How We Review Your Disability Benefits

Picture of a man on crutchesWhen you receive disability benefits, Social Security will periodically conduct a review of your condition to make sure you still qualify for blind or disability benefits. With the right information, you can be prepared when this happens.

When your case comes up for review, we’ll send you a letter asking you to come to your local Social Security office. We’ll ask you about how your medical condition affects you and whether it’s improved. We’ll also ask you to bring information about your medical treatment and any work you have performed since Social Security decided you were disabled.

A disability examiner from your state’s Disability Determination Services will request reports from your medical providers, and will carefully review all the information in your case. If the medical evidence is not complete or current, we may ask you to have a medical exam at no cost to you.

Social Security conducts a disability review of your case approximately every three years depending on the nature and severity of your medical condition and whether it’s expected to improve. If we don’t expect improvement, we’ll review your case every seven years.

When we conduct a disability review, if we find that your medical condition hasn’t improved and is still preventing you from working, you’ll continue to receive benefits. Your benefits only stop if the evidence shows your medical condition has improved and you are able to work regularly.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal and ask us to look at your case again. When we notify you of our decision, we will explain how you can appeal that decision.

You can visit us online for more information, or read our publication What You Need to Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits.


211 thoughts on “How We Review Your Disability Benefits

  1. The link to the publication What You Need to Know When You Get Social Security Disability Benefits is a dead link. Can it be fixed?

      • Ad what age do these review stop. I read in the NARFE Magazine that SS stops these reviews once you reach age 60; is that true?

        • Hi Kirby, there is no specific rule as to what age a disability review stops. However, the law requires that we review your case periodically to see if you are still disabled. How often we review your case depends on whether your condition is expected to improve. In general, your benefits will continue as long as you are disabled. For those individuals receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, we automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits when they attain their Full Retirement Age. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same.
          Visit our Disability Planner: Reviewing Your Disability for more information.

          • My full retirement age is 66 + 2 months. I have also heard that SS disability converts to regular SS at 62. Do I still have to worry about being reviewed between 62 and 66+2m?

          • Hi again Kirby, there is no specific rule as to what age a disability review stops. However, the law requires that we review your case periodically to see if you are still disabled. How often we review your case depends on whether your condition is expected to improve. In general, your benefits will continue as long as you are disabled. For those individuals receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, we automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits when they attain their Full Retirement Age. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same.

          • Hi Sandra, for those individuals receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, we automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits when they attain their full retirement age (currently age 66). Also, when we decide a full medical review is needed, we generally send a letter asking the disabled beneficiary to come to the Social Security office. Please verify the legitimacy of the email you received. Remember that our official agency correspondence, and responses are identified with our SSA seal and proper letterhead.
            Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

        • I have been receiving social security disability since 1999 and only had two reviews during the first 6 years of my eligibility. I’m now age 64. Is there a reason why I haven’t had a review in over ten years?

    • Of course that it does not exist. It’s a way of garnering the identities of those who might otherwise chide away from giving them any information, such as why in hell would you be interested unless you needed to know the how and why of remaining on the rolls of disabled person. Cute isn’t it. Shame on them, or am I paranoid? Anyway it works for me since it took three initial denials and finally a pro bono attorney to appear before an administrative judge to grant my disability status. Point to know is that if you forego a medical exam by an appointed doctor ( who is suppose to be impartial, yeah right), and instead have your doctor fill out the paperwork, then none of the three denials would ever have to happen. But not everyone can afford the fees associated with circumventing their appointed “impartial” doctors. You see, the more they (Dr.s) they deny, the more fees they collect by having more disability prospects directed their way. Now that is not conducive to impartiality is it.

      • I found that the doctor they sent me to was very educated about my disability.
        I was labeled disable that day and got my first disability check the next month.
        They see all kinds of phonies and I am glad they are very hesitant to accept every person who walks through their door as disabled

        • Glad it worked out for you. The MD they sent me to had been doing these physicals for 14 and wondered how I worked for the last 5 years with my back and I have been denied twice.

        • I have been disabled since 2005. I have already suffered through the application process, plus the denials and appeals process, and I WON. Now they’re treating me like a new applicant and I’m losing everything. This is a travesty! How can a federal agency allow a state to decide my fate? I’m being outsourced and I’ve already gone through this once! This is WRONG

          • If you appeal it SSA has to pay you until it is heard by a judge. Did you appeal the medical review decision?

        • Everyone is not a phony. I went to one of their so called Dr. And I sat in that office for seven hours I had my neo and my x-rays I had five disc in my back messed up deteriorating, herniated, bulging,my spinal cord leaning against my disc,and also sciatica. I was denied. I have worked since I was fourteen years old and was working when I got hurt on the job. I rather be working instead of getting monthly benefits. I am not a faker.

          • I know what you mean I was 21 when I got hurt at work . The Doctor after 6 month’s of test and sending me to other Doctor’s came back and said you will only get worse and should file for disability. I freaked out come on I was raising 3 kids and used the time at work as adult time with co worker’s I loved it and looked forward to it. Well I said no I am young and I can fight this and get better 2 years later I was getting worse pain went from 1 leg to the other by the 3rd year I had pain all over my body and was unable to put my feet on the floor with out so much pain clothes hurt wind hurt temp changes hurt I cried 99.9 % of the time. I wasn’t able to do anything I used to with my kids I just didn’t want to live anymore. It took me 5 yrs to get disability, I was told I could get it sooner for the depression but I refused to take it for that. Yes I was depressed but that was just something that happened after I couldn’t work or do things with my kids I was losing my husband all because I got hurt at work. I didn’t even go ask for state aid because I just couldn’t face the fact I wasn’t gonna get better. on the 4th year I asked for med card and food stamp’s due to living on $86.20 a week I had to choose a bill or feeding the kids and the food was gone from the placed I worked that they gave. I had no choice and because of that I spent 5 years fighting for RSD and Fibromyalgia . % yrs it took me to get SSI to me that was crazy but at least I got it for what I had that took my life away. Many years later I am now up for a review and since it started many doctors have move away No one knows where to know but they at the SS office should have all those records on file right? I also now have had bad Seizure’s started in April 3-4 of them at a time caused a heart attack and now they just come often even though I am on meds for them. I also have COPD and on Oxygen 24/7 now. By there new rules is any of the things I have still reason’s to still get my SSI? I have no idea what will happen to me with out it.

          • Hi Diane. We understand a medical review can be stressful. The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. The review depends on how severe your medical condition is and the likelihood it will improve. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a continuing disability review (CDR) approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently. For other factors that we consider in reviewing your disability status, please read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this helps!

        • Thanks for your question, Amy. Many people handle their own appeals. A representative familiar with Social Security’s programs can provide a valuable service to you. However, the decision whether or not to seek the services of a representative (attorney or other qualified person) is up to you. More information about representatives can be found in our publication, “Your Right to Representation.” If you need help requesting a review, contact your local Social Security office, your local hearing office, or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call during the week after Tuesday, later in the day or later in the month. We hope this helps!

    • My case is pending I have chronic Lyme’s disease and I hear that disability usually denies you if they even see the word Lyme disease. I will be so upset if I get denied, haven’t had a job in so long I literally have every symptom there is known to man I have pages and psges of lab reports and med records from at least 5 different doctors. It’s been almost 3 months now and they have received all of the paperwork paperwork needed from my doctors. my caseworker is extremely nice I just wonder how long it’s going to take to make a decision.but I hear it’s very hard to get disability when you have a Lyme disease,does anybody know if this is true?

      • Hi I have breast cancer and it was spread by a mammogram to my neck. I have been fighting cancer and the disability system for 2 1/2 years still nothing and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get anything. Had an agent tell me the other day she had cancer and she worked while having treatment so I should be able to to. I told her I paid taxes for over 35 years just in case something happened to me and it Has but I’m not entitled to what I paid in all those years. The Whole Government is Nothing but a Scam. I lost my 20 year career, my home of 16 years all because I can’t get my Disability. I now live in a RV in the desert and I dry camp because I can’t afford to pay rent for electric, water and sewer. I have cancer and can’t get any help. Were is all the free help the republicans talk about the liberals handing out – I haven’t found them in 2 1/2 years. Meanwhile I’m stuck in the desert dying of cancer and Zero Help. Doomed in Arizona.

