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How Likely am I to be Denied After My Review?


Claimants previously approved for SSI or Social Security disability are typically granted a continuation of benefits upon evidence that a condition has not improved. Once approved for social security benefits, you must undergo a continuing disability review (CDR) every few years. The administration will review your case to see if your situation has improved. If so, it is likely that your benefits would end.

Social Security will set a future date for the CDR when SSI benefits are awarded. The Social Security Administration (SSA) will typically send a letter to the beneficiary when it is time for the CDR to take place. Most likely, your CDR will occur every three years. You do not have to go to the Social Security office to complete the CDR. You may complete the review over the phone or request that the forms be mailed to you.

Generally speaking, the CDR is just an update of the Social Security beneficiary’s medical condition and work status. If the beneficiary has not returned to work and is not receiving substantial gainful activity (SGA), or the claimant has not had significant medical improvement, the disability benefits will continue after the CDR review.

Disability can be denied due to medical improvement as it relates to your work. If you have SGA and are earning at least $1,130 per month from working, then you may not be eligible to continue receiving your disability benefits.

The medical improvement review standard (MIRS) is the test used to determine if there has been any medical improvement. Medical improvement must be related to your work. To deny continuation of your benefits, the SSA must show both that you have medical improvement and that you have reached the SGA level. The SSA will review the evidence from your original condition and any new impairment since your first approval for disability.

If your benefits do end, you do have the opportunity to appeal the decision and request that your case is heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). If the request for reconsideration is also denied, the next step would be to request a hearing. The hearing judge will review the evidence in your case and determine if you should continue to receive benefits. Keep in mind that it is difficult for Social Security to show medical improvement in cases heard by an ALJ. The judges have more flexibility in determining the level of disability than disability examiners do, which is all based on the Social Security disability guidebook.

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