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A Look at the Social Security Disability Benefits Reevaluation Process

Getting disability benefits is no easy task for many of the 11 million Americans estimated to be living with a disability at any given time in the United States.  In some cases, we have seen it take years for people to get qualified for benefits to which they are rightfully entitled.  However, what many people may not realize is that once they get approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, they will be subject to a reevaluation, so the United States Social Security Administration (SSA) can verify the claimants are still disabled.

1033916_medical_instruments_3As discussed in a recent article from the National Law Review, after you have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you will be subject to a Continuing Disability Reevaluation, which is also know as a CDR.  The CDR can take place around three years after becoming eligible for benefits for claimants younger than 55 years of age.  For those Social Security disability benefits claimants who are over 55 years of age, you will likely be subject to a Continuing Disability Reevaluation around seven years after first becoming disabled and receiving benefits.

As our Boston Social Security disability benefits lawyers have seen in cases where the claimant is suffering from a disability that is unlikely to heal or otherwise get better, the claimant will be subject to a reevaluation at the seven-year point regardless of the age of the claimant.   Regardless of the age of the claimant, he or she will be subject to a CDR over and over again until he or she reaches the age of retirement.  Once a disability claimant reaches the age of retirement, he or she will likely qualify for Social Security Old Age and Retirement benefits, and any payments under the disability fund will be stopped.  This does not necessarily apply to retroactive benefits that are still owed to a claimant, but you should speak with your disability benefits attorney about this particular issue if you believe you are still owed retroactive benefits and are close to reaching retirement age.  The age of retirement depends on the birth year of the claimant as it is likely to increase for future beneficiaries in an effort to save money.

Another reason for a CDR is if the applicant has engaged in substantial gainful activity.  While this is a term used by SSA that basically means a claimant is working, the technical definition for engaged in substantial gainful activity is to earn more than $1,130 in a single month.  The reason for this is because that is the maximum allowable benefit under the current budget.  This creates a problem for people who want to go back to work, but there are options that may be available, such as the Ticket to Work.

There are also issues dealing with a medical improvement.  Claimants are constantly wanting to be able to overcome their disability, but temporary relief from pain for example, can complicate matters if the relief later goes away.

If you or a loved one is seeking Social Security Disability Insurance in Boston, call for a free and confidential appointment at 1-888-367-2900.

Additional Resources:

Passing Social Security Continuing Disability Re-Evaluation, April 20, 2016, National Law Review, By Leslie A. Mitnick

More Blog Entries:

Allensworth v. Colvin: SSDI Hearings and Appeals, April 1, 2016, Boston SSDI Lawyer Blog