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What is an SSD Continuing Disability Review?

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If you are receiving Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you may have heard about Continuing Disability Reviews, or CDRs. Individuals receiving benefits are reviewed periodically to insure that they are still disabled and eligible for benefits. This blog focuses on when a CDR might occur; subsequent blog posts will discuss the process itself.

When should I expect a CDR?

The frequency of CDRs depends in part on the classification of the impairment that made you eligible for benefits. Although each case is different, people can expect to be contacted for a CDR:

  • After five to seven years if they are not expected to show medical improvement, a classification known as MINE (Medical Improvement Not Expected)
  • Every one to three years if medical improvement might be possible, a classification known as MIP (Medical Improvement Possible)
  • After 18 months if medical improvement is expected (MIE)

Two other situations could result in a review: if technological changes make it possible for you to work, if you are enrolled in a vocational program or if an employer or third party reports that your condition has improved or that you have returned to work. These reviews are on an as-needed basis.

Most CDRs take place either three years or seven years after the first determination was made. For example, most awards based on mental or emotional impairment are scheduled for review after three years, because it is thought that people may improve to the point where they can work again. Cases in which the disabled person is not likely to improve are usually schedule for a seven-year CDR. Even when it is clear to everyone that no improvement is possible and that benefits should continue, the SSA will schedule a CDR because the law requires it.

Unfortunately, a CDR can sometimes result in the person losing his or her benefits because the SSA wrongly determines that the disability is no longer serious enough to prevent the individual from working. If this happens to you and you believe an error has occurred, it is important to take action quickly. Do what so many others in your situation have done: Call Binder & Binder ®, America's most successful Social Security Disability advocates. Find out if they can help you restore your disability benefits after a CDR determination.

Source: Cornell University, Employment and Disability Institute."Surviving a Continuing Disability Review," n.d.

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