How can I prepare for a continuing disability review of my Social Security medical disability claim?
Learn about the medical and work information to submit when your approved Social Security medical disability claim comes up for review.
The Importance of Medical Information for Your Continuing Disability Review
When you are notified that your Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) disability claim will be reviewed to determine whether you are still disabled under Social Security law, you will be asked to complete a continuing disability statement and to sign an authorization for release of information.
Because your continuing eligibility for benefits is being revisited, a continuing disability review should be treated with the same seriousness and care as the filing of a new claim. To complete the continuing disability forms, you may need to gather the same kinds of information that you submitted for your original application. For example, you will need to submit a statement of why you can’t work or why you can’t work more than you are currently working. You will also need to provide a list of your medications and health care providers, the dates you saw the providers, the conditions for which you were seen, and the treatment they gave. It’s also a good idea to schedule an appointment with your doctor to let him or her know that your claim is being reviewed and that the Social Security Administration may request information.
Social Security considers all your limitations, so in addition to your main diagnoses and symptoms, list again any old conditions that limit you even if they are not the primary basis for your claim and even if you already told Social Security about them—that old football injury that keeps you from walking too far or the fall from the ladder ten years before your Social Security disability date that limits how long you can sit. Also list any new conditions you may have if you have new limitations associated with them.
The Importance of Clear Vocational Information
If you have worked since your benefits began, you will also be asked for the dates you worked, the names and addresses of your employers, your job title, a description of your duties, and the physical and mental requirements of the job. Be sure to describe any difficulties you have or had with the work you are doing or did and any special assistance you receive or received on the job. If you are receiving special assistance or accommodations, it could be helpful to submit a letter from your employer that confirms the accommodations. Form SSA-3033 Employee Work Activity Questionnaire can be used for an employer statement.
If your health limits your ability to gather all the information for this important review of your Social Security disability claim, it may be a good idea to enlist the help of a capable friend or relative or a lawyer to prepare your statement. For information about the frequency of continuing disability reviews, see our article Will My Social Security Disability Claim Be Reviewed Again after I Am Approved for Benefits?