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SSDI Continuing Disability Reviews: What Can You Expect?


Becoming entitled to Social Security disability benefits can be a difficult and lengthy process. If your claim was initially denied, you likely had to deal with a long and confusing appeals process. Hopefully, if you were represented, your representative insulated you from some of the frustrations experienced by the unrepresented claimant. And, when your claim was finally approved, you likely felt a great deal of relief.

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Thereafter, some people are concerned that their benefits may be stopped even after they had been recently approved. The Social Security Administration is required to set a medical review diary date to re-evaluate your continued disability. The timeframes for review can be as short as six months or as long as seven years, depending on the expectancy of medical improvement. Generally speaking, it is not as difficult to keep your Social Security disability benefits as it was to obtain them in the first place.

The Social Security Administration uses two different methods for processing the Continuing Disability Review (CDR). One method is to mail a brief questionnaire for completion which updates the current condition, treatment, and limitations. This type is normally sent to those whose impairments are not necessarily likely to improve. A second method of review is called a “full medical review” and is normally directed to those for whom medical improvement is expected.

Should you be contacted by the Social Security Administration for the review, you will want to make the process as smooth as possible. To prepare for the review make sure you keep all decisions, letters, and notices you receive from the Social Security Administration in a safe place. Pay particular attention to anything that tells you what information you are required to report to the Social Security Administration, and make sure to follow those directions.

While the Social Security Administration has not worked as many of the CDR reviews as were called for, it is possible, with full Congressional funding in Fiscal Year 2013 that this workload will have increased focus. We will cover the CDR update issue in a forthcoming blog which will be based on the Commissioner of Social Security’s recent testimony before Congress on May 17.

For a brief description of the “8 Step Process for CDRs” you may simply e-mail your request for the document to Please put “CDR Process” in the “Subject” line.

If you have further questions about applying for, or keeping your disability benefits should Social Security contact you for a medical review, contact one of the experienced Social Security disability representatives at GENEX Services today to schedule a free initial consultation.


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