Disability, Online Services

How Social Security Decides if You Still Have a Qualifying Disability

August 5, 2021 • By

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Last Updated: November 2, 2023

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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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications


  1. Deanna

    I just received my telephone review for continued disability benefits. I wasn’t sent a long or a short form just asked questions from the representative and he said because they are backed up it was going to be 3 to 5 months for a decision on my review. Is this considered a full CDR or partial because it was just a phone interview?

  2. Annemarie

    I receive disability payments. I realize my disability payments will turn into retirement payments when I turn 65. My husband is a recently retired first responder but took another job because he is only age 50. He paid into Social Security prior to being a first responder; substantial earnings will be about 24 years when he turns age 67. We realize his SSA payment will be offset by Windfall Elim Provision. Will Social Security also reduce my monthly payment as well via the Government Offset Provision?

    • Vonda

      Hi Annemarie, thanks for using our blog. If your husband receives a pension from a government job in which he did not pay Social Security taxes, some or all of his Social Security spouse’s, divorced spouse’s, widower’s, or surviving divorced widower’s benefit may be offset due to receipt of that pension. This offset is referred to as the Government Pension Offset, or GPO. Your benefits are not affected by your husband’s non-covered pension. For additional details, check out our Government Pension Offset factsheet.

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