How Often Does Social Security Disability Review Cases?

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The process of applying and getting Social Security disability can take several years. Disability cases that do get approved get reviewed every few years to determine if a person on disability still qualifies for the program. The time between review dates for Social Security cases varies from case to case. The person who reviewed the case decides how much time should pass before an individual must have her case reviewed to determine eligibility for disability benefits.

Review Time

  • The person who made the decision sets a date of 1, 3, 5 or 7 years after a Social Security recipient receives a favorable decision. The disability examiner or administrative law judge who reviews the case determines the time between reviews based on how quickly the judge who made the medical assessment expects the condition to improve. The disability examiner or administrative law judge that made the initial decision sets the next review date from 1 to 7 years after the date of the initial approval of Social Security benefits.

Review Notifications

  • People whose disability cases come under review receive a notice