Disability, Online Services

How Social Security Decides if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability

August 5, 2021 • By

Last Updated: August 5, 2021

How Social Security Decides if You Still Have a Qualifying DisabilityThe law requires that we review the current medical condition of all people receiving disability benefits periodically to determine if they continue to have a qualifying disability. Generally, if your health hasn’t improved, or if your disability still keeps you from working, you’ll continue to receive benefits.

Disability reviews support the integrity of our Social Security programs

These continuing disability reviews help us ensure that only eligible people receive disability benefits. It supports the integrity of the Social Security system while delivering fair services to disabled workers and their dependents, including wounded warriors, chronically ill children and adults, and other people with disabilities.

To help us make our decision, we first gather new information about your medical condition. We’ll ask your doctors, hospitals, and other medical sources for your medical records. We’ll ask them how your medical condition limits your activities, what the medical tests show, and what medical treatments you have been given. If we need more information, we’ll ask and pay for you to get a special examination or test.

You can appeal Social Security’s decision on your case

If you disagree with a decision made on your claim, you can appeal it. This means you can ask us to review your case again. When you receive a letter telling you about our decision to stop benefits, the letter will also tell you how to appeal the decision.

You can learn more by reading, How We Decide if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability.

You can check the status of your disability appeal using your personal my Social Security account. Your personal account gives you access to many tools that can save you time while keeping your information secure.

Find out more about how we help you secure today and tomorrow on our website.

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Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


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  1. mojae j.

    The CAL list of qualified illnesses does not mention Mental illness? fromsties apps
    plz reply

  2. Ann

    Sorry to bother you again but i’m trying to see if i qualify for more SSI cause $714.00 don’t pay very much and also i just getting over having surgery on August 12,2021 but i was wondering if you can help me to find out if i qualify for up to $2,100.00 in SSI?
    Please help me.
    PS. At the end of this survey it wants me to claim an award but my pre paid credit card don’t have no money on it. Is there away to get around that cause if i don’t get the award i get denied because the application is not finished and i can’t get my claim on my case help

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ann. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

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  5. Debbie

    I have been receiving disability payments since 2014. I will be 50 next month. My CDR was set for every 3 three years. How soon are you suppose to receive the form is it 3 months or 1 month before your birthday? Have they resumed the CDR’s? Does it change after you turn 50?

  6. Dave L.

    I’m HIV positive and have temporal lobe epilepsy, along with COPD, my meds don’t take care of the issues all the time and stress along with theses illnesses they sent my information to the appeal council they sent back to judge, they forgot that I had been married an took my husband’s name so they only got a few years records. They overlooked my whole life and I’ve requested them to make a decision, I’ve lost most of my family now to Covid 19. So I’m losing hope an confidence in my gov to help. Thanks anyway.

    • Patty

      Hi Dave. We are sorry to hear about your situation. For your security, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask members in our Blog community to continue to work with our offices for specific questions. Please contact your local Social Security office regarding your appeal. Look for the general inquiry telephone number under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  7. Carol H.

    I had polio when I was 18 months old and now I have post polio syndrome and use a walker full time and a full leg brace. I was approved for disability but when I retired at 65 they took that away from me. I don’t know why but it had something to do retiring a year earlier than my full retirement year. I worked my whole life and feel I should be getting some kind of benefit
    I am now looking into an electric power chair since I can no longer walk long enough to even go shopping. Please help me.

    • Vonda

      Hi Carol, thanks for using our blog to ask your question. Social Security disability benefits automatically change to retirement benefits when disability beneficiaries become full retirement age. The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits on one earnings record at the same time. We hope this helps!

  8. Joyce B.

    The CAL list of qualified illnesses does not mention Mental illness?

    • Vonda

      Hi Joyce, thanks for using our blog. Compassionate Allowances are a way to quickly identify diseases and other medical conditions that, by definition, meet Social Security’s standards for disability benefits. These conditions primarily include certain cancers, adult brain disorders, and a number of rare disorders that affect children. The CAL initiative helps us reduce waiting time to reach a disability determination for individuals with the most serious disabilities. If you have a condition that you would like to submit for consideration, visit our compassionate allowances web page for the details. We hope this helps!

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