        • Dear Doomed in Arizona,
          I was a legal sec. for about 25 years, so I did all my own paperwork and was denied twice! I applied again for the third time and did the same, paperwork and such. I figured to myself this is the last time I am going to do this myself. After that, one day I rec’d a letter in the mail stating I have a Court date. The date was a weekday, I don’t drive and haven’t since the accident that put me in the position of being disabled and I have no family. The date was also only 21/2 weeks away! I called the judicial assistant to the Judge that was going to be hearing my case. I explained how I just rec’d the letter and the position I was in and asked if I could possibly get the hearing changed to a later date so I had more time to find a ride or obtain the bus schedugit for which I needed to take because I knew it would take a few of them with transferring and all to make it there on time. He informed me that he would ask the Judge but it would probably be unlikely because the Judge did not like to change his schedule. He said once he talked to him, he would call me back either way to let me know but not to get my hopes up. I thanked him, hung up and began to pray. He called me back and said that the Judge was unwilling to change my Court date. I thanked him for his help, hung up and cried what seemed like forever! I didn’t know what to do. I wrote the Judge a letter explaining my whole situation and mailed the letter with hopes that maybe I touched his heart or compassion and maybe he’ll change his mind. I truly thought, this is it. I finally got a Court date and now I’m doomed! My date was for Dec. 4th, so I figured I would wait until after the holidays were over and I would decide to go at it again. It was heading towards the end of the month, Jan., I pulled out my file I created on everything I’ve done since day one and that day I went to check my mailbox and there was a Let from the Court and it stated that I had a hearing date for April 14th! I couldn’t believe it. The only thing I could think of was maybe the Judge did understand my situation and was giving me a chance to hear my case. At that point, I hired an attorney! After being in the profession I was in for a couple of decades I knew that I could get an attorney at no cost to me, I just wanted to be involved and figured all the beginning process is nothing more than filling out paperwork. I had it in my head that I knew they always deny your claim the first and probably the second time. But now with a Court date and with more time to get things together, 21/2 months, I called an attorney closest to my house and I asked my neighbor for a ride. I went to see hum and he told me that I definitely had a case but he was in business for himself and it would take him a couple of months to get my case ready for Court. He referred me to a friend of his that was just down the street and he was in a big time law firm! We went there and he saw me that day immediately and took my case. The day of the hearing, I was extremely nervous, my attorney was trying to calm me down and he explained that he was going to present the case, all the reasons as to why I can’t work anymore, the Judge may state some things and in the room there’s two other individuals who are witnessing, gathering everything that is said and may ask questions also. After my attorney stated my case the Judge asked him a few questions and the two of them went back and forth for a couple of minutes. Then the Judge asked me a couple of questions, when he got to, I believe the third one, I started out by saying “if I can be honest with you Judge” and started to go on answering his question, he said to me, I hope that is what you are doing, being honest with me because that is why we are here for. I thought I could have died because it was just a phrase I used a lot because I’m the kind of person who cannot lie! I taught my children no matter what happens to you during your life, I will always love you and will always be there for you, I just ask one thing and that is you must always be honest with me and yourself and then you will have nothing to worry about. As long as you tell the truth, I’ll be there for you and God will be there for you. So back to the case, after he talked with me for a few minutes, he said I think I have all I need for this case and I will make my decision, send it to you and then he adjourned for the day. My attorney warned me before we went in that the Judge that was hearing my case is older and that Judge’s take a month or two to make a decision but he takes three or four to make his. After Court, my attorney said that in all the cases he’s done, not one ever stopped the hearing like that and I said I messed it up didn’t I because I was so nervous. He replied saying no you didn’t and I think you won your case. But he told me that was what he thought so not to bank on it. Two weeks later, I went to check my mail and there it was, a letter from the Courthouse! I didn’t want to open it, I was so afraid! Well I did and my heart skipped a beat, I won!
          I told you my story because there is hope at the end of the tunnel! First of all, we ask must and have to pay social security taxes. This is not a choice! 2) Social Security is not a retirement plan. The whole time I worked, I didn’t look for the job that paid the most, I looked for the benefits! With being married to a construction worker, they don’t have any benefits, and 3 children, in my mind off course my salary was a part of it but I wanted to make sure that if anything at all happened to anyone in my family, we were covered and in those benefits there is usually, always some kind of retirement plan/401k plan/or profit share plan! Some people know how to save and put that money into a money market fund, annuity or investment plan. I’m not good with that. When I saved, it went towards our annual family vacation trip since I did receive paid vacation time! 3) Social Security is there to collect when you reach the age of retirement! I think that is where people get the wrong picture of what social security is for. The amount of your social security is NOT enough for a person to live on. If you had one of those plans I mentioned above, then you could retire nicely but you still get to collect the social security that you’ve paid in over the years as a taxpayer!

          If you didn’t at all with your case obtain an attorney, get one ASAP and try it again. You don’t have to pay an attorney that practices in social security! If you win your case, then he receives $6,000 or 25%, whichever one is the higher, mostly 99% of the time, they receive the $6,000. You would have had to make a ton of money for them to collect the other, in that case you wouldn’t even be in this position because you would have at least a trust fund made up for yourself in case of an emergency!

          Sorry for the long story, I just thought if I told you what happened to me, that you do have resources out there and there is ways to getting help! Like I said, it sounded like you didn’t use an attorney and think you couldn’t because you can’t afford one! They make money if you do, they make nothing if you lose! So an attorney is on your side! Call one and God luck. I hope you get better soon. Legal Begal Here For You!

          • Hi Lisa. Generally, when you apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income, we send you an official letter for each disability application, explaining our decision. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and ask one of our representatives to provide the status of your claim. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

        • I agree with with you.. Same with me. Totally disgusted. They need to go after ssi never worked. Refine ssi no worker.. Put me into ssdi people who paid. I’m losing everything in fight for 3 years . I’m on mextrate cancer drug. Is pathetic.

      • Thank you for your comment, Ashley. The Social Security Act sets out a strict definition for disability. 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. See “What We Mean By Disability”. The time it takes to get a decision on your disability application can vary depending on:
        • The nature of your disability;
        • How quickly we can get your medical evidence from your doctor or other medical source;
        • Whether it is necessary to send you for a medical examination;
        • and Whether we review your application for quality purposes.

        • I filled for disability due to nerve damage in left arm, ptsd, and sever anxiety, among other things i was told i was disabled but they do not believe it will last 12 months which i do not understand especially since i was told the damage will only get worse as i get older and the other conditions only get worse

    • It took me two years to get my disability backpay and Social Security won’t even give it to me since I’m still technically married but legally estranged from my violent sex offender husband. He’s verbally abusive and I have no access to his account. I’m moving out hopefully the1st of June and hope my $647 per month will be raised a bit. I’m a vet and gotten some movement from President Obama who contacted the VA and Social Security on my behalf. The Veterans Administration responded immediately. Social Security took away $6,000 and over-paid my attorney. They told me I would get a partial refun6from D. Downar6, what a joke. D. Downard used to work for the Nashville Social Security office so I’m sol

    • I am receiving social security benefits for my son. I have reported my income when working. I have been laid off since April 1st I called the 800 to report my change in income. I was told that I would receive a call in 7/10 days from my local. A month later nothing. I went in to social security office, I brought all my paperwork for unemployment, they told me that was not good enough. I make 1178 a month and get no benefits for him. Now I got a letter that I’m receiving a one time special payment from someone in august so no benefits again. Did I hit the lottery that I don’t no about. I’m not receiving any money other than unemployment and I don’t no what else to do. Between going there and calling its doing nothing. What do I do. I have no money, no bank accounts. I’m not sure there doing there jobs.

      • Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Thanks.

        • My sister in law just got a letter stating her payments are being cut off because she lives in Maryland and they have to follow the states rules, that they do not pay money for the state of Maryland.. However, she has been living in Maryland since she started receiving payments for her disability in 2009. I am her payee so I received the letter myself and I am very confused. Could you help me understand this?

    • I had able examiners and with judge determination Unfavorable. I was told different Medical examiner per case. I have psoriatic arthritis.. I take methodextrate, cancer drug to. I have inflammation arthritis code 14.09 a b n D. The judge did not say anything about it. Only about spine that stood not met criteria. 7 herniation plus cervical c6-7 stenosis. There is very little information on the psoratic. I worked 33 years, I will be 50 . I cannot believe bad rep in the case and new judge. 3 years 4 appeals now I have to go to Appeal council. I take cancer drug to show disease. What more do you want.. They held Excercise against me when that is need 5 days week to improve muscle around joints. The system is horrible. I’m in depression meds now, I see God in everyone as in honest. Now this has me disgusted.

    • I have been disable for some time and now i am under review. I am having other heath issues that wasn’t a part of my initial disability, and its considered a chronic disease should I include that in the long form that I have to fill out with my review ?

      • Hi John, you should include all the current medical information available and returned the completed review form as soon as possible. Thanks!

