The application process for Social Security disability benefits is long, challenging, and frustrating. Our Fayetteville, AR disability attorneys have been helping people with medical impairments qualify for benefits for decades. We have also filed appeals for our clients when their initial applications were denied. After all that hard work, you would like to think that your benefits are set in stone. When people hear that they must undergo a continuing disability review (CDR), they become concerned. Luckily, there is not much to worry about.
As a matter of procedure, the Social Security Administration will conduct periodic reviews to determine if a recipient’s condition has improved. Depending on the severity of your disability, your review might happen in three or seven years. Part of the review is providing additional medical evidence from the past year. If you have an upcoming CDR, it is a good idea to contact our office.
After going through the process of applying for your benefits, you do not want to lose them because you failed to take a CDR seriously. In nearly every case, someone receiving disability benefits does not have to worry about a CDR. However, if you take it lightly or ignore it, your benefits could be terminated. Contact our law offices at (479) 316-0438 if you have a scheduled review in the next few months.
When Disability Reviews are Scheduled in Arkansas
When you are approved for Social Security disability benefits, the Social Security Administration will send you a letter indicating that your claim was approved. Included in the letter will be a notice of when you could expect your first review.
The SSA will schedule a disability review in three years if it believes that your medical condition might improve. You should note that the SSA uses possible, not necessarily likely, to determine if your case should be set aside for review in three years.
If your condition is not expected to improve at all, the SSA will set your case aside to be reviewed in seven years. If you are receiving benefits over the age of 55, reviews are usually less frequent than indicated above. Judges also have the authority to mandate different timelines depending on your circumstances. In some cases, a review could be ordered in as little as twelve months.
In addition to scheduled reviews, certain events might trigger a CDR. For example, if you return to work, the SSA will reassess your condition. Some recipients will report that their medical condition has improved, prompting a disability review. Medical treatments and technologies improve every year. If a new treatment has been developed to treat your condition, the SSA will review your prognosis. Finally, there are times when a third party reports to the SSA that your condition has improved or that you are not following your doctor’s treatment.
The Continuing Disability Review in Arkansas
During a continuing disability review, the Social Security Administration will review the available information related to your impairment. What your review consists of will depend on whether it has been scheduled for a three or seven-year review.
The SSA will send a Disability Update Report to someone who has a medical condition that is not expected to improve. This two-page form must be completed and returned to the SSA. If you fail to send the report, or if your responses trigger a red flag, the SSA will send you the much more detailed, ten-page Continuing Disability Review Report.
The Continuing Disability Review Report requests specific information concerning your condition and treatment. For example, you will have to report whether you have seen a doctor or were hospitalized during the past year, if you have undergone any recent diagnostic tests, and if you have been working. You will have to supply updated medical evidence and documentation from the previous twelve months. Typically, the review will cover the previous year but could request information dating back to when your benefits were approved. In addition to your medical information, the SSA will examine your income and living arrangements. If you receive the longer Continuing Disability Review Report and have not done so already, you should contact our Farmington disability lawyers.
Termination of Social Security Disability Benefits in Arkansas
You should not worry about a continuing disability review if your medical condition has not improved enough for you to go back to work. You are not going to be required to prove that you have a disability a second or third time.
For the SSA to terminate your benefits, it will have to prove that your medical condition has improved or your impairment is less severe. The medical improvement must be related to your physical or mental capacity to work.
To put it in more practical terms, the Social Security Administration will have to show a marked improvement in your residual functional capacity (RFC) than at the time your benefits were initially approved. If there has been no change in your RFC, then your benefits will not be terminated. In addition to an improvement in your RFC, Social Security will also have to establish that you could engage in substantial gainful activity – which is basically full-time employment.
Our Arkansas Disability Lawyers Can Help You During a Continuing Disability Review
A continuing disability review is part of your ongoing benefits process. The Social Security Administration wants to ensure that your medical condition has not improved. In most cases, a CDR is a formality. However, if you fail to respond to a scheduled review or provide incomplete medical information, your benefits could be terminated. To ensure your benefits are not lost without cause, contact our Rogers disability attorneys. Call (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.