How to Pass a Continuing Disability Review in Arkansas

While receiving disability benefits through Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the Social Security Administration (SSA) may periodically check in on you to see if you are still disabled. To continue receiving disability benefits, you may need to pass a routine Continuing Disability Review (CDR).

A CDR is made by the SSA to periodically check on disability benefits recipients to make sure they are still eligible for benefits. If you fail the review, you may have your benefits suspended and will need to take additional steps to have your benefits restored. To pass a CDR, you need information and evidence about your condition showing that you still need disability benefits to make ends meet. Although the process can feel intimidating, you should avoid being dishonest or misrepresenting yourself to keep your benefits. You should also be careful about trying to return to work while on disability. Children receiving disability benefits might also be subject to CDRs, particularly when they turn 18. Our Fayetteville, AR disability lawyers explain how to pass a Continuing Disability Review and avoid having your benefits suspended – and how to restore your benefits if you fail a CDR.

For help with your case, call our Arkansas disability benefits lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation. The SSA is not perfect, and simple mistakes in the CDR process could cost you your benefits. Call our offices today at (479) 316-0438.

What is a CDR for Disability in Arkansas?

A Continuing Disability Report is a report that the SSA might ask you for to check for proof that you are still disabled. The SSA requires that you constantly meet the definition of disability while receiving disability benefits, and any instance when they cannot confirm you still meet the definition might lead to disability suspension.

The SSA typically goes back and reviews cases every few years. In cases where there is little expectation of recovery, the Administration might wait longer to review your case instead. As part of that review, they may request you to perform a CDR. This could involve seeing a doctor to check your condition as well as filling out paperwork to prove you are still disabled.

Generally, the SSA uses CDRs and other reviews to root out fraud and cancel benefits to people who no longer need them. While undergoing a CDR might be inconvenient and stressful, it is an important tool to help the SSA discover recipients who do not need disability benefits. Stopping payments in cases of fraud or cases where the disability has gotten better ensures there are funds left to pay people who truly need disability payments.

What Happens if I Fail a Continuing Disability Review in Arkansas?

To “fail” a CDR would mean that you provided the SSA with the information they requested, and they came to the conclusion that you are no longer disabled. If the SSA ever finds that you are no longer disabled, they will typically suspend your disability benefits.

Rather than outright terminating your disability benefits, the SSA will instead suspend your benefits, notify you, and ask you to prove your disability. If you cannot provide more information or the SSA still thinks you aren’t disabled anymore, they will terminate your benefits.

If your benefits are suspended or terminated, contact an experienced disability benefits suspension lawyer immediately. You may need to act quickly to get your benefits back, and you may need to file appeals or attend disability hearings to get your benefits to continue.

How Do I Pass a Disability Review in Arkansas?

To “pass” a disability review, you need to prove you still meet the SSA’s definition of disability. The standards used during a CDR are the same standards used to determine whether you qualified when you applied for disability in the first place:

  • You must have a qualifying condition or illness (or a similarly severe condition)
  • Your disability must be “severe” enough to prevent you from working
  • You must be unable to perform other work

If you meet this definition, you should be able to pass your CDR and continue to receive disability benefits. If your condition has improved or you think you might no longer qualify for disability, it is important to talk to a Bentonville disability benefits lawyer. In many cases, your lawyer can present your information to the SSA in a full, truthful manner that helps give them the details they need to understand your disability and approve you for continued benefits.

Evidence and Information you Might Need to Pass a Continuing Disability Review in Arkansas

Completing and passing a CDR should be handled carefully and with assistance from an experienced attorney. You need to make sure you have all the necessary evidence and information to explain your condition or any changes in your condition. Our Arkansas disability lawyers can help you prepare for the CDR and help you fill out the form so you can continue receiving disability benefits.

First, you should have your medical records to explain your condition and disability in the CDR. The SSA needs to make sure that you still have a qualifying condition or illness to continue receiving benefits. If your condition is permanent, your medical records should indicate this. Suppose your condition has changed or improved, but you are still unable to work. In that case, you need your medical records to show that you still have a qualifying condition, albeit a somewhat different one than when your benefits first began.

You also need information about your ability to work and the severity of your condition. You must show the SSA that your condition still prevents you from working. If your condition has changed, you must show that your new condition also prevents you from returning to work. This information can be conveyed through a variety of means. In some cases, medical conditions are so severe that we do not have to point to much by way of specific evidence, and the person’s inability to work is more obvious. Other times, we might have to include additional comments or statements about how your condition prevents you from working.

Your medical records must be up to date and accurate, and regular visits with your doctor are necessary. If the SSA wants to see recent updates about your condition but you have not visited a doctor in the last year, the SSA might become suspicious and more heavily scrutinize your case.

