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SSI and SSDI beneficiaries are periodically subjected to continuing disability reviews (CDRs) to ensure that only those who qualify to receive benefits.
Depending on the likelihood of improvement in your condition, beneficiaries may need to be assessed every three to seven years. Your review frequency may be less frequent if you have a permanent disability. You can also request a CDR from the SSA if it believes your condition has improved.
Children who receive benefits will be reviewed once they reach 18. Disability benefits will be reviewed annually for infants with low birth weight.
But what are the chances of passing a continuing disability review? There is much more pressure to succeed on a CDR than to get approved for benefits. It is not something you should stress about too much. It's not the SSA's job to find reasons to reduce your benefits. When they determine that your condition still prohibits you from working, they will not take action.
Preparation for your CDR is still necessary, of course. Complacency has caused many to lose their benefits. The following tips will help you pass a continuing disability review if you want to keep yours.
Follow Your Treatment Protocol
You must follow treatment protocols to qualify for disability benefits. As part of the SSA's effort to improve your condition, the SSA checks to see what you are doing.
A CDR will be scheduled if the SSA finds out you are disobeying your doctor or not following your treatment protocol. If they feel that you are not following your doctor's advice, they can ask you for your checkup records.
The doctor's orders will not change your condition if you follow them despite remaining unchanged. Your benefits will not be terminated. Nevertheless, if you go against the treatment protocol, it can cause your benefits to be stopped.
Learn More About Your Condition
Your condition is likely to be discussed during the review process. You will then be asked to compare your records with your medical file. You may be asked to provide additional information if the records differ from what you told them. Consequently, the CDR process can take longer and may even result in a loss of benefits.
Make sure you are familiar with your condition to avoid this. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor pertinent questions regarding your recovery. Understand how likely it is for you to return to work after your illness. The SSA will have no trouble answering any questions you have, and you will pass your CDR with flying colors.
Answer The Short Form Honestly
The Social Security Administration will notify you by mail when your CDR schedule is up. Your notice can be either long-form or short-form.
For those with permanent disabilities, the short form or the Disability Update Report is used. This form only consists of two pages, and it includes questions about:
- post-disability employments
- recent training programs attended
- whether your health got better or worsened
- doctor’s visits for the past two years
- recent hospitalization or surgery
If you cannot answer these questions satisfactorily, you will receive the long-form from the SSA. The Continuing Disability Review Report (long form) is appropriate for those whose conditions are expected to improve. The form is ten pages long and contains more detailed questions regarding your employment status and medical condition.
Please fill out the short form as honestly as possible. In this way, you will be able to save yourself the hassle of filling out a lengthy form and the worry of needing to wait for your results for a few more months.
Keep Copies Of Your Medical Records
You or your doctor will be asked to provide your latest medical records during your CDR. It is best to keep copies of all the medical records and SSA documents you have submitted. As a result of the volume of transactions, it's not unusual for the Social Security Administration to lose your documents. Keeping a backup is, therefore, a wise move.
Inform The SSA Of Any Change In Address
With the CDR notice, SSA will send you the short or long-form to your registered mailing address. If you did not inform the Social Security Administration of your move, that paperwork would be sent to the wrong address.
You may have your benefits cut off if the SSA doesn't receive the form or does not send it back on time. You may have to wait several months before being able to appeal and regain your benefits.
Applying for Social Security benefits can be an overwhelming process. If you are interested in seeking SSDI benefits, check out our article about Retirement, Survivors And Disability Insurance (RSDI). To learn more, visit DisabilityHelp.org today!