  2. What if you cannot physically come in to a local Social Security office? People with ALS generally cannot just get up and drive in to a SS office!

    • I don’t have a car, I use a kane, I also can’t see very good have flouters in the right eye and the other eye has a scar that is only 50 % that I can out of it.. And I am getting meals on wheels. and douing shopping by email.

      • There are helpers available through your county to help you through the process. Just call your county social services office. If you are turned down for disability find a disability lawyer. They will handle everything and only get paid a percentage of back pay if your appeal is successful otherwise no charge and they will come to your home if you are homebound.cyndee

    • Thank you for your question Jen. We completely understand that some people do not have the physical capacity to come into a field office and that is why we have made a lot of information about our programs and services readily available online. If at any time you receive a request asking you to come into the office, please call us and inform us of your situation. We will coordinate with the local office and make every effort to meet your needs. The number to call is our toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213, our representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

    • my received a notice that if he was unable to go to his court date they could do this by Video or maybe it was SKYPE
      through his lawyer.

      • Video hearings offer the same secure and confidential process that hearings conducted in-person provide. The judge has the same access to the applicant’s full Social Security file, including medical and educational records, as judges in the local office would. The procedure and development of the case is equal to in-person hearings, and the judge hears and considers the same testimony. Please go to our “Hearing And Appeals” web page for more information about hearings held through video teleconferencing (VTC).

  3. i got a letter asking about my injury , if it got better, did i work etc. i filled it out and sent it back
    How long does the response take?

    • The review process can take up to 6 months from my experience. If it has been longer than that, I would contact the state agency and find out why there is a delay in the processing.

    • Blindness under SSA’s criteria doesn’t mean totally blind. There are a lot of people who receive disability that are not 100% blind who may have surgery and they can see better. Also, there are special rules for blindness regarding work, etc. that they may have violated and therefore, they will be reviewed.

  4. I have on numerous times have applied on line for Disability and have been turned down . I have not been able to work due to my legs . Should I Go to The Social Security Office to apply ?

    • It is perfectly fine to apply online. That has nothing to do with your decision. The decision is based on your age, education, past relevant work (any work done in the past 15 years for more than a 3 month period) and your medical problems. Almost everyone is denied the first time they apply. The key to the process is to “appeal” the denial by filing a reconsideration appeal and if you are denied there, file a hearing appeal. Don’t just give up and keep reapplying. There is a limit on the number of applications a person can file within a certain period.



    • Try a lawyer that will help on your behalf no cost to you unless you win that’s the only option been there lawyer up….

  5. I’m still waiting for a form to show that the SSA employee discriminated against me & thus, my benefits were reduced. Still no action by the SSA!

    • There is no such form. If your benefits were reduced there was a notice telling you that was going to happen and it explained your appeal rights which you could appeal by writing on a paper sack if you wanted to.

      • My disability benefit was reduced in 2007 they said to over payment by work comp settlement. I never received a work comp settlement. Called SS many times, went to the local office and even got my state senator involved. I still have not received a reply from social security. I never got a letter of explanation or anything about an appeal. I was told it was due to work comp the 181st time I called about it. Has been over a year. Not one reply even by mail.

    • Appeal the decision. SSA cannot cut or take avay a benefit if you appeal it andr it is waiting for the appeal decision

  6. Autism, mental retardation, Tourette’s, Marie charco tooth syndrome all are not curable. Our daughter has multiple disabilities and SSA thought after only a year she needed a review. There has to be a better way!

    • I agree that they are not curable. However, over time they could “improve” to the point where the child no longer meets the listing for disability according to them. My daughter has Down Syndrome and it is not curable…but that is not the issue…it’s the advancement made in their abilities to do daily living activities and how they do in school. At age 18, all children’s benefits will have to be reviewed because at that time they need to meet the requirements for disability under an adult listing.

  7. I am a service veteran I recieved disability from a social security judge in 1999 I just applied will I receive it now that I turn 62 years old

    • Your comment is confusing since you mentioned you got disability in 1999 and waited until now to apply. What did you get from 1999 to now?

      • With award Lester from social security I sent to VA and my 60 percent turned to 100 Percent did not follow threw with social security disability have only five years after award to apply

    • I am thinking that you are asking will you get both your disability and early retirement now that you are turning 62 years old. You can receive both but the combined amount will never be more than what you would draw at full retirement age.

      • no you only can get one but the disability turns in to regular retirement at age 62 iv been on disability since 1989 and they told me it turns into retirement at 62

      • To clarify. When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your Full Retirement Age(currently 66). The benefit amount will generally remain the same.

  8. I have tried to get parking space at my apartment as disable person but they keep telling me I have to remain on regular waiting list to receive my parking space. They said I can’t get preferential treatment. Can you direct me to non profit organization advocates?

    • Contact your state office for protection and Advocacy services also you can file a complaint with your township and get parking rezoned where you live if there are 10 apartments or it is public housing

  9. I am waiting for the second time to get disability the first time I had a lawyer and I was told by the judge that there was a job for me 300 miles away. I have been living out of my car for over 7years and stay sometimes with strangers. I have been dealing with ptsd and acute panic attacks for over 7years and lost everything I worked my life for. I have been to so many hospitals and Dr.s and say it is just my anxiety medication and pain is constantly daily. But since I have to wait till the Dr.s and your psychologist to go over the top hospitals in the United States and say that there is nothing wrong with me and no hope or help with my fears panic attacks no money to pay for all the blood work my Dr wants to run on me. I find it hard to breath and find a reason why I should not just drive car off the bridge. I don’t want to die but GOD knows that I am definitely not living and I am lost inside my head and no hope for something good to happen no one will hire me any more due to the medication for anxiety medication and I get lost in a simple conversation. I don’t know what to do anymore because I have broken all relationships with family friends and aquantences and realize that I am alone. I get the whole 6-8 weeks for a response and to be honest I don’t know if I can make it through this pain and suffering anymore. I know people who have not even been through a third of my life and get help from disability and at least get a medical card that would be a great help with paying for the medication I have to take daily. I know that I probably made a mistake by working all my life and getting a career because the only people who are getting help are the ones who have not been down the road I have been down my ex husband is a great example of the abuse and beatings and huge reason for my life. I don’t know what to do anymore because I have never felt so lost inside my head and alone. I guess life does not matter to the people who are supposed to help people like me.

    • I am so sorry that you are having to go through all of this. I do have a question…are you getting treatment such as counseling and medications from a mental health professional/facility or are you just seeing a regular MD and getting anxiety medication from them. Sometimes that makes a huge difference in how your medical problems are evaluated. I can certainly understand your depression and anxiety and it sounds as though there might be another diagnosis of PTSD because of the abuse and beatings that you suffered from your husband. I am very sorry you are going through all of this.

    • I feel your pain sister. I have cancer and can’t get disability either been trying for over 2 years. I have lost my 20 year career, home, friends as well. I’m living in the desert dry camping in a RV praying for answers – wondering if I’m going to die from the heat this summer. Everyone says it gets to 130 degrees. Don’t think I’m going to survive it. Wondering what the next step is before I croak. Lost and scared.

    • Michele, contact the Arc of Washington D.C. Apply for welfare. You were given Life for a reason. Perhaps you are stronger than you know with the near future vocation of helpers other just like you. How else would you know how to fix what is wrong if you don’t go through it. I am the Queen of What Is Wrong, from Conception. I am 52 and I will always be a Child, just now, in an Adult Form. At least I finally know Why! Do NOT Give Up! It is Worse. Trust me there too, because I Know ♡☆♡

  10. I applied almost 12 years ago and was denied. I decided to get an attorney which took about another year for my hearing date. I had to cancel due to the pain I have. I cannot make plans of any kind due to my injuries and most days i don’t get out of bed. I’m getting WorkersComp due to the injury occurred while working. But, not only do I barely get enough to live on, I went through a divorce bc my ex just couldn’t handle having a wife that was full of life and energy to a person who suffers with pain. So, Workers Comp lowered my pay rate to 66%!! I don’t get alimony even though we were married 30 years!! Bc before the divorce was final he had heart surgery and a pacemaker put in. Hello??? No one has my back, I’m struggling to pay maintenance fees, taxes& food! Soon enough I will loose my Condo due to my funds ran dry. Is there anything I can do for help? I worked most of my life and now at 54 yrs old I’m afraid of being tossed out on the streets. I also had a neck surgery Anterior Cervical Fusion that failed. Seems like no matter what I do it only gets worse. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Where is your claim in the process now? When was the last time that you worked and paid into SSA and have they explained how the WC benefits that you are getting now will reduce your SSA disability and/or SSI benefits?

