Will my Social Security Disability claim be reviewed again after I am approved for benefits?

By / March 3, 2016 / After You’re Approved for Social Security Disability & SSI / 57 Comments

Learn how often the Social Security Administration may review your Social Security disability claim after you are approved for disability benefits.

When Your Claim May Be Reviewed for Continuing Disability
The Social Security Administration may review your Social Security Disability claim after you have received benefits for a while. The purpose of the review is to determine whether you are still disabled and eligible for benefits.

At the time your claim is approved, the claims examiner will project the likelihood of your recovering from your disability. If you are expected to have medical improvement, then your claim will normally be reviewed within six to eighteen months after your benefits start. If improvement is considered possible, but not necessarily expected, then your claim will usually be reviewed after three years. Finally, if you are not expected to have significant improvement then your claim would not be routinely reviewed any sooner than seven years from when benefits started. Your disability could also be reviewed outside of a scheduled review if there was an indication that you had recovered from your disability.

Notification of Continuing Disability Review
The Social Security Administration will notify you if your claim comes up for review and will ask you to complete a continuing disability statement to provide information about your current condition. For more information about reviews of your approved Social Security Disability claim, see our articles How Can I Prepare for a Continuing Disability Review of My Social Security Disability Claim? and Do I Have to Keep Going to the Doctor After I Am Approved for Disability in Order to Continue Getting Social Security Disability Payments?

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  • Dear Donna,

    I don’t have suggestions for you for getting an earlier hearing date. Unless you are in danger of being evicted or having a home foreclosed upon, it is unlikely you will get your hearing expedited.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Bryan.

  • Dear Bryan,

    Yes, you are being told that your claim has been approved.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are welcome, Babygirl.

  • Dear Bryan,

    That is correct. You would get SSDI back pay after the SSI is paid if the SSDI benefit is higher than the SSI. And, the SSDI back pay will be reduced for SSI paid for the same period. For example, if you got SSI of $600 for a month and your SSDI benefit was $800 for the same month, you would be paid $200 SSDI for that month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Babygirl,

    Getting clarity is always good. Start with asking for the date of the SSI application and the status of the application. You may be eligible for SSI for the months before you actually received Social Security. Also, there is an error in my previous response to you. I have corrected it now. The correction is that you could be eligible for SSI even if you applied after the date your SSDI claim was payable if it was not yet actually paid.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bryan,

    Please see my response to your first posting of this question.(In the future allow forty-eight hours for an answer before re-posting your question.)

    Thanks,
    Kay

  • Dear Bryan,

    Please see my response to your last posting of this question.

    Thank you,
    Kay

  • Dear Bryan,

    If you are approved with the date you claimed, your Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits would begin to accrue in January 2017. The actual number of back pay months depends on how many months elapse between January and when the first monthly benefit is paid. Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid first and will begin August 2016. Your SSDI back pay will be reduced by any SSI paid for January 2017 or later.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Babygirl,

    Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are paid beginning with the month after you applied for SSI unless you applied on the first of a month in which case benefits would begin with the month of application. This means that you are eligible for SSI benefits before Social Security was payable only if your application date for SSI was October 1 or earlier.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Bryan,

    I think that the request to your local office was the request for information about your date last worked. The request could mean that you claim is moving close to a decision and that the decision could be an approval, assuming that you were still insured for benefits last July.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Petseeker,

    Both your questions were answered earlier today. It can take a day or two to get a reply and the questions are not posted until they are answered.

  • Dear Petseeker11,

    Your Medicaid eligibility based on SSI is suspended in months you are not eligible for SSI. You likely could go onto your husband’s insurance and submit claims to them only for services in months that you do not have Medicaid.

