Continuing Disability Review
If you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will periodically review your medical impairments to figure out whether you continue to be disabled and whether you should continue to get benefits. The SSA is required to perform the continuing disability review at least once each three years unless it decides there is a medical condition that it anticipates would improve sooner. This review is called a continuing disability review. If you’ve been scheduled for a continuing disability review you are concerned, a knowledgeable Chicago Social Security attorney can answer your questions.Timeline for Continuing Disability Review
A continuing disability review is required every three years except where the SSA believes you may get better sooner than that. Those with permanent medical conditions that are job-related will face a continuing disability review once every seven years. Sometimes SSA does not have enough money to do as many reviews as anticipated.
You receive a disability award letter when you are approved for benefits. The letter should specify when you can anticipate a first continuing disability review.What is a Continuing Disability Review?
Not everyone who becomes disabled remains so over the years. A continuing disability review is performed to ensure that those receiving SSDI benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are still disabled and able to get those benefits. The SSA examines whether you’ve gotten better since you were found to be disabled, and whether you still meet the tough standard needed to show disability in the first place.
Sometimes people do lose benefits because of continuing disability review. For example, you could lose SSI if you have too much income or too many resources to continue to receive these payments. Additionally, if the SSA thinks you were overpaid, your benefits could be stopped.
You may have reason to worry about a continuing disability review if your condition has improved enough for you to work but you are still collecting benefits and not searching for a job. To terminate your benefits, it needs to be shown that you’ve experienced medical improvement related to your capacity to work. In other words, you need to have more residual functional capacity than you experienced when you were approved for disability benefits.
Unless your condition has improved enough for you to work, a continuing disability review is not much to worry about. You won't have to re-establish your disability. Rather, if it wants to terminate your benefits, the SSA would have to prove that there has been medical improvement in your condition – that is, that the severity of your impairment must have lessened. Also, the medical improvement in your condition must relate to your ability to work. If your residual functional capacity hasn’t altered, your benefits will not be concluded.Problems that Can Arise in a Continuing Disability Review
There are exceptions to the rule that SSA must establish medical improvement in order to alter your benefits. If, during a continuing disability review, the SSA finds that fraud was perpetrated in connection with the initial decision, you could lose benefits. Similarly, if there was a clear error made in the initial analysis, you could also lose benefits. Very few people lose benefits based on a continuing disability review, but it is advisable to consult a skillful lawyer about your situation if you are concerned.SSDI Attorneys Serving Chicago
It can be very difficult to obtain SSDI benefits if you become disabled in Chicago, and if you depend on SSDI or SSI, it is natural to be concerned about a continuing disability review and its impact on your benefits. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, our lawyers represent those who become disabled in Quincy, Champaign, Springfield, Rockford, and Aurora, as well as Champaign, Sangamon, Cook, Adams, Kane and Winnebago Counties. We will also examine the facts to determine whether other relief, such as damages in a personal injury lawsuit or benefits in a workers’ compensation claim should also be sought. Call us at 312-263-6330 or toll-free at 800-444-1525, or contact us online.