An Honest, Clear Voice In SSI/SSDI Care

How often does Social Security re-evaluate disability?

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Social Security Disability

It’s not easy to get your Social Security Disability (SSD) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) application approved – but you did it. Your benefits have finally started.

Now, you’re just wondering how long you can keep them. The Social Security Administration (SSA) has a very strict definition of disability, and it periodically re-evaluates the claims of anybody who is on the benefit rolls to see if they still meet the requirements.

Continuing Disability Reviews vary in frequency

SSA’s process for reevaluating disability claims is called a Continuing Disability Review (CDR) process. How often you will be scheduled for a CDR depends largely on how SSA has coded your claim. There are three possibilities:

  • Medical Improvement Expected (MIE): These are conditions that often improve after a period of disability due to intense treatment. For example, someone who has a heart transplant may meet SSA’s definition of disability for a year or two following the transplant, but gradually be able to return to normal activities, including work. These cases are reviewed within six to 18 months following the start of benefits.
  • Medical Improvement Possible (MIP): These are most common, and this designation means that your condition may or may not eventually approve with treatment. These cases are reviewed every three years.
  • Medical Improvement Not Expected (MINE): Some disabilities, like paralysis or end-stage COPD, are clearly not likely to improve. However, CDRs are required by law at least every five to seven years.

In addition, children who are approved for SSI benefits will automatically be re-evaluated when they turn 18 years of age to see if they meet the adult criteria for disability benefits, which varies from the criteria used for minors.

CDRs are often fairly routine, so they’re nothing to fear. In the rare event that SSA decides that you are no longer qualified for benefits, you will be notified that your benefits are about to cease and given information about how to file an appeal. At that point, quick action is needed to protect yourself from an interruption in benefits, and legal guidance would be wise.