    I don’t think you can coordinate the two insurances, but it would be best to check with Blue Cross to find out whether it is possible. Also, check to see if you can get a personal enrollment period when the Medicaid stops. If not, you probably cannot be added to your husband’s coverage until the next open enrollment period, which is typically during the last calendar quarter of the year.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Aretha,

    If your son has no income, your daughter will be eligible for about $117.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dear Vince,

    If your mother pays for your shelter (rent and shelter utilities) and/or food directly to the provider, your SSI will be reduced by one-third. If you live with a friend and your mother gives you the money to pay the rent, the full amount of the money she gives you counts as income and the reduction is not limited to one-third if the support is more than that. The only exception to income being counted in these two scenarios is if you have a bona fide loan with your mother that says how and when you will repay her. She would also have to have an accounting of all the shelter bills she paid for you and money she gave you in each month.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

    • Vince

      Okay, so what about if someone is homeless but does NOT live in shelters. Just sleeps at whoevers house they can every night or wherever they can every night, would that qualify for the max benefits?
      Okay, so what living scenario’s qualify persons for the maximum amount of benefits?? Like can you give me a few examples of living arrangements that qualify for the maximum amount of $735 ?
      Thank you,
      Vince

      • Dear Vince,

        The maximum Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit is paid when you have no income including in-kind (non-cash) support in the form of shelter or food. This comes down to the maximum being paid when you pay for your shelter and your food. (SNAP benefits and government subsidized housing are not counted as income.) In the case of homelessness, if a person is living out-of-doors no shelter is being received. If a person without a home stays with various friends and relatives, shelter is being received without paying for it and benefits are likely to be reduced.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

  • You are welcome, Joanne.

  • Dear Joanne,

    If the scheduled payment does not show up in about a week, I suggest that you contact your local office to be sure everything is on track for payment.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • You are most welcome.

  • Dear Diana,

    Yes, your daughter should submit the 2015 and 2016 records you mention. Additionally, you and/or she should explain what you have explained to me including the upcoming arrangement for in-home counseling and medication problems. She can just write “See attached” and make her statement as long as it needs to be on an attached sheet of paper or she can start the statement on the form and write “Continued on attached paper” on the form. Be sure to keep a photocopy of everything that is submitted.

    Sincerely,
    Kay

  • Dee

    Hi Kay,
    Thank you for the advice you’ve previously given. I really do appreciate it. I have some other questions.I’d appreciate your insight. When I received a notice from the local ssa, asking for a w-2 and original marriage certificate on Oct 22, I called DDS on Mon, 24th…They directed me to ODAR. The clerk at ODAR said the judge sent my atty some records and was just waiting to hear back from him. I took the documents in person, to the local ss on the 27th. Thinking nothing of it, except being glad I had them in way before the 30 day deadline(Nov 19th). On Friday, Nov.4th, I received a letter from ODAR, the judge, which was surprisingly dated Oct.27th…The same day I brought the documents to the local office. The letter stated ,the judge obtained additional evidence, from the two CE’s. There was a link for my atty to view the reports. The judge said he was ready to render a decision. The remainder of the letter told my atty of his and my rights to dispute, refute, etc..He gave 10 days in order to do so. This was the “thing”, the judge sent out to my atty. I got my copy 2 days before the 10 day deadline. I’m feeling a little nervous now. Is this something alj’s do when there’s additional evidence post hearing? or is the judge giving a heads up? What does all of this mean?
    Thank you again, Kay!

    • Dee

      Hi Kay,
      I just wanted to add that my claim was just at DDS, and was sent to the local office, asking for the documents, in order to process my claim as soon as possible. Seems like the process s a bit backwards.

      • Kay Derochie

        Dear Dee,

        Please see my response to your first post. The hearing office will sometimes have the DDS gather medical information. Accordingly, it seems likely that what you submitted locally did get to the hearing office.

        Sincerely,
        Kay

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      It sounds as if part of the letter is stock language that goes in all letters that are providing a status report. That said, I think that you want to make sure that the additional documentation that you turned into your local office reached the judge. You or your attorney can find out by calling the hearing office.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dee

        Thank you so much, Kay!

