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.

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466 thoughts on “How We Review Your Disability Benefits

  1. One more comment. Everytime I called SS I got a different answer. The SS phone people are not properly trained. When I went to SS office, I was told I am worrying too much that when taxes are filed, they will stop. Also was not true. Sent certified letter, no reply. Took 4 to 5 yrs to stop In letter I did as for extension on benefits because Of cost of returning to work. No training nothing was offerred to me.

  2. I’m already on Medicare and was on Social Security benefits. I would like to continue back to part time work. Do I need to fill out a new application. Please let me know what are the proper steps to take.

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

  3. I HAVE A CLIENT WHO ASK WHEN THEY RETIRE AT AGE 66YRS 4MNTHS, WILL THEIR DISABILITY MONTHLY CHECK STAY THE SAME AMOUNT OR WILL IT GO DOWN

  4. If you’re on SSDI, what happens when you reach retirement age, will you just switch from SSDI to SS or could your benefit amt change?

    • Hi Lynn, thank you for 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. The benefit amount remains the same. We hope this helps.

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  6. Is a SSDI recipient’s benefit eligibility affected by a loss of earnings lawsuit settlement? For example they receive a settlement of $50,000, the lawyers get $20,000 of that and the SSDI recipient gets $30,000. The recipient is still disabled and unable to work.
    A SSA representative who was working remotely last week told me that because the recipient received their SSDI on the fourth Wednesday the settlement would not affect their SSDI. I cannot find any supporting evidence of that on your website. The recipient knows income tax will have to be paid, but if the settlement is put on a Schedule C because the recipient was self-employed it may look like earned income to the SSA and disqualify the recipient due to a misunderstanding,

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