Typically, if your health has not improved, or the disability still keeps you from being able to work, you will continue receiving benefits. However, if your condition has improved or no longer interferes with your ability to work, then the social security disability review may result in a reduction or a complete reversal of your benefits.
Frequency of Review
How often your file is reviewed is based on a number of factors, such as the condition you have, the severity of the condition, and how long its been since you were awarded disability benefits, or went through your last review. Typically, if your condition is expected to improve, you’ll have a review 18 months after your award date. If your condition is expected to possibly improve, you’ll undergo review approximately once every three years. If your condition is not expected to improve, you’ll be reviewed approximately once every seven years.
Notification of Review
When your file is up for review, you will receive a letter in the mail that asks you to visit your local SSA office.
The Review Process
When you come in for a review, you will be asked questions about your medical condition and your improvements. You will need to provide doctors names, hospital names, patient records numbers, etc. to support continuing medical treatment for the condition. If you have worked since the last review or since you were initially awarded your benefits, you will need to bring proof of income and type of work done.
The Decision Making Process
The local SSA office will forward all of the information, including your answers to the questions, to the state office for review. An experienced disability examiner will then request updated copies of your medical records from doctors, hospitals, and necessary specialists. From here, the examiner will meet with a medical consultant, and the two of them will work together to evaluate your case to determine if you still qualify to receive disability benefits. If the medical information provided is not up-to-date, you may be asked to come for a special examination, but you will be notified of the time, date, and location.
If for any reason you disagree with the decision that’s been made during the review, you have the right to appeal it. There are four levels of appeal: reconsideration, hearing, appeals counsel, and federal court. You’ll have 60 days to appeal from one level to the next. Keep in mind there are special rules that allow for you to continue working, as long as you do not earn over a certain amount of income every month, so being disabled does not completely ban you from earning income outside the social security payments.
If you have any questions or concerns about the social security disability review process, speak to your lawyer, or someone at the SSA.