    • Lori’s advice is good but you also need to ask if you ever get social security will it reduce or eliminate your workman’s comp. You may be fretting over nothing

    • You can do the review on his behalf. Since he is a minor child, the responsibility is actually on you to do answer their questions. If you can’t go into their office then they can call you and conduct the interview by telephone. They should be pretty flexible.

  11. I am on disability due to cancer, I live in Illinois and was told that I could be eligible for my retirement early even though I’m not 62, because of it being a permanent disability the cancer has now spread to other parts of my body so is this possible? I’m also a victim of identity identity theft, and a friend of mine was a victim as well and they were collecting her benefits. It scares me, I worked hard

    • When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your full retirement age. The benefit amount will generally remain the same.
      Victims of identity theft should go to and report the theft to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338). Thanks.

  12. What is the criteria for a 100% disabled veteran for applying for SSDI? Please cite the procedure, And how long will it take to get it approved or disapproved Thank you.

  13. Disabilty reviews are a joke. If you work because you prefer not to live in a cardboard box and get food stamps, buy medicine, etc., they disqualify you. All the while, you work while on major pain meds just to get thru the day and continue to deteriorate health wise because you are forced to work. Isn’t it amazing that felons are eligible for disability? I’ve worked since I was 13 continuously and at the age of 58, disqualified because I have to work to keep from being homeless. Social security disability is such a scam! They are hoping you kill yourself by working until you can’t move or function and then you won’t be eligible to draw retirement.

    • Social Security is about work. The rules and regulations are under Employment Benefits (insurance) based on your Total inability to work anywhere in the national economy at any job 20 hours or more a week. The are not Disability laws to guarantee you Benefits.

  14. I have been on disability receiving it now for 3 yrs now I have had problem being accepted for Social Security benefits applied myself and was never denied I was a Diesel mechanic one day on the job I was working with a air tool cutting wheel which Exploded in my face taking my eye out I thank GOD and Sociality Security Administration for not Denying me Now will I get more money when I apply in two yrs.when I apply for my Retirement can some one Please let me know about this matter Thank You

    • Hi Ronald. For those individuals receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits when they attain their Full Retirement Age. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same.

  15. They are cutting me off after 15 years! I am appealing. However, I feel alone and helpless. IDK what to do! Wish they could walk a mile in my shoes.

  16. I’m wonder do person with cronical untreatable desease like HS – HIDRADENITIS SUPPURATIVA at advanced third stage with addition Diabetis, Thyroid,High blood pressure ,Depresion , worryingly low immune system for the sake of 19 years treatment with successive two kind antibiotics .spent a couple years in the war in Europe and raped, physically and psychologically humiliated by the opposing party.That tradition of violency would later comtinue by ex-husband . He was alcoholic & abuser ( psychologically, physically and emotionally ). Please answer me Do you think with HS and all other stuff I’m able to function normal and get back to work.Thank you very much.

  17. I have had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since age 11(now 29). Along with endometriosis, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, bilateral hip and knee replacements since age 12. I applied for disability before my first knee replacement which was 10 years ago and was NEVER denied like a lot of people, but now after 10 years, suddenly and over the last two years, I’m being reviewed constantly ever since I reported part-time (about 12 hrs a week) work and getting conflicting information from SS. This last time, somehow my multiple chronic autoimmune diseases are “magically” cured? I filed an appeal and haven’t heard back, meanwhile, my Medicare has been cut off and I’m forced to wait around in limbo, while I’m currently experiencing an RA flare for the last year pretty much and having trouble getting some of the meds I just started a couple weeks ago. I’ve tried calling and continue to be put on hold for over 30 mins only to get disconnected suddenly. I feel as though I’m being harassed and railroaded out of the system even though I’m not one of the people scamming the system. I’m just mind blown about the recent decision about my health because it’s physically impossible to be well enough to work full time. Did I mention the only reason I’m able to work at all is because I am a physical therapy aide at an indoor heated therapy pool where I use to pay to go to, and now get paid to be there with the added benefit of my own physical therapy which is crucial to keeping me moving at all.

    • Hello again, Sister. Shortly after I wrote to you I had to change my e-mail addsrse. Sorry. Is there a way I can write a personal letter to you??? Thank you for all that you do in the name of the Lord.


  19. After a 30 plus nursing career, high BP , 2 heart attcks with stent placement, type 2 diabetes, spinal stenosis, diverticulosis, charcot foot disease, scoliosis, asthma/copd, muscle weakness and unbelievable stabbing pain and numbness of feet. Denied disability twice. The company I hired just filed to have a hearing. Blessed that after my second heart attack my oldest daughter moved me to fl with her and her husband. I qualified for Food stamps $196 month but no medicaid. Try to eat heart healthy on that. My daughter buys med personal hygiene supplies, pays for my medications. I go to a clinic where my heart is being monitored by a NP who is thorough but she is not a cardiologist. My last job was with crackheads and malingerers who collect social security while they do and sell drugs. Must be nice. I have been working since the age of 16 and have to beg for help. I can no longer drive due to side effects of med for feet. So am pretty much homebound, depressed. Funny how I filed then waited 5 months was denied twice in 2 months but can up to a year to see a judge. This system is so broken and it’s so sad hard workers are treated like second class citizens. Illegal aliens get more than I do.

    • I sympathize with you. Registered nurses are the one group Social Security seems to believe have transferable skills to sedentary or light work. This they get denied even if they had to lift patients etc in their past jobs.

  20. I am 7 months into my 9 month TWP (trial work period) through the Ticket To Work program, and I just received Continuing Disability Review forms in the mail. I had read in the Social Security Red Book that if an individual was a SSDI recipient, that an incentive to them during their trial work period was that a Disabililty Review could not be done?

    Does anyone know?

    • You are right unless a medical re exam was established or the review started before your Tiicket to Work. Let them know. They may not be aware of it unless you let them know.

  21. Does anyone understand the way your monthly benefit is calculated? The way I understood my letter was they took my last year pay that I applied for SSD. Well, I only worked 10 hours that January, was denied in March, hired an attorney, went to court June the following year. For 1.5 years I had absolutely no income other than the 10 hours in January. My benefit check (which is not a benefit, I worked and paid into that system) each month is less than what I made working those 10 hours! How is that right?

    • For disability benefits, the amount an individual can receive depends on the amount on their average lifetime earnings when those earnings are insured under Social Security. For retirement, we use the highest 35 years of earnings to compute an individual’s benefit amount. You can create a my Social Security account to manage your retirement or disability benefits, review your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. To get started, go to

  22. After waiting almost 1200 days I had my ODAR hearing with Judge Ortis in the Baltimore Maryland office.
    I still don’t know what the judgement is but I have got to say that the hearing started right on-time and during the 2 hour (!) interrogatory there wasn’t a single time that I felt patronized, belittled, or otherwise maltreated.
    Although I was reaching my physical limitations- and Judge Ortis clearly noticed it- his professionalism carried things through with consistency and good nature.
    For this, I give Judge Ortis an A+.

  23. when I will be create social security bumper.
    is it possible that I live in bangladesh.
    thank all of you

  24. when I will be crs ate a social security number.
    is it possible that I live in Bangladesh.
    out site of U.S.

  25. I just tried to go to the link of what to know about disability benefits and came back as page not found. What’s going on ?

  26. Okay, I am REALLY pissed off at you guys right now. I am trying to report a bank change for my SSI/SSDI. I called. Chose the callback rather than waiting 40 minutes. (Why is it longer to wait for a callback if it claims you don’t lose your place in line?) Spoke to a guy, waited in dead silence for so long I thought he hung up looking up my SS #. Finally comes back and says what’s your routing number for your old bank. I don’t know. You need that he says. Oh, so nobody told me I needed it but now I have to call back and wait ANOTHER hour for you to call me back? Yes, he says. Why can’t you do it online? Well, you have my social security he says, CLICK!

    He HUNG UP ON ME! While I was asking him why if I can change my bank info online I was told to call. How DARE he hang up on someone speaking politely asking a simple honest question!

    This is what you allow? Really? Don’t you think if the links on my social security lead to a place I could put in my old and new bank info I would have done it and be done rather than waiting two hours? At that rate I could practically have walked to my wife’s work, picked up the car, and driven the 45 minutes to sit at the nearest office instead!