        • Kay Derochie

          You are welcome, Dee.

  • Dee

    Hi Kay,
    I applied for ssdi/ssi in Feb 2015, with an onset date of Jan 30, 2014. I was denied in Mar 2015. I obtained a lawyer and appealed it. I finally had a video hearing with ALJ on Aug 17, 2016 in which the judge agreed with the onset date. There was a VE present, however he wasn’t asked anything from the judge, as far as I can remember.. I forgot to mention that I also filed a dwb, in Mar 2016, after finding out I was eligible. The judge wasn’t sure I met all qualifications for dwb, but said he thought my benefits would be higher with my work history. He asked me about my illnesses, and in the end, he ordered I go to a psych & orthopedic CE. I suffer with anxiety/depression. Although I’m on meds, I haven’t been to counseling in a while because I can’t afford it..the same with my knee/lower back issue..No insurance..no therapy. I have asthma and have been hospitalized every other month in 2016. The alj said he wouldn’t order a CE for that. He said he didn’t want to cause me unnecessary anxiety with another chest xray. The judge also ended by saying he wouldn’t use VE input after he received the exam reports. I thought it went well. My attorney said the judge was impressed with my testimony..Whatever that meant. I’ll be 52 in 2 months. What does the judge mean by VE input? How much longer for a decision and what do you think my chances are for an approval?I’m at my wits end. I haven’t worked since June 2014, and my anxiety levels are through the roof!

    • Dee

      I had my CE exams on 9/27 & 9/30.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Dee,

      Vocational experet (VE) testimony is obtained about your capacity to work, especially in new occupations. VE testimony is not obtained when it is determined that medical conditions are severe enough that it is clear a person can’t work. The judge may not have been sure about the disabled widows benefits because you have become disabled within seven years of your husband’s death or seven years of last being entitled as a young wife with children in care.

      It can take from a few weeks to two months or more after the consultative examinations to get your decision letter. Since the judge has already said that he agrees with the onset date, I’d say that the claim on your own earnings record will be approved, although I am not sure why he is ordering the consultative examinations having agreed withe the onset date. I suggest asking your lawyer’s opinion.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • Dee

        Hi Kay!
        Thanks for your help. I received a letter from my local ssa office. It had “Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance” at the top, and “Important Information”, beneath it. They’re asking me to submit my original marriage certificate and a W2, which can be a photocopy. They also gave me 30 days to submit the documents, in order to process my claim. If I don’t have them in by specified time, they’ll deny my claim. I was given a direct number to call if I had any questions. I called, and the rep left early..I wound up calling DDS. The rep informed me that my claim went to ODAR. I called there and I was told the judge sent my attorney some records and was waiting for my attorney to send them back. I gathered all the documents on my end.. I have my 2014 w2.. Since that’s the year I last worked, and the letter asked for “a w2”, for proof of earnings…Not sure if it’s sufficient. Do you think my claim is heading towards an approval?
        Thank you for your time and input.

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Dee,

          When you submit your 2014 W-2, include a statement that 2014 is the last year you worked. Without knowing what documents were sent to your attorney, it is hard for me to project what is going on; but based on the rest of the requested documents, I’d say, yes, perhaps your claim is moving toward an approval.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

          • Dee

            Hi Kay,
            Thank you for your time and advice. I pray I’m approved. I also have another question regarding ssdi/rsdi. This past July I received notice from Child Support that I’m owed appr.$38,000, in arrears. It stems from a 1990 court order, for my then dependent children, who are now 29 and 30yrs old. I’ve received appr $700 since July, sporadically. Also, I was told I’d be receiving the upcoming tax refund..It’s been long overdue. That being said, am I allowed to receive child support arrears and be on disability? I don’t want to do anything to jeopardize my claim.

            • Dee

              Thanks again for your time and input.

