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Social Security Disability Claim

By   /  March 3, 2016  /  36 Comments

Will my Social Security Disability claim be reviewed again after I am approved for benefits? Learn how often the Social Security Administration may review your Social Security disability claim after you are approved for disability benefits.

Appropriate Medical Care for Continuing Disability ReviewsWhen 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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  • 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