After you have been approved for Social Security Disability benefits, a medical “diary” will be set up for your case for the purpose of periodically reviewing your disabling condition. You will be assigned a diary date, which indicates when the SSA will review your medical condition to determine whether you still qualify as medically disabled by Social Security Disability standards. A Diary Date is set for you regardless of whether you have been approved for SSDI, SSI, or both.
In most cases, a diary date is set every three years. Occasionally, if you have a medical condition which is not expected to ever improve, the SSA will set your diary date for every seven years. On the other hand, if the SSA expects that your disabling condition is likely to improve, they may set your diary date for every year.
When your diary date comes up, it is important that you fill out all forms and comply with all of the SSA’s requests. It may feel like you are being asked to qualify for disability benefits all over again. In reality, however, you are only being examined to see whether your condition has improved to the point which you can be expected to perform work and find gainful employment.
The lists of conditions which the SSA will accept as disabilities changes periodically, but you will not need to worry about this in most cases (the exception being if you are a child who has turned 18). If your condition qualified you as disabled when you applied, the SSA’s adjudicators will apply the same standards used when you were awarded Social Security Disability benefits.
If your condition has not improved when your diary date comes, you will continue to receive Social Security Disability benefits. If it is found that your condition has improved, the adjudicator will need to determine whether your condition has improved significantly enough to allow you to disqualify you from receiving Social Security Disability benefits.