Things to Avoid in an Arkansas Continuing Disability Review

You should never lie to the SSA. Lying or faking a disability to continue receiving disability benefits is fraud and can lead to criminal charges and jail time. Instead, if you are truly disabled, have your attorney help you present your case and argue that your disability still qualifies. If it truly does qualify, there should be nothing stopping you from keeping your disability benefits, and an attorney can work to fight for your rights to receive disability benefits.

In some cases, you can ignore a CDR request, although you should ask an attorney about any CDR request before replying. In rare instances, a CDR may have been requested by mistake, and there is no reason the SSA should double-check your disability so soon. If this is the case, your lawyer might be able to contact the SSA and have the request for a medical CDR recalled.

Another thing to avoid when completing a CDR is any gaps in information that would leave the SSA with an incomplete picture of your condition. For example, if your condition has somewhat improved, you must also be sure to include details about how you are still unable to work despite the improvement. If the SSA sees information about an improved condition, they might assume this also means you are more able to work, and your benefits might be suspended until they can confirm whether you can work.

Similarly, you should avoid trying to work unless participating in a Trial Work Period. Even small attempts to earn a living while receiving disability benefits will be treated as a big red flag. If you did perform some sort of work not under the Trial Work Period, you might need to explain why. For example, perhaps you attempted to work to test your own limits but found you could not do the job and immediately ceased working. Alternatively, perhaps you can do some light work. In that case, we must show that your work does not constitute substantial gainful activity.

Returning to Work Without Failing Your Continuing Disability Review in Arkansas

You may also be entitled to protection from a CDR if participating in a “ticket to work” program. The SSA’s “Trial Work Period” and other work incentive programs might allow you to return to work and still qualify for disability benefits in addition to the wages you earn. These programs have many rules to ensure you report your income and comply with other standards. After being approved for one of these programs, you should be protected from having to undergo a CDR, and your lawyer can help you avoid having to do a CDR in the first place.

Even if you are not working as part of the ticket to work program or Trial Work Period, you must be careful about conveying this information to the SSA in a CDR. While recipients of disability benefits are required to update the SSA with any changes in their work or ability to work, they can continue receiving disability benefits.

Generally, you can continue receiving benefits as long as your work does not meet the level of substantial gainful activity. A full-time job would certainly rise to this level and jeopardize your benefits in a CDR. If the work is like a side gig that just brings in a little extra income so you can make ends meet, you should discuss how to report this with our Fort Smith disability benefits lawyers.

How to Pass Continuing Disability Reviews for Children in Arkansas

Children may also receive disability benefits in Arkansas. Children are assessed for disability benefits under somewhat different rules than adults. For many children, the need for disability benefits stems from birth injuries. For others, a childhood illness or injury caused the disability. When children turn 18, they must be reevaluated according to the regulations and rules used for adults. Our Harris disability benefits lawyers can help your child maintain their benefits as they transition to adulthood.

Children Receiving Benefits

Children may also receive disability benefits, and they must complete CDRs from time to time. However, the process tends to work differently for children. The SSA will conduct a CDR for children receiving disability benefits every 3 years if the child’s condition is expected to improve. Even if the child’s condition is not expected to improve or change, the SSA may still initiate a CDR, although it might not occur as frequently. Our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys can help you and your child prepare for a CDR.

Children receiving disability benefits must have a representative payee, usually a parent, to manage their benefits. In a CDR, the representative payee must provide the SSA with evidence that the child’s condition persists and that the child has been receiving any necessary medical treatment.

In cases where a child’s representative payee refuses to cooperate with the SSA, steps might be taken to go around them. For example, the SSA might decide to pay the child directly if they are old enough to handle their own benefits. Alternatively, the SSA might look for a different representative payee for help. Our Arkansas disability benefits lawyers can help you and your child pass a CDR and continue receiving benefits.

CDRs for Children Turning 18

Some people are born with medical conditions that prevent them from working or are injured at a very young age. In many cases, these conditions persist into adulthood, and children need to continue receiving disability benefits as they become adults. This is often a very tricky time period, and a CDR may be required to determine if a child turning 18 meets the disability criteria for adults. Our Arkansas disability benefits attorneys can help your child as they enter adulthood maintain their disability benefits.

Call Our Fayetteville Disability Lawyer for Help with Your Continuing Disability Review

If you have been asked to complete a Continuing Disability Review (CDR), contact our Springdale disability lawyers. Our Fayetteville Social Security Disability attorney may be able to take your case and fight to confirm your disability with the SSA and help you keep your SSDI benefits. For your free case review, call us at (479) 316-0438.