whether you are working or not, and any doctors’ visits or hospitalizations.

Up to three months later, you will receive information in the mail from the SSA, which could conclude that you do not need a CDR at this time. Yet, if the SSA decides from the information you provided that your condition should be reviewed, you will receive the Continuing Disability Review Report.

What is the Continuing Disability Review Report?

For those receiving benefits whose conditions are expected to improve, you will automatically receive a longer Continuing Disability Review Report. The form includes questions about your condition, employment status, doctors visits and even your daily tasks.

What Happens if You are Chosen for a Full CDR?

It can take up to five months to receive a decision from the SSA. The majority of those who send in a Continuing Disability Review Report will not be selected for a CDR. However, if you are chosen, you must fill out and submit another form and from there, the SSA will conduct a review of your medical records.

Can Your Benefits Be Stopped?

Ater a full CDR is the only time benefits can be stopped, if it is determined that your medical condition has improved enough for you to be able to work. You may appeal this decision, and you will want an experienced disability attorney on your side.

Is There Anything You Should Be Doing to Help Ensure the Review Goes Smoothly?

As mentioned, as a person who has won disability benefits based on the strong medical evidence you and your lawyer have provided, you should not be overly worried about a CDR. However, it is extremely important that you follow these tips below.

  • Make sure you do not stop medical treatment. Keep regularly seeing your doctors and ensure your medical records are up-to-date.
  • Continue to follow your doctor’s instructions in terms of treatments and medications
  • Ensure you have all copies of important documents, including the SSA’s decision and medical records, handy.

We Can Help

If you are disabled and unable to work, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan for a free confidential consultation. We’ll let you know if we can help you get a monthly check and help you determine if any money or assets you receive could impact your eligibility for disability benefits.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan works hard every day helping the disabled of Michigan seek the Social Security Disability benefits they need. If you are unable to work due to a physical, mental, or cognitive impairment, call Disability Attorneys of Michigan now for a free consultation at 800-949- 2900.

Let Michigan’s experienced Social Security Disability law firm help you get the benefits you deserve.

Disability Attorneys of Michigan, Compassionate Excellence.

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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.