Many claimants on our disability forum have had a continuing disability review and have lost their Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. After the continuing disability review many claimants, who feel that they are still disabled and unable to work, are wondering what their options are and whether they have the legal right to challenge the termination of their SSI or SSDI benefits.
What is a Continuing Disability Review?
Generally, according to the Social Security Act, most claimants can expect a review of their disability case at least every 3 years (some continuing disability reviews are also done every 5 or 7 years). Of course there are exceptions, for instance, if the SSA believes a claimant’s condition is permanent they may only conduct a review when the commissioner decides it is necessary.
The goal of a continuing disability review, according to the SSA, is to “determine whether or not the claimant continues to meet the disability requirement of the law.” If, after the continuing disability review, the SSA finds that there is no medical evidence to show that you continue to be disabled and unable to perform substantial gainful activity than the SSA will terminate your SSI or SSDI benefits.
There is good news. If you have just had your SSDI or SSI claim approved at the Social Security Administrative Hearing the CDR should not be held within the next three years, unless your mental or physical health condition is expected to improve.
What are my rights during a Continuing Disability Review?
Claimants may be very nervous about a continuing disability review but claimants have rights:
- Claimants must be notified that the CDR will be conducted
- Claimants must be told why the continuing disability review has been requested.
- The SSA must outline how the medical improvement standard works.
- The claimant must be told that they have the right to submit medical documentation to support the claim that they are still disabled.
- The SSA must tell the claimant that if the SSA determines they are no longer disabled the continuing disability review may result in the termination of their disability payments.
- The SSA must provide written notification to the claimant if their Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payment is terminated.
- The SSA must provide information to the claimant about how they can appeal the disability termination.
Can I get SSI or SSDI benefits while I am appealing the termination of my benefits?
If you have received a notification that your SSI or SSDI benefits will be terminated it is important to contact a disability lawyer as soon as possible. If you do not want to hire a disability lawyer you must file your request for reconsideration within 10 days from the date of the continuing disability review decision to continue to receive benefits during the appeal process. Failure to file the request for reconsideration within the 10 day deadline may eliminate your chance to continue to receive benefits during the appeal but you still have 60 days from the date of the continuing disability review denial notification to file a request for reconsideration and challenge the elimination of your disability benefits.
Due to the complexity of the process, you may want to seek legal assistance. The reconsideration may involve a face to face interview with a SSA representative and eventually a court hearing with an administrative law judge.
- Disability Lawyer and Disability Advocate – What is an Authorized Representative? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- Social Security Disability Lawyer – Do they ever work for free? (disabilitybenefitshome.com)
- SSDI – Most Common Questions Part I (disabilitybenefitshome.com)