May 18, 2016
Disability Associates, LLC. expands upon Continuing Disability Re-Evaluation so that you might better maintain your disability benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) is required to perform a Continuing Disability Re-Evaluation (CDR) to ensure that individuals who are receiving Social Security as the result of a disability, still qualify for assistance. CDRs will occur every three years for beneficiaries below 55 years of age, every 7 years for those who are 55 or older, or if a beneficiary’s condition is unlikely to improve.
The CDR process is similar to the initial review process for determining an individual’s qualification for disability. The beneficiary’s medical records are reviewed for signs of an improvement in their medical condition, and for indications that the beneficiary is able to perform enough work to receive a qualifying income – “substantial gainful activity,” or SGA. Examination by a physician on retainer for the SSA may also be required.
The SSA’s determination of the beneficiary’s ability to perform SGA plays a large role in the CDR process. For blind beneficiaries, income must be at or above $1,820 per month in order to qualify as SGA. For all other beneficiaries, income must reach or exceed $1,130 per month (as of 2016). If a beneficiary earns at or above the amount considered SGA, their benefits may be in danger of discontinuation. The only method of guaranteeing that benefits continue while earning at or above the SGA is through enrollment in one of the return-to-work programs provided by the SSA.
If a beneficiary is found to have committed fraud, or does not assist the SSA to the best of their abilities with the conducting of their CDR, or does not abide by their physician’s orders, the SSA is no longer obligated to prove whether or not the beneficiary in question is able to perform SGA.
The CDR process may sound frustrating. It may be comforting to note, however, that most individuals do not lose access to their disability benefits as a result of CDRs. Beneficiaries also have the ability to appeal SSA decisions to stop benefits. In order to begin the appeals process, the beneficiary must submit a request for a hearing before a Social Security Administration Law Judge. The beneficiary may also request that benefits are continued during the appeals process.
For more information regarding CDRs, please contact Disability Associates, LLC today.