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. Navaneeth K.

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  3. Travel B.

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    • Joseph M.

      That is one of the major decisions love it. Naijagrin

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  5. Christina g.

    So I have been reading a lot of material on widowers pay and according to what iv read a in 1990s you were granted the full spousal widow benifits yes I get you get more with independents but take me for example I was 26 when I lost my husband battling cancer I had two little girls 3 and 6 yes I worked 2 jobs and raised my girls my self but when it can time they got older I was told I would have to be 60 just to get my husbands full amount now to me that is wrong how can u dictate defying age limits of being a widow as now my children all grown Iam on ssi and Ssdi iv had a lot of health issues due to working and pushing myself to the limit trying to give my girls the best of life I had a massive heart attack when I was 41 years old plus I myself went through fight cancer all in mean time working still not getting my husbands full benifit ma why that is they tell me that I get half of my disability and half of my husbands now u tell me why I get half of my husbands he worked his butt off to support his family now he’s been gone 20 years and kids all grown but u know I’m still struggling to survive it’s like he worked for nothing yes the depends helped but like I said I still worked what I’m trying to say is I read that Iam intitled to my full widowed pention even though I’m disabled to that’s money he pAid into also into 401 k and stocks and bonds do u think I got any of that nope if u go on the web site and look up what age u have to be to get widowers pention I sat for hours reading it took my all the way back to 1940 I just would like to know how u can determine an age now these days being a widow but the little loop hole they can give is I’m on ssi so that’s pretty slick their not giving me his full benifit they say cuz I’m on benifits to but that shouldn’t have anything to do with his that’s all I’m saying I struggle day to day I als have lupus and real bad R A there’s times I can even get out of bed and now they gonna determine who can and cAnt quilify sorry rant over

    Reply
  6. Edward L.

    It’s been several years since you changed the online account. Before the change I had an online account, but after the change I wasn’t able to establish an online account, it said something about wrong information. Every couple of years I call the help desk and they say that they help and they attempt to build an online account. At some point during the process I hear them say Opps and they tell me I need to go to my local office but never say what the problem is and what I need to bring. I have no problem with getting my direct deposit so I haven’t gone because I don’t know what the problem is. When I retired 17 years ago I didn’t have any problems signing up for Social Security. Do I really need an online account?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Edward, thanks for using our blog. Sorry to hear you are having difficulties with your my Social Security account. It is not a requirement to have an online account. However, if you would like assistance with your account, you may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
    • Mpn

      Ssa is a joke. My wife has cancer for the last 13 years and when applied for disability they reported wrong information on her assets which is zero but they came up with 7 bank accounts belonging to other people and denied her benefit. When appealed they came up with another reason to deny again. With no income and no health insurance could not get a damn thing out of these thieves after paying taxes for over 30 years. Glad to see crooks and doctors breaking their bank. SSa deserves it.

      Reply
  7. Jean C.

    I can’t work full time as my job required me to sit for a full 8 to 10 hours. I am trying to work at home but doing it differently than I did before. I am going to work 2and a half hours take at least an hour off and than work 2 and a half hours. I need to work for a while to get in a better financial situation. I am scared that ss will take my disibility payments away for doing it. I am only working 20 hours and I am 65 years old. Will they do that?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Jean, thank you for your question. The answer to your question depends on the type of Social Security benefit you’re receiving.

      If you’re receiving Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and you’re younger than your full retirement age, and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced. Check out our “Receiving Benefits While Working” web page for more details.

      If you’re receiving Social Security disability benefits, check out our publication Working While Disabled: How We Can Help for the details. We hope this information is helpful.

      Reply
    • Mpn

      Ssa is a joke. My wife has cancer for the last 13 years and when applied for disability they reported wrong information on her assets which is zero but they came up with 7 bank accounts belonging to other people and denied her benefit. When appealed they came up with another reason to deny again. With no income and no health insurance could not get a damn thing out of these thieves after paying taxes for over 30 years. Glad to see crooks and doctors breaking their bank. SSa deserves it. Yes

      Reply
  8. Sabrina A.

    Yes I have had cancer off and on for 78 years I only get $750 a month in my Social Security and I’m thinking can you make ends meet so I’m at home get damaged like real soon thank you

    Reply
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  10. Betty L.

    My son is unable to walk sit very long and even do anything at all he wishes he could go back to work. He has avery bad back some of his disk are slipping out his tail bones is disconnecting from his spine and his nerves in his right leg are very damaged his leg goes nump but because he is only 38 years old he can’t get disability he can make one wrong move and be in a wheelchair the rest of his life.He has had a doctor tell him his back is worse then a 80 year old construction worker. He can’t work but wishes he could

    Reply
    • Robin H.

      Sorry to hear about your son’s conditions. I experienced the same issue. You need a lawyer! If he sees medical Dr’s on regular bases he can get it , it just takes longer. Get on Medicaid for him even if he lives with you! Get him a counselor because he has what is called medical depression and that is high on list for disability approval! I went thru all of it and it took 3 years for me but I got all back pay! I was 50 yrs old and had 8 surgery on my elbows and hands in 5 years. My back is now like your son’s. If you like contact me rjhouser5760 at g mail . Best of luck!

      Reply
    • Kanesha

      Hi! I just have a question in mind, that’s been puzzling me for a while now. How do you go about showing and proofing your disability, when it’s not so much of a medical disability, but more of a everyday common tasks that he lacks? Like cooking, driving, filling out applications(any paperwork), and not good with numbers(adding, subtracting, etc). I don’t know how to go about it, do you have any suggestions? Please HELP!!!

      Reply
      • Vonda

        Hi Kanesha, thanks for using our blog. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The (SSI) program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online application.

        If you are unable or would rather not apply online, you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

        Reply
      • Mpn

        The crooks at ssa will deny it anyhow. Tried for wife with cancer for 13 years and no income or insurance and been denied. She had 5 quarters to have full 40 so nothing is coming her way. Let the scammers and crooked doctors take as much as they can out of the ssa bank. They deserve it. Honest people have no chance of getting disability benefits from these thieves.

        Reply
    • Lorie Z.

      Hello. I’m on disability for several medical reasons. Let me tell you it’s not easy to get on it. I’ll never suggest a lawyer. I do suggest gathering ALL copies of his medical records and apply in person. I fought for 2 & 1/2 years. My lawyer did nothing at all. She said well you don’t have cancer at least. I went in person to my local office and provided all my records. I was calm until the end when I broke down. My spine is a mess and no surgery will fix it. I have diabetes, kidney disease, diabetic retinopathy, balance issues, etc. From head to toe literally. The key is to gather all your records and go in person. Don’t back down. Don’t give up your back pay either. I was forced to and found out the government can’t really do that.

      Reply

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