    I’m not asking for the world here you know, just POLITE people who don’t hang up when someone is trying hard to be polite to them. Just a place to fill in some bank info online and save the phone line some time, and save me some time. That shouldn’t be too much to ask. Shoot, it should fit great with that paperwork reduction act of yours. But to be hung up on, then have to wait another hour is beyond ridiculous. You REALLY need to find out who was manning that call and fire them! It would have been made to Flippin Arkansas out of whatever your 800 office is at 3:15ish on Thursday the 28th.

    • We apologize for the long wait Betsy, and regret to hear that we did not provide the level of customer service you expected. Remember, we take protecting the public’s personal information very seriously, and our representatives are required to use an identity verification process to protect your privacy and your Social Security information and benefits. Many services are conveniently available anytime at our website, and beneficiaries can create a personal “my Social Security account” to manage their Social Security benefits,. However, for changes related to your Supplemental Security Income or SSI benefits, you are required to call us or contact your local Social Security office.
      Sometimes we experience higher than normal call volume. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later during the week. Our representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We thank you for your understanding and for bringing this matter to our attention. Please try again.

  27. I recently received a partially favorable decision for my disability which will pay benefits starting 10 days after my ODAR hearing. If I choose to appeal the decision to get benefits that start on the actual date of my disability 3 years prior will the benefit be withheld until the appeal is heard, or will I receive benefits immediately?

    • Hi Paul. You can receive your disability payments while appealing your “actual date of disability”. Note that your appeal must be filed within 60 days from the date you received the letter explaining our decision. If payment is established with the approved date of disability and later changed, your payments will be adjusted accordingly. Hope this is helpful.

  28. Fantastic piece . I am thankful for the insight – Does anyone know if my company might find a sample a form copy to fill in ?

  29. Hi, I have a very odd question that I haven’t been able to get answered.
    I had SSD from 1987-1995. I let my SSD lapse because I moved to a new city and didn’t know how to fill out the yearly review forms.
    I’ve since reapplied and been turned down saying I hadn’t worked within the past ten years, so I live on SSI.
    My question is: since I allowed my SSD to lapse due to my disability, PTSD, DID, and other recorded disorders, can I ever get it back? Get my SSD reinstated?
    I apologize for such an unusual set of circumstances that are so very atypical.
    Thank you, Amy

    • Thank you for your question, Amy. Generally, when you apply for disability benefits, we take applications for both programs. When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income or SSDI program, individuals must have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which you have to earn within the last 10 years before you become disabled. If you have specific questions about your situation, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask one of our representatives to assist you.

  30. I am sorry that many of you are suffering due to the SSDI process. I suffer from PTSD, Major Depression, Diabetes, Insomina, Bipolar Disorder (Mania, Depressive), Sleep Disorder, Sucide Ideation (4 attempts since January 2014), Poly Neuropathy (All Limbs), Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (both hands). I did all the paper work on my own, and was approved in 5 months. My situations is not any better or worse then any of yours. I lost everything I worked hard to earn throughout the years. I would give anything to be able to work any type of job.

    If you can be retrained and do any other type of work you should while you are waiting for your case to come up. Too many people decide not to do anything thinking if they work they will be denied. You have to try! Social Security is not one stop fix it plan. If you can work part-time work part-time. As you read the stories posted it could take you a couple of years to get your case settled.

    Only about 27% get approved on the initial application stage. I was one of them because I knew how the system worked and I did 400 hours worth of research. I in affect became my own lawyer. If you want something bad enough you will find a way.

    step – Stop relying on other people to fight your battles including lawyers and family members.
    step – You MUST be willing to follow-up on everything at least 10 times. My state examiner knew me by first name. I made sure my file stayed on her desk. You notice I said her because I knew her name and I spoken with her on many occassions to point I had do what must examiners do not do call me back and keep me updated on what she needed in my file. Medical records from all doctors. All my doctors knew to not comply with what the SSA needed or wanted was to act not worth the headache they would receive from me.
    Step – I made the doctors give me copies of everything they gave to the SSA. Labs, etc.
    Step – I did my research on the internet and read every word pertaining to my illness I was applying for. I read SSA definition of disability and chosen my words carefully when talking or writing to them. You are giving them an interview of why you are TOTALLY DISABLE AND CANNOT WORK. EXample: You have an illness why can’t you become an security guard if you was a bank teller in the past 15 years. Look at the National Economy Job Sheet. They are not telling you must be able to get a job. They are saying if you COULD get a another job in a similiar field you will be denied. WHY? Because it is possible despite your illness you can work.

    Get off your butt. Get to work. Stop complaining because people will only care as much as you care about yourself. You have to fight!!! It is your life others can only do but so much for you. There are phamarcy companies that will give you free samples off the medicine that you need. You may not get medicaid but you get free meds from Supermarket chains like public’s for your diabetes.

    You all have just been educated on the SSA process. You only received a tiny summary of what I learned and the reason by means of God I was approved in 5 months with no questions asks of me except which bank account do you want your SSDI Check to be deposit it. I had to work. This process is not for the weak minded or the fearful. Get off your BUTT and get the Social Security you worked for all those years.

  31. I’ve been on SSDI since December 2009. I had a very bad home injury when I had just purchase a new futon and a friend who moved to Memphis slept on it the night before the accident. The screws came out from the part of the futon to allow it to go up as a sofa and down as a bed. Attempting to fix the problem, my friend was supposed to hold the bed and springs up, as I was going under the futon to get all of the screws and mounts that fell out. My friend reached for an alcoholic drink and the steel metal frame and the springs fell and hit my shoulder and then my neck, crushing most of my disc’s. I endured a 14 plus hour surgery repairing my disc’s anteria and posteria. It took me over to be comfortable with the fusion. I have never been able to work since.
    In 2015 I had a very nasty fall when I was leaving church. My fall caused my entire Right Lumbar to break in half and they were stacked on top of each other. This time I had a Neuro-Surgeon do the surgery that was needed. I’ve been at the same rehab for the past 10 months and they got my nose from being underground like an Ostrich. I still workout there with a personal trainer and I can walk with a cane and distance is the main problem for me. My doctor told me that the injury will be a problem for me and that I would require to take pain meds for the rest of my life. I’m a young 64 years and I returned to school to get an Accounting Degree. I now will be looking for part-time jobs for companies that are looking for a part-time accountant. I did report my sever back surgery to someone at Social Security. I also was awarded a whopping check for $1,377 per month. I feel like they kept at least 33% of the money that I should have been paid. I’ll turn 65 in January and 66 the following January.
    My question is an easy one. Will I become 65 will I receive more money for being on Full Social Security. I can barely make ends meet each month with a check of $1,377 as food alone has gone up 2 to 3 times from last year and we didn’t get a raise for the cost of living as Everything that you may imagine will continue to go up in price. I pray that the the Senators and Congressmen will change their present outlook of SSDi and do what they say they will do. We need a raise every when the Cost of Living goes up. Last year we did not get a raise due to the price of gasoline going down in price. This is a Feable excuse as I quit driving when I broke my right lumbar in half,and I’m sure there are others on SSDI that have trouble making end meet. I forgot to tell y’all that I lost everything due to Hurricane Katrina as many others also did.

    • Hi Joe. We are sorry to hear about all the inconveniences you had to confront in the past few years, but we also would like to congratulate you for attaining your degree. Congratulations! When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your Full Retirement Age. The benefit amount will generally remain the same. Since you are planning on working part-time, we ask that you read our publication “Working while Disabled- How We Can Help” and to visit our “Work Incentives” web page for important information. Thanks!

  32. Do you not understand.. I giovanni ruiz do not want ssa checks not being cashed ? Please close my name out of your system !

  33. Llevo ya un año en espera de una respuesta para vista con el juez, mis abogados indican que pueden tardar más . No entiendo, van dos años solicitando la incapacidad y no tengo respuestas de ningún lado. Cuánto tiempo más tengo que esperar?

  34. Hi
    I was wondering if there is any way for me to obtain medical documents that were in an old social security , disability claim that was denied. Since it appears that with my current claim they are missing, or unable to obtain the same medical records found in my old claim which I feel is imperative to my winning my case. How am I able to request that my medical information in the old claim be transferred into new claim, or am I even able to do so?

    • Thank you for your question Kathleen. You will need to contact your local Social Security office directly to request a copy of your medical file. Our representatives will assist you in the development and processing of a new claim. Most disability claims are completed electronically. Your records will likely be provided in CD format at no cost.

  35. I been. On ssi for 7 years I have a medical review right now and I was asked too go see a psychiatrist by my judicator. I have panic attacks and agoraphobia but I do not see a psychiatrist I see my doctor every month is there a reason why they’re sending me to a psychiatrist they trying to pick on me ? I have all my medical records in the forms I filled out I’m on 14 medications something else be worried about this sending me to there SS psychiatrist?

