You may have heard about insurance companies hiring private investigators to conduct surveillance on individuals who claim that they are disabled. If the claimants are found not to be disabled, their claim may be denied by the insurer.
The Social Security Administration works similarly, but rather than assigning every beneficiary an investigator, they have periodic reviews known as Continuing Disability Reviews (CDR). A CDR is performed once every couple of years, depending on your condition. If you have been issued a CDR notice, below are some helpful tips.
What to expect
A disability review notice is not issued because the SSA intends to stop your benefits. Instead, they just want to make sure that only deserving claimants are receiving the benefits. During the review, your disability will be evaluated alongside medical records from the past year or so.
In addition, the SSA will look into your income and living arrangements to ensure that you meet other requirements.
How long will a CDR take?
It depends. If you receive a short Disability Update Report and respond that your condition has not changed since the last review, the SSA will typically respond within one to three months, stating that you will not require a CDR.
However, if you receive the longer version of the report or are flagged for a full review, it means that you will undergo a CDR. The questions are a bit more detailed, and the full review starts once you send in your responses. The whole process takes about five to six months.
Can you appeal the outcome of your disability review?
Yes. You may appeal a decision to stop your benefits, and it is in your best interests if you move fast. Being aware of all the steps you need to take will work in your favor and increase the chances of your benefits being restored.
Most importantly, have your medical documents or any other supporting evidence at hand.