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Common Questions About Continuing Disability Reviews for Social Security Disability


Even after your claim for Social Security disability is approved by the Social Security Administration (SSA), you can’t be so sure that you’ll be entitled to receive benefits indefinitely. SSA will check in periodically to assess whether you’re still eligible, through a process called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR). If you returned to work or your disabling medical condition improved, you could lose your benefits because you no longer qualify.

Because failing a CDR could put you in dire financial straits, it’s essential to consult with a Maryland Social Security Disability lawyer regarding your circumstances. Plus, some answers to common questions may help you understand the process. 

Is it hard to pass a CDR? The challenges you face through a CDR assessment vary depending on your illness or injury. You’re more likely to lose benefits if you have a medical condition that’s likely to improve or is temporary in nature. Statistically, 83-85 percent of individuals on disability will have their benefits continued – a figure that includes both Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). 

How often will SSA require a CDR? Once your claim is approved, the claims examiner who handled it will schedule the dates for your CDRs. You’ll know when your first review is coming around, as it will be listed within your approval paperwork. From there, you can expect a CDR every 3-5 years, based upon whether your condition indicates:

  • Medical improvement possible;
  • Medical improvement expected; or,
  • Medical improvement NOT expected.

When will I know the results? SSA initiates a CDR by sending you a form, which you’re required to complete and return. You must provide details on:

  • Whether your condition has improved;
  • If you’ve returned to work;
  • Your daily activities;
  • All visits to health care providers; and,
  • Any other relevant information.

Once you submit this information, it will typically take SSA 3-5 months to review and notify you of the CDR results. 

What if my child receives SSI? When your child becomes an adult, he or she will be subject to an “Age 18 Redetermination” process. SSA will review several factors to evaluate whether your child should still receive SSI, including success with educational programs, work-related experience, and whether he or she experiences work-related stress. 

What can I do to prepare for a CDR? The best strategy to protect your right to benefits is to make regular appointments and maintain an ongoing relationship with your physician. Your visits and conversations will be reflected in your medical records, which will be key when your CDR rolls around. In addition, you need to make sure you’re filling out all CDR forms correctly, for which you may require legal assistance from a lawyer. 

Consult with a Maryland SSDI/SSI Attorney About CDRs 

For more information on the CDR process and what to do if you receive a Notice of Cessation of Benefits, please contact the Law Offices of Steinhardt, Siskind and Lieberman, LLC. We can set up a no-cost consultation with an experienced lawyer at our offices in Glen Burnie, Owings Mills, Ellicott City, or Annapolis, MD.

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