Disability, General, Online Services

How We Review Your Disability Benefits

April 14, 2016 • By

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.


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About the Author


Doug Walker, Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Deputy Commissioner, Office of Communications


Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.


    When I initially received SSDI, my Ophthalmologist encouraged me to apply for Blindness & Low Vision. Instead, I applied for Myasthenia Gravis which caused my blindness. I got a 2nd opinion . However, after 4 bilateral surgeries, my sight has worsened. I did have brief improvements but none lasted longer than 2-20 months. Can I apply for Blindness and Lowvision now although I am already receiving SSDI for M. G. Will my monthly benefits with blindness be my physical impairment?

    • Vonda

      For your security, Tawanta, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  2. Margaret Schmitt

    I was just approved for disability this month (December) but my eod is 7/27/19. Do I use the eod date to calculate when I can receive Medicare?

    • Vonda

      Hi Margaret, thank you for your question. You are automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A and B if you’ve been entitled to Social Security disability benefits for 24 months. For example, if your month of entitlement is January 2021, your Medicare would be effective January 2023. An information packet will arrive in the mail a few months before you become eligible. Check out the Medicare brochure for more information.

  3. mark stanfield

    hello, i am currently disabled and receiving ssdi for it.

    what happens to by disability status when i reached retirement age. i ask because i also have medical coverage based on social security status as disabled. medical uses ss classification as qualifying criteria.
    do i still stay “disabled” to ss or do i go directly to gen retirement as a cust srvc for ss said. the ss classification allows me to keep medical benefits

    • Vonda

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

  4. Dennie Robinson

    My son who is 44 has been diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder with paranoia. He is unable to work in any capacity because he starts talking very loudly to himself in the schizo phase. He complains about unreal beings and fears in a very loud voice. This mental illness is has been going on for at least 3 years. He has been in 3 or 4 mental institutions. He will not stay on required drugs because he will not believe that he needs them. We are in our 70’s and he is living in an apartment in our house. Can we get disabled social security payments for him? How about recovery of thousands of dollars in costs that we have paid that have significantly diminished our retirement savings?

    • Vonda

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

      If he is unable to file online, he can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or call his local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

  5. Sara King

    I was approved for SSD 4yrs ago for mental health and chronic health. I have recently come up for a review. Im really not sure to do. I)its requesting information from the past 12mths of treatment. unfortunatly due to covid i have only recenly been getting treatment with mentalhealth via video zoom. this is not my fault. its taken almost a year just to start video visits. I have not seen my doctor due to covid becouse hes only taking emergencies and ongoing visits are not a proirity. i do need more blood work and a review on current progression of illness but i’m on a wait list. ontop of all this i am supposed to drop off review report at office and schedule a inperson review yet im tequniqualy concidered high risk and the offices arent even open. i tried to make an account online but yet again just like before i am being denied saying information cannot be verified but its all the right information. honestly i do not know what to do. and any advocate that could potentualy help me are unable to meet up do to not doing any in person appointments. I feel so screwed over right now. oh and on top of it from when i got the paperwork to when i have to return it is less than two weeks. also like everyone knows, nobody can go in person so everyone has to call in so way to many people are calling in and its near impossible to stay on call wait for 24hrs.


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