            • Kay Derochie

              Dear Dee,

              If you are approved for Social Security Disability (SSD/SSDI), receipt of income other than workers compensation and some government pensions does not affect your benefits and does not have to be reported.

              If you are approved for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability benefits, the issue is a little more complex. Usually child support income is considered the child’s income; however, in the situation where the children are grown and out of your home, the child support may count as your income. If it does, it will count as income only in the month it is received and if it is not so much as to make you ineligible in the month, the reduction in benefits will occur two months later, so you will be able to use the child support income in the month the SSI payment is lower.

              Tax refunds are not income. They do count toward the $2,000 SSI resource (countable asset) limit on the first of the month following the month you received the refund.

              Sincerely,
              Kay

              • Dee

                Thank you so much Kay

                • Kay Derochie

                  You are welcome, Dee.

  • Emmie

    My husband’s disability application was approved. Today he received his first monthly payment. Recently he received a lumpsum backpay check and another for our dependent son. He also received a medicaire card and will be set up for a supplemental plan as of next month. Up until now we were all on medicaide. What do we do now? Do we have to tell medicaide that he is receiving medicaire? I am receiving SS retirement benefits for a few months now. Does his monthly disability income affect our (my and my son’s) medicaide coverage? (With both incomes, not including backpay checks, I think we may be over the guidelines). Also are the backpay checks also considered income for medicaide purposes? If so, our annual income for this year would be
    through the roof. Spoke to an insurance agent who is an assister for the Exchange. He said he could help my son and I apply for Exchange coverage for next year (new enrollment) as of November 1 but I’m wondering if we need to notify them beforehand because of all this income this year. Very confused. Would appreciate some guidance.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Emmie,

      I believe that you are required to report all significant income changes to the Medicaid office. If your family is over the limit for Medicaid, then using the agent to navigate the Affordable Care Act exchange could be helpful. If your husband is still eligible for Medicaid, the Medicaid program is likely to pay your husband’s Medicare premium. When you lose insurance, you do not have to wait for the annual open enrollment period; you can apply for insurance under the ACA right away with insurance starting the first of the next month.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jim

    I was told that i could not get my Direct deposit set up tell after i get my first paper check and give them the numbers from that is that true ? and they say you have to be Disabled for 5 months do i get back pay for that 5 months ?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jim,

      If you can find a bank that will open a bank account for you with funds other than Social Security benefits, you can give Social Security your bank account number and your bank’s routing number and have your first benefits sent to your bank account. To be eligible for benefits you have to be disabled or be expected to be disabled for twelve months. The first five full-calendar months of disability are not paid. For example, if you became disabled in January, February through June would not be paid and July’s benefit would be paid in August.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chikma

    Hi Kay.. I receive supplemental benefits for my 12 yr old son who has autism. I’m also awaiting on approval for disability for myself due to mental illness. I’m no longer working and wanted to know will my child lose his disability?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chikma,

      Your child will not lose his SSI benefits because you have stopped work. You do need to report that you are no longer working. If you are approved for Social Security Disability benefits, your child’s SSI eligibility and payment amount will be reevaluated based on the family’s new income. If you have worked enough, it is also possible that your child could receive Social Security dependent benefits.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • Chrystal

    I was approved for my disability in November 2015 and received my back pay January 28, should I receive my normal monthly payment starting in February or will it be March

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Chrystal,

      Based on the dates you provided, I surmise that your back pay was through December 2015. If so, your January benefit will be paid in February.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • heather brown

    Hi Kay.
    i was approved after seeing the ALJ. i received my approval letter and read all through it. reading the reasons why i was approved and it all was what was happening. from the neurogentic bladder, transverse myelitis, syringomyelia. c7 nerve damage from a failed spinal fusion, bad discs, neck straightening from spasms, migraine, and anxiety over my health issues. now with these diagnoses there is no cure. the neurologist i see keeps telling me i have to accept it. my spinal cord damage is not reversible. with this being said, my letter states at the end that i will be reviewed in 18 month’s. i do not understand thing, being that there is not cure for the things i have.