    • Hi Joe. We understand that a medical review can be stressful. We conduct medical reviews from time to time to make sure you are still disabled, and we only evaluate factors that permanently affect your ability to work. Also, we obtain and consider medical evidence from your doctor or other medical sources, if needed. The review depends on how severe your medical condition is and the likelihood it will improve. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a continuing disability review (CDR) approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently. For other factors that we consider in reviewing your disability status, please read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this helps.

  36. I’ve been on SSI for 7 years now I’m up for medical review and they want me to see SS psychiatrist is there a reason for this are they just trying to pick on me?

  37. I had a review so they checked my I hadn’t been to a doctor for years beside a bunch of ER visits for the same illness for about 3 years straight. According to social security that wasn’t good enough so they sent me to see their so called doctor for a full physical the guy only checked my heartbeat and said your fine I say that was not a full physical he replied thank you and walked out the room.

  38. My husband is in the cdr now. He was granted ssdi the first go around, which was 3 years ago. He has epilepsy, sees his neurologist regularly. He has suffered with this since childhood. He received the vegas nerve implant in his chest. This device helps but he still suffers. He is unable to drive. I rarely leave him alone. Will his benefits stop? We are worried. Thanks in advance

    • Hi Brenda. We understand that a medical review can be stressful. We conduct medical reviews from time to time to make sure individuals are still disabled, and we only evaluate factors that permanently affect their ability to work. Also, we obtain and consider medical evidence from their doctor or other medical sources, if needed. For other factors that we consider in reviewing your disability status, please read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this helps.

      • Can I do my medical review on line, instead of on the phone?
        So I have plenty of time to gather information, papers, records etc.that I can’t remember off the top of my head?

        • Thank you for your question Mark. We do not conduct medical reviews online at this time. We either conduct reviews by phone, or if we decide a full medical review is needed, we’ll send you a letter asking you to come to the Social Security office. At the review, we’ll ask how your medical condition affects you and whether it’s improved. We’ll ask you to bring your doctors’ names, addresses, and phone numbers and to bring patient record numbers for any hospitals and other medical sources that have treated you since we last contacted you. We appreciate your interest in being prepared to provide the information we will need, when conducting your medical review.

  39. My mother is 57 years old and had been receiving disability for 10 years when she got her review paperwork in the mail. “No problem,” I thought, as my mother is an amputee in addition to not having her entire left hip and buttocks due to a near-fatal car accident. She cannot stoop, crawl, climb, lift heavy objects, sit or stand for longer than 20 minutes, etc. Imagine my surprise when they deny her, and we’re thrust into this terrible appeal process.
    At this point it’s been about a year since the initial letter. She’s seen one of their doctors for a physical, which I thought FOR SURE would lead to her approval, as he even commented about her poor health status, but NO. She started attending therapy sessions because her anxiety has gotten so out of hand about this whole situation.
    She worked damn hard her whole life in fast food/waitress positions, with nothing more than a high school diploma. She has no special training, no special skills, can’t work in the food industry (OBVIOUSLY), and now hs memory/concentration problems because of a stroke suffered 3 years ago.
    By all definitions, including those so-called “grids” SS supposedly uses, she is 100% disabled, so WHY HAS THIS HAPPENED?
    Incompetent, lazy workers, that’s how, who see pieces of paper and printed words instead of.people. This is a horrible oversight that has caused me many, many sleepless nights wondering if my mother will go hungry or homeless because of the government’s carelessness.
    We’re about a week or two away from her hearing, and if the ALJ somehow finds her not disabled… well, I have no idea.
    The system needs to be fixed. So sorry to hear of so much struggle. It seems compassion and logic is thrown out the window when it comes to the SSA.

  40. I am 58 years old and I have scoliosis and pain with my back,neck, hips,and headaches. I have depression , anxiety, and carpal tunnel in both my hands. When I was denied twice they did tell me I couldn’t do my past jobs. I can only stand for 3 or 4 hrs at a time and my medicine makes me sleepy and have to lay down through the day. I sent in a dire letter and they got my hearing set up a lot sooner. The judge ask me about my health and how much wt I had to lift at my jobs and I told him around 40 pds and and sometime more and It got till I was in to much pain. I can’t concentrate and have trouble remembering. The judge then smiled at me and said you’re probably wore out aren’t you? I said yes sir. He then ask the VE if she had anything to say and she said no. The judge looked at me and said I will send you my decision in the mail. My lawyer said my doctor sent in a very good report about my health problems.Do you think I have a good chance of approval? Thank You Patricia
    9/18/2016 8:09 PM

    • Hi Patricia. The amount of time to receive a decision after a hearing varies from case to case. In your situation, we encourage you to continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

  41. I started receiving my disability payments in Feb 2016 and that included back pay from Sept 2013. Before my payments started I was asked if I had received a Work Comp Lump Sum during those dates, I called the SSA and told them that I hadn’t during the dates listed, but that I did in early 2012 for a 2008 work injury. The worker I spoke to told me that those dates are fine, but to put it on the form anyway. Now my disability payments are being reduced from $780 a month to only $27 a month. I was never sent a letter regarding this reduction and only found out about because I went on the Social Security Administration’s website to find out why I was sent an additional check in August for a little over $1,200. I then called the SSA and was only told that I now owe SSA more than $17,000 and I don’t know why. After researching on the internet, I found that if Social Security is going to reduce your monthly payments that they need to give you a 30 day notice stating so and why. I never received any notification at all and had it not been for the additional $1,200+ in Aug, I would never had known in Sept until the day that I was to receive my payment. I cannot afford to only receive $27 a month as my monthly medications and doctor visits cost more than that. What if anything can I do about this?

    • Hi Debbie! Workers’ compensation and other public disability benefits may reduce your Social Security benefits. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog, and cannot provide an explanation. In your case, we recommend that you visit your local Social Security office and speak with a representative. Please bring with you any and all documentation related to your earlier worker’s compensation benefits. We apologize for any inconveniences.

  42. Is it true that the Social Security Administration has to send you a letter 30 days prior to lowering your disability payments, because I never received any notification from the SSA and my disability was lowered last month. I still have no idea as to why this happened to me. What if anything can I do about this.

      • Sir I would still like to know if it is true or not that someone on disability needs to be notified in advance before the receive a lower payment. I have read online that this is true and it makes sense to me, but I would like to know the truth before I notify my local office.

  43. I went to court June 23rd. The judge said there was no job I could do.. So I waited and got my letter being denied. So I had to file a review. How long will it take t o get a notice on that?

    • Hi Stacey, The length of time it takes to get a review of your claim can vary from state to state, as there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. Please continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case. Thank you for your support and for using our blog.

  44. Hello I was wondering if I could get help with some questions that I might have I had an on-the-job injury in 2009 I have degenerative disc disease I have pain in my neck and back weakness in my arms legs and feet terrible headaches and I have had mood disorders since I was 5 years old I was diagnosed with that when I was 5 years old and have been taking medication for it on and off I don’t seem to be getting any better I apply for Social Security benefits in 2011 and I was denied and at that point I tried to keep working I worked on and off but continue to get laid off and fired because of my condition I couldn’t do my job properly so I applied once again early last year they turn me down and I appeal I was wondering how long does it take after the appeal to get seen by a judge and what are my chances for being awarded SSDI if my condition is degenerative disc disease depressive mood disorder and daily chronic pain with headaches sometimes I don’t even take the pain medication because it does not even seem to work I can’t sit for any for a long. Of time I can’t stand for any long period of time it’s just awful I cannot climb stairs

    • Thank you for contacting us Peggy. The length of time it takes to get a hearing can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. The good news is that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Visit our “Hearing and Appeals” web page for more information, and continue working with your attorney and local hearing office on specific questions about your case. You may find our listing of impairments useful.

      • Thank you for responding my attorney told me that my illness is definitely severe enough according to my doctor statement MRIs and x-rays that I would have been approved possibly already however at the time I applied I didn’t have the proper documentation so that’s why it’s being prolonged and in the meantime I’m breaking down I’ve already lost everything that I own I have no money for food I don’t have a vehicle while I wait I can’t climb stairs I can’t see it I can’t stand and I’m dealing with the chronic pain and headaches I have loss of bladder and bowel function movements a time and I’m just in bad shape and now that I have an attorney there telling me there’s nothing that they can do to speed up the process I filed an appeal in last November and here we are this November I haven’t heard anything again I am getting really nervous and I feel like just committing suicide. Is there anything that might attorney can do with the Social Security office to help expedite my case I’m at the point now where I feel I’ll probably be dead by the time I’m awarded my benefits

        • My dad has been waiting for 3 years and plans to commit suicide when he can no longer afford to live. I don’t see the benefit in this process.

