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What happens when the SSA reviews my disability?

It's important to understand that if you receive disability benefits that the Social Security Administration will periodically conduct what are known as medical reviews in order to determine whether you are still considered disabled and to ensure that there is no disruption in your benefits.

In today's post, the first in a series, we'll explore some basic background information about these medical reviews in the hopes of providing some valuable insight and alleviating any potential concerns.

When does the SSA conduct these medical reviews?

In general, the frequency with which the SSA conducts medical reviews depends largely upon both the nature and severity of the disabling condition, and its prognosis for improvement.

If the condition is expected to improve, it's likely that the agency will conduct a review within six-18 months after the date of the disability. However, if there is only a possibility that the condition will improve, it's likely that the agency will conduct a review once every three years. Finally, if there is no possibility that the condition will improve, it's likely that the agency will only conduct a review once every seven years.

What if a person has more than one disabling condition?

In the event a person is suffering from more than one disability, the SSA will take the combined impact of their disabilities on their ability to work into consideration.

Should I be worried about losing my benefits as a result of a medical review?

Not necessarily, the SSA indicates that if your condition has not improved or you are still unable to work that you will likely continue receiving disability benefits.

In the next posts, we will learn more about the notification process, the actual medical review proceeding and the decision making process.

Source: Social Security Administration, "What you need to know: Reviewing your disability," July 2014

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