Be Prepared for Periodic Continuing Disability Reviews
Whether you receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, or both, you should be prepared for periodic continuing disability reviews.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required by law to perform regular reviews of disability recipients to see if they continue to be eligible for disability benefits. There are two different types of reviews which may be conducted:
- Continuing Eligibility Reviews – where the SSA looks at your medical condition to determine if you are still disabled according to the SSA’s definition.
- Redeterminations – where the SSA reviews your technical eligibility, including your finances, resources, and income, to determine whether or not you still meet the basic technical requirements for eligibility under SSDI and/or SSI regulations.
For the majority of beneficiaries, the schedule for Continuing Eligibility Reviews is on a three-year cycle, while redeterminations are typically conducted once every six years.
Keep in mind that changes in income, living arrangements, assets, and other factors can also prompt a redetermination. Such changes can also trigger a reevaluation of your monthly SSI payment amount as well.
Your specific disability and symptoms determine when a Continuing Eligibility Review will occur. In some instances reviews may be conducted sooner or later than the standard three-year cycle:
- If your disability is expected to last for an extended period or for the remainder of your life, your continuing eligibility reviews may occur less frequently than every three years.
- If your disability is expected to improve, your Continuing Eligibility Review may be conducted sooner than the three-year standard schedule.
While Continuing Eligibility Reviews can be an intimidating prospect, especially given how long you likely waited for a determination on your eligibility in the first place, knowing the reviews are coming should make things easier. The key to avoiding the stress and strain of a review is to constantly be prepared.
To be prepared for periodic reviews, you should:
- Continue to receive ongoing, regular medical care from a qualified physician, not only to maintain your overall health, but also to have up to date medical records.
- Maintain copies of all your available medical records so they are readily accessible when you need to provide additional information to the SSA.
- Follow your prescribed therapies. This includes taking prescription medications as instructed. Failure to follow your doctors’ orders can result in termination of your Social Security Disability benefits.
- Keep copies of all original documentation from your initial disability application as well as from any other communications you’ve had with the SSA regarding your disability. During a disability review you may need to reference back to previous records and forms. Having information handy and well organized will make your task simpler.