          • Hi Heather. We are sorry to hear about your father’s difficulties and health problems. The length of time it takes to get a hearing can vary from state to state. We attempt to resolve all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending appeals in your area. The good news is that we are trying to conduct many of our hearings through video teleconferencing (VTC) to speed up the process. Also, while waiting for a medical determination on his disability claim, your father may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which he lives. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. Thanks.

  45. I think maybe when enough people begin to harm themselves because they can’t handle the stress and the poverty of waiting and losing everything that they had I think maybe they’ll figure out another way to see to these cases and more of a timely matter because the waiting is just too hard

  46. For those individuals receiving disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance program, we automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits when they attain their Full Retirement Age. Generally, the benefit amount remains the same.

    What happens when a person on Social Security Disability opts for early retirement? Remove the stress of Social Security reviews.

    This page has the example, full retirement age, 67.

    Social Security
    Retirement Planner: Full Retirement Age
    62, 30% reduction
    63, 25% reduction
    64, 20% reduction
    65, 13.3% reduction
    66, 6.7% reduction

    Suppose you started receiving $1,000 a month in SSD benefits at age 60. You go early retirement at 62.

    Does your benefit reduce 30%? $700 a month. Or do you receive 30% less, of what your Social Security benefit Would Have Been? Someone at Social Security would have a rough idea of that amount, based on the $1,000 SSD.

    While everyone’s amounts would be different, it would be a help to know how Social Security benefits would calculated in the gap years. Example, 62-66.

    • It would be the same..However, don’t take early retirement and stay on SSDI .Your benefit is the same as if you retired at 66 now.

      • Sorry your benefit would be 30% less if you retire at 62..Your SSDI benefit is $1,000. which is the SAME amount you would get at Full retirement age

  47. My father became disabled almost 3 years ago due to peripheral neuropathy. He can’t stand for more than a few minutes, can’t walk for very long, sometimes loses the ability to walk. His medication makes him forgetful, he can’t learn, and it also causes him to sleep either all day or at random times. His doctors have told him he will only get worse. He contacted an attorney or family has known for years to help him file, and has been giving him all paperwork he can from doctors, everything that’s asked for but the attorney has misplaced paperwork, provided incorrect address information leading to letters from the SS office being missed, and has even told my dad he doesn’t know what paperwork my dad should send in. He’s been trying for 3 years to get benefits. He received a letter nearly 6 months ago saying he should expect a court date to be assigned soon. He’s out of money, living on credit cards, and plans to kill himself when he can no longer pay rent. What the hell makes this process take so long? Is there anything we can do to speed things up?

  48. My husband has been getting ssi since birth and all of a sudden he is getting “revoewed” every couple of months!!! When does the harassment stop!!!!! It’s out of control!!! We are talking to our lawyer.

    • Hi Brenna. We understand that a medical review can be stressful. We conduct medical reviews from time to time to make sure individuals are still disabled, and we only evaluate factors that permanently affect their ability to work. Also, we obtain and consider medical evidence from their doctor or other medical sources, if needed. For other factors that we can consider in reviewing your husband’s disability status, please read our publication, “What You Need to Know: Reviewing Your Disability”. We hope this information helps.

  49. How Do I obtain a review letter replacement? I received a review letter stating I would not be required for another review in the next 5-7 years and need another copy of that letter to send to the student loan TDP agency.

    • Hi Tiffany. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and request a copy of the letter. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  50. I have been on disability for about 6 years I had one review and they kept me on disability I had an injury but the doctors refused to operate do to my heart. So I cannot medically improve and lost my job now I am 64 and still have the same condition should I worry about another review before I turn 66. I heard that social security will try to take you off disability before you turn 66 so that you get a reduced amount off ssi is this true

  51. My SSI monthly paymnents benefits have been substantially reduced (from $980 to $502). My family helped me with credit card debt so now SSI claims I have help with food and shelter. However the debt was not for food and shelter or clothing. I have credit card records of all my purchases, but not itemized receipts. I know that I don’t buy food at, for example, Rite Aid or Walmart, but without itemized receipts a I can’t prove that my family didn’t pay for food or clothing. So save your receipts everyone!

    My question is:
    I would like to know what happens now when I reach retirement age (is it 66 for SSI recipients too?) Will my SSI payments be fixed at this new low rate of $502 per month?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Catherine. We have strict guidelines that apply to individuals receiving benefits under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. For SSI eligibility, we will take into consideration any income and resources available to you. Income also includes such things as food and shelter, and any cash you receive from friends and relatives. Also, if an SSI recipient is insured and qualifies on his or her own record for their own retirement benefit, they are required to apply at age 62. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We hope this information helps!

  52. To Whom It May Concern:

    I failed to respond to a Social Security redetermination request sent to me back on December 20, 2016 after they sent me a follow-up on December 29, 2016.

    However, I spent quality time with family over the holidays, my phone hasn’t been working, there was a snow storm which lasted two weeks during the first week of January, and I’ve been down with the cold this past week. All the conditions for a perfect storm, basically! 🙁

    I was supposed to respond by phone by January 15, 2017. However, I didn’t check my mail until very, very late last night.

    As I have mild to moderate schizophrenia, do I need to be worried about losing my SSI benefits at this point? I’m really really scared I’ll fall through the cracks!

    Please help!


    — Scared in Oregon

  53. My wife gets SSD for R.A, depression, anxiety, and a couple of other things. She recently has had a mental breakdown due to the loss of here Mom, and Dad and is now mentally unstable. Do I need to inform SSA that her condition has deteriorated mentally, or is this not necessary?

    • We are sorry to hear about your wife’s recent loss. If you feel that your wife needs help managing her Social Security benefits because of her current condition, you may be interested in applying to become your wife’s representative payee. You will need to contact your local office for a face-to-face interview. It would be helpful to obtain a statement from her doctor prior to visiting the local office. The statement should explain your wife’s current condition and that she is not able -mentally and physically- to take care of herself and that you are the person responsible to keep her finances in order. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to request an appointment and to discuss your concerns. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thanks.

  54. my son has been diagnosed ad/hd for over 10 years he is turning 17 next month…he has been getting ssi since age 6 and we were told he has improved by the ssa, which is not the case he has actually progressed…I took him to a psychiatrist here yesterday and he said he is actually bipolar…I am at the appeal stage for a ssa-3441bk. how is his new prognosis going to effect the appeal and his future benefits…since his progression of illness has become such an obstruction with his academics and social abilities?

    • Hi Dee, you must provide any new medical information in your appeal. If necessary, to add new medical evidence or a medical source to your son’s claim, you can also mail or take the information to your local Social Security office. The State agency (usually called Disability Determination Services or DDSs), will need to evaluate all of your son’s medical conditions. Thanks.

  55. i was determined to have a review in 5-7 years but my doctor has since released me . how likely are they to review me before that time ?

  56. ok on my letter it stated ” not expected” so would that mean no review as it states for 5-7 years ??and if so would I be able to do anything like part time from home ???

    • A person may still be eligible to receive disability benefits if they work. In addition to the amount of money you make, while working, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work. For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability. Or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We hope this information helps.

  57. I am 62, female. I have a list of ailments. Went before an all and she only deemed me partial benefits. I received a few checks and then began receiving full ssd i benefits,including Medicare coverage. I received these checks for another three months and then my full benefits were taken away and I was put back on ssi. Now, my income is less than a third of what I was receiving, I have no insurance coverage. What is ssa doing besides making me want to jump out of a window.

  58. I received a SSA-455-OCR in February, I returned it the end of February correctly. I have received no reply yet. My question is I thought the CRD short form was scanned by a computer so why have I not received a letter yet, Does this mean I will be giving a full review??

    • Hi Donna. We try to review all claims promptly, but there may be delays due to the volume of pending cases in your area. We will notify you in writing about the final determination or if we need additional information to complete the review. In general, your benefits will continue as long as you are disabled. Please visit our Disability Planner: Reviewing Your Disability for more information.

  59. You have given me two helpful answers about SSI redeterminations. One more question…is it true SSA is viewing ones bank history prior to the redetermination? If so, why would they need bank statements?

  60. I have a Disability Review coming up soon, but still haven’t received any notification. The only reason I even know is because of contacting SSA about another matter recently. Should I be worried? Why haven’t they sent me a notice, or form, or anything?

    • Thank you for contacting us Layla. When we decide a full medical review is needed, we’ll send you a letter asking you to come to the Social Security office. The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a continuing disability review (CDR) approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently. We hope this helps!