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Heather,

      The judge assessed the information and thought that some of your conditions could improve and, therefore, approved your claim with a condition that you have a medical update review to see whether your condition in eighteen months.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

      • heather brown

        ok . will it always be 18 months or could that change?

        • heather brown

          hi kay .
          i do not mean to be a bother . i just read ssd sent someone a letter about verifying their work history for the prior year. when i went before the alj she asked about my work history since the disability date which was my surgery date. had mentioned i baby sat for a few kids for a few months and i filed taxes on that. then she said no the work you did at your former job. i said no i never went back there that it was vacation time and probably the temp disability that they paid me for 6 months. but i deff told her about the babysitting. for the few months i had a few different kids and just could not do it. i def filed taxes on it and even filed taxes on $100 a week my best friend gave every week for watching her daughter on week ends and school vacations. ( she only paid me 100 every week because she wanted to help my family and she wrote it off on her taxes. but my hearing was a blur. i don’t know if i told her about the 100 every week for almost a year until my husband moved back in she gave me . i may not have even been thinking about it because most of the time my son would watch her so it didn’t even cross my mind. should i call them and make sure they know. i was approved for ssd, not ssi. i def know i mentioned the babysitting and had to stop because all those kids were just too much and i was getting more symptoms and could not tolerate not taking my meds during those hours. but i just can’t remember if i mentioned the $100 a week my best friend gave because her daughter was 10 and is my daughters best friend . she would have been there anyway. maybe i am way overthinking this. lately my anxiety has gotten the best of me. i just do not want to mess anything up and i def never want to seem not creditable.

          • Kay Derochie

            Dear Heather,

            You have already reported baby sitting and some work is allowed. If your monthly gross earnings were never as much as $1,040 in 2013, $1,070 in 2014, or $1,090 in 2015, you do not need to worry.

            Sincerely,
            Kay

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Heather,

          Future review frequencies could change.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

  • shiro

    I have been receiving SSd for about a year but now I received a letter from SS asking me to verify my work history for 2012 is this normal?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Shiro,

      If your benefits included back pay to 2012, it could be that some work you did in 2012 is showing up in the IRS system and an investigation is needed to see whether you worked after your disability date. Another possibility is that your 2012 earnings were used in the calculation of your benefits and some inconsistency has been found. Is suggest that you take your W-2s for that year to Social Security and inquire why they are needed.

      Sincerely,
      Kay

  • jess

    My mom’s SSD case was approved and they notified her of a large amount of back pay she would be receiving. She has been receiving govermental assistance monthly to support herself. Social services has advised her of the potential to loose her medicade coverage if she does not spend down the backpay. Does this sound accurate?

    • Kay Derochie

      Dear Jess,

      Your mother will probably need some professional advice from an insurance broker regarding what her choices are. I can provide some information that might give her a starting point for investigation.

      First, if your mother has a large retroactive Social Security Disability (SSD) payment coming, she may have already been eligible for SSD for twenty-four months. If so, she will be eligible for Medicare and will only need a Medicare supplement insurance to round out her coverage. An insurance broker can tell her about the Medicare supplements that are available in her state.

      If she has a long time to wait to reach the twenty-four months and wants to save her back pay thus losing her Medicaid, one option for her might be to enroll in health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). I believe that the loss of insurance is a “qualifying event” that will give her a short period of time–I think, thirty days–to enroll outside the general enrollment period.

      Sincerely,

      Kay

      • Tiffany

        Hello since 01/23/2015 when i looked on the ssa website under payment it said one time payment this morning 27 i looked and it’s not there anymore do you kno wht this mean yesterday i called they told me tht the money was sent in a check by mail

        • Kay Derochie

          Dear Tiffany,

          It means that the payment has been made and the payment has been sent.

          Sincerely,
          Kay

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