continuing disability review

For those who are disabled and have little income, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) provides a lifeline to cover basic needs.

But this monthly benefit may not last forever. 

If you receive SSI, you should know that Social Security Administration (SSA) regulations require the agency to periodically conduct a continuing disability review (CDR) to determine if you still have a disabling condition that prevents you from working. 

How Often Does the SSA Schedule Continuing Disability Reviews?

The initial award letter granting your claim for benefits lists the date of your first review. After that, the frequency of CDRs depends upon whether the SSA expects you to improve.

If improvement is:

  • Expected—SSA will schedule a CDR 6 to 18 months after its initial determination.
  • Possible—anticipate a CDR after three years.
  • Not expected—SSA will not schedule a CDR until about seven years have passed.

In each case, you will receive notice by mail.

What to Expect During a Continuing Disability Review

Before your CDR, the SSA will send you a form requesting updated information about your condition, what medical treatment you have received, and whether you are engaged in any training or work. 

If the SSA believes you may have improved, it will send form SSA-454, the Continuing Disability Review Report.

For those not expected to improve, the administration uses the SSA-455 form, which you can complete online

You should submit any medical records you have with your form. Otherwise, the SSA will obtain test results, medical reports, and other documents directly from your providers.

Sometimes, an examiner will schedule an appointment to meet with you. The reviewer also may require you to undergo a medical examination or test, but the SSA will cover the cost.

How to Pass a Continuing Disability Review

Your benefits will only stop if the reviewer determines that your medical condition has improved enough for you to work regularly.

Therefore, if your condition has not changed, the best way to pass a CDR is to:

  • Make sure you followed any doctor-ordered treatment regimens;
  • Respond promptly to the SSI review letter;
  • Provide honest and complete information on the SSA-454 or SSA-455 form;
  • Cooperate with the examiner; and
  • Supply all medical records in your possession.

During the CDR, the SSA also conducts a redetermination. This process involves reviewing your income, resources, and living arrangements to ensure that you still satisfy requirements.

Be prepared to provide this information and answer related questions. 

What Happens If I Lose My Benefits?

If the SSA terminates your benefits following a CDR, you have the right to appeal. You have 60 days after you receive notice of the decision to request reconsideration.

If you appeal within 10 days, you can elect to continue benefits while your appeal is pending. However, you will have to repay this money if you lose.

Where Can I Find Help?

If you received an SSI review letter and have questions about the CDR process, contact the Cottrell Law Office.

We know how to navigate all the complexities of social security disability law and provide peace of mind to our clients in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

We also can help you appeal if the SSA recently terminated your benefits. When your financial security is on the line, trust a disability attorney with over 32 years of experience.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Wesley Cottrell

Wes Cottrell earned his B.A. from Pittsburg State University in 1981 and his J.D. from the Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas in 1985. He was admitted to practice law in Kansas in 1986, in Missouri in 1987, in Arkansas in 1989, and Oklahoma in 1993. He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.

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