  61. I have been approved for disability and received a letter indicating the number of years between reviews for my case. I have misplaced or lost the letter. Who do I contact to get a replacement letter regarding my CDR?

  62. Hello I’ve been on SSDI since 2015 at age 58. The letter I first received said I would be reviewed in 5-7 years. What are the chances that when I’m 63 or 65 they would stop my benefits?

  63. Hi,
    I got approved about 4 years ago after having heart failure then subsequent kidney failure. I’ve been on dialysis for 4 years as they say I will never regain kidney function. Is there any way to find out when I will be reviewed. I don’t recall seeing this information on any letter I got.

    • Hi Bill! The Social Security Administration conducts Continuing Disability Reviews from time to time to make sure the individuals receiving checks are still eligible to get them. The review depends on how severe your medical condition is and the likelihood it will improve. Generally, if medical improvement is possible, we will do a continuing disability review (CDR) approximately every 3 years. If not, we may review it less frequently. You will be notified by mail, when and if we need to review your case. You will be given enough time to respond and contact us for further instructions. For more information, please read our publication: “What You Need To Know – Reviewing Your Disability“. Thanks.

  64. My hubby has been disabled for four yrs now, he’s fused from l4-s1 in his back has numbness in his right leg from knee down and sever drop foot. He’s in no potion to return to work, his surgeon closed shop here in ca and moved out of state, so he isn’t seeing a dr as of now for his back issues, but social security just denied him at his review statnping his health has improved and he’s able to return to work….what do we do now, an appeal of course but he doesn’t have a dr for is workers comp issue anymore and his reg dr won’t touch it.

    • Hi Beckie. If an individual’s disability application was recently denied, but he or she does not agree with our decision, the individual has the right to file an appeal. You must make a request within 60 days from the date the notice of denial is received. We recommend that individuals don’t delay submitting an appeal, even if they don’t have all of the information they need. In some cases, the disability examiner may decide to arrange for a consultative examination in order to obtain the additional information needed. Individuals can complete and submit the required Appeal Request and Appeal Disability Report online. Please visit our Disability Determination Process web page for more information. We hope this information helps.

  65. Hi I been on ssdi since 2005 and I got a cdr I think because I work a little part time but I been to my dr appointment and I am still in pain and I had to stop cause I was in a lot of pain but I dnt tell them I was working and I dnt make a lot of money my medical records are up to date I am very worried I am in depression right now should I be worried.

    • Hi, Vince. Generally, after completion of a medical review, you get a letter telling you about our decision. If your health hasn’t improved, or if your disability still keeps you from working, you’ll continue to receive your benefits. For more information visit our Disability Planner: Reviewing Your Disability. Unfortunately and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and speak to one of our representatives for further assistance. Thanks!

  66. Hello I have a friend that is in desperate need of disability benefits due to his suffering severe separation anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, ADHD and dyslexia… He has information from his doctors in the past should he undergo current treatment? I’m wondering what is the best route to go for him if we should get an attorney or an advocate? Thank you for your time and reading my letter I’m intrigued to see your response.

    • Hello, Kate and thank you for helping! 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. However, if a person believes they are disabled and meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability as soon as they become disabled. Your friend can apply online, which is quick and easy. He can also apply by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or he can contact his local Social Security office directly. For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability. We hope this information helps!

  67. i find the form really complicated. i cannot tell if i am supposed to list every visit with a doctor for the entire year or just the names of the doctors i have seen, their address and telephone numbers and what they have done… then ssi will talk to them further?

    i am actually 58 years old and will be 59 this December 20th.

    the hospital where the majority of the oncology, chemo and diabetes as well as gasrtro clinics were in a hospital that recently closed.

    this has made it hard for me to find all the appt info for the months they were closing and after i go to the same people but they are no longer in the hospital clinics.
    this is so confusing.

    as for me, i have had diarrhea pretty much ever since my emergency colon cancer surgery and chemo.

    i wear diapers (thank you God for there being diapers for adults) and it is very hard for me in the morning often taking 2 or more commonly 3 hours to get where i can safely get up and about without another big load of poop which means, diaper change, sitz bath at least, and sometimes complete clothing change.

  68. sorry i need help with the form. i didn’t mean to get off in the medical part, it has become my whole life it seems.

    can my survivor nurse navigator who i got after a year of being cancer free help?

    if i need all the appts i will have to find someone with the info from the hospital clinics that closed.

    this has pretty much overwhelmed me. together with the morning pooping regimen and then me trying to find this stuff i have messed up the form and i am afraid i will write the wrong things.

    please someone tell me what to do to get help. when i call the ssa they haven’t been so helpful.

    can my survivor nurse navigator help me being that she knows my case?

    thank you

  69. I received a letter by mail, requesting information to be filled out and sent from Arkansas , but has a return address of London Kentucky, there are a lot of typing errors as well, Iam afraid they are a fraud, how do I find out?

  70. I an 62 yrs old and have been cut off of ssd, I have had two brain tumours and had suffered gran mul seizures and because I live with landlord/friend they accuse me of living in a common/law relationship. I pay $450.00 rent per mouth and $70.00 utility bill. I have a golden retriever who knows when I going to have a seizure. So where do I live on the street. That’s what happened to me and just before Christmas they cut me off so I did not receive my Christmas cheque and my pills are &400.00 per mouth and they cut me off just like that without any worning. I am a born and raised Canadian

  71. SSA needs to Update its Blog on how the disability review (CDR) process has changed since 2014.

    Now 2017, (at least in Ohio) When your case comes up for periodic review the first Notice you Receive is the “Notice of Continuing Disability Review” along with the SSA-454BK, and SSA-27. So that means the review has already started.

    Also there is no contact, meeting or psychic connection with any living pperson at any time, Its only fill out those two forms and it gets farmed out to the Ohio DDD agency that does all initial SSDI/SSI disability determinations. denials of same, reconsideration of their own denials, until it goes to ALJ who is usually first person to actually apply the SSA laws to any of it.

    The Ohio DDD does these CDR (medical) the same as the Initial Determination. The letter they send out is even the same one saying SSA has sent “your” claim to them to determine if you are Disabled/Blind and elegible to receive Benefits. When they make a “Decision” on your Claim they will Notify you.

    About a Month later you will usually receive a Notice Of Disability Cessation from them saying Medical Improvement. They will skip over the SSA Laws regarding ability to perform SGA, usually have no Vocational Records of PRW but they say there is “other work” you can do.

    Oh and the Medical Evidence is a single Report from a Clinic. No Dr. Names or anything else. (Clinic is at least the same one your Psychiatrist is in).

    This is happening to a particular set of Recipients. From what I can find out its mostly Adults who fought for their SSI Awards for very Specific Mental Disorders in 2012-2015 and the CDR was the first one after their Initial Determination of Disability, which would be their CPD forMIRS Medical Improvement if this was really done to the SSA Laws.

    But I only bring this up because if SSA really want’s to save money they should first look at their use of State DDS Agencies that are not following the SSA Laws and causing needless Appeals, Re considerations, DHO Hearings, ALJ Case Loads, all of which cost SSA money on their end and SSA will be blamed by everyone from Claimants to Politicians. Even though SSA is just being duped.

  72. I filed October 2017 for my daughter. The local office is playing games and even the main office is upset. The decision is made and it is past the 120 days. I called my local office 13 tines today to get answered and immediately hung up on. So I called the main office and after verification process was told that she has been approved. But the local office has not sent the forms to me or to wherever else they are needed. How long should the wait period be after hearing this information?
    Because apparently calling the local office is out of the question. And going in I would be waiting for up to 5 hours.

  73. Thank you for information about disability of benefits. Your article is good. vtsbharath organization conducted free medical test in various places.

  74. tina leigh my friend lost social security disability because she workrd alot of hours and owes them4 thousand dollars and hasnt gone to social security office to see why she lost it or attempted to make payments what will happen to her?

    • thank you for your question, Dave. A person may still be eligible for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program if they work. However, their earnings cannot exceed a certain amount. This is called the Substantial Gainful Activity (SGA) limit. In 2018, the SGA limit is $1,180 per month (or $1,970 for blind applicants). In addition to the amount of money you make, Social Security may also look at the number of hours you’re able to work.
      For more information visit our “Returning To Work” web page.
      We hope this helps!

  75. I need my Benefits back, I didnt deserve them being taken away, I have bills I cannot pay now. I have been on social security 15 + years. I have a son who is 9 yrs old. My Bipolar hasn’t changed and I am only getting worst in my old age. Please give my 680.00 a month back or I will go crazy.

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