When a person applies for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, he may have to submit a lot of medical documentation to prove that he has a condition that has lasted for more than twelve months, and impairs his ability to work or conduct other daily tasks. Once approved for benefits, an applicant may feel a sense of relief that that part of it is over. However, even after approving a person to receive benefits, the Social Security Administration (SSA) continues to monitor recipients’ conditions for as long as they are receiving benefits.
The SSA periodically reviews the medical condition of a SSDI and SSI recipient through the Continuous Disability Review (CDR). Under this program, the SSA is required to determine if the medical condition that qualified the person for benefits in the first place has improved, and the recipient is no longer disabled and unable to work.
The CDR consists of different components, such as, a SSA review of a recipient’s medical records from his doctor, visits to a recipient’s doctor, asking the recipient to complete a review report, and even requiring the recipient to attend a medical review with a doctor who may be different from the recipient’s regular doctor.
The CDR is conducted every three years, unless a person has a medical condition that is expected to improve in a shorter time, or unless the person has a medical condition that is expected to be permanent, in which case they conduct the CDR in less than or after three years.
There is no real way to prepare for a CDR. Recipients should faithfully follow up on medical treatment when necessary, and report any new or worse symptoms related to the disabling condition. It is important to be forthcoming and direct when reporting any new symptoms to the doctor, and to ensure the doctor keeps accurate records. In this way, the recipient’s medical record will be able to tell an accurate history of how the condition is affecting the person’s life.
CDR’s are also conducted for children with disabilities, and in addition to checking that the child’s disability is still present, the SSA looks to see if the child has been getting required treatment. If the child has not been provided with adequate medical care, or if the child’s representative who receives benefits for the child refuses to show the necessary records, the SSA can have the representative changed.
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If your benefits are reduced or denied after undergoing a CDR, you should consult an experienced disability attorney for more information on how you can appeal the decision. You have to appeal within a certain timeframe in order to keep receiving your monthly disability benefits while pending appeal. Therefore, you should act right away if you receive an unfavorable decision following a CDR. For assistance in applying for SSDI or SSI benefits for you or a minor child, contact the disability benefits attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth Hiller, PLLC for a consultation.