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What is a Continuing Disability Review (CDR)?

If you have recently won either Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) the last thing you want to worry about is whether or not the SSA may review your claim in the future and potentially withdraw benefits.

So what is a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) and do you need to be worried? According to Section 221(i) of the Social Security Act, Social Security Disability claimants may expect a review of their Social Security Disability benefits at least every 3 years, unless the Social Security Administration has determined a claimant’s disability is permanent. This review is called the Continuing Disability Review. Permanent disabilities may also be reviewed if the commissioner decides it is necessary.

So when can you expect your first CDR? The SSA claims that if you have a mental or physical health condition that may improve the SSA has the authority to review your claim 6 to 18 months after the most recent disability determination.

Claimants with a condition which most likely will not improve will only have a Continuing Disability Review one time every five years, although the SSA claims that no more than seven years should pass without a CDR. For other conditions, which are less predictable, the SSA generally tries to schedule a CDR every 3 years.

There is good news. If you have just had your SSDI or SSI claim approved at the Social Security Administrative Hearing level the CDR should not be held within the next three years, unless your mental or physical health condition is expected to improve.

Triggering a Continuing Disability Review



There are certain situations that may trigger a Continuing Disability Review outside of the normal schedule.

• Trial Work Period (TWP) – A CDR may be scheduled if the claimant has attempted to return to work.
• Vocational therapy training or an educational program – A CDR may be scheduled if the disability claimant has completed vocational therapy training.
• The Extended Period of Eligibility (EPE) – A CDR may be scheduled if the claimant is within the extended period of eligibility.
• Income is too high- A CDR may be scheduled if the claimant returned to work and they are making too much money.
• Voluntary report – A CDR may be scheduled if it has been reported to the SSA that the claimant has recovered from their disability or has returned to work.
• Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Notices - A CDR may be scheduled if the SSA receives a VR notice from the Vocational Rehabilitation agency that the disability claimant has completed their rehabilitation and has returned to work.
• Third Party Report – A CDR may be scheduled if the SSA receives a report from a friend, acquaintance or family member that the claimant has returned to work or is not getting the appropriate medical treatment for their mental or physical health condition.

Continuing Disability Review for Children



Children must also periodically have their Supplemental Security Income claims reviewed. This is especially true if the child qualified for SSI due to low birth weight. If low birth weight was a determining factor for awarding SSI the CDR will be done by the child’s first birthday.

Exceptions exist for this rule if the Commissioner determines the mental or physical health condition is not expected to improve within the first year of the child’s life. If this is the case, the Social Security Administration will schedule the Continuing Disability Review for a later date.

How worried do I need to be about a Continuing Disability Review?



Claimants who have significantly improved and who are performing substantial gainful activity should be concerned about a CDR.

Claimants whose condition has not improved, who have continued to follow their medical treatment plan, who have maintained their medical records to support their disability and who have not returned to work generally do not have to be concerned about the Continuing Disability Review.

Hiring a Social Security Disability Lawyer



If you would like a Social Security Disability attorney to review your claim or if you have lost either Supplemental Security Income or Social Security Disability Insurance benefits but you believe you are still disabled and unable to work, you can fill out the FREE evaluation form and a disability advocate will call you to review your claim or you can call our office at 1-800-641-3759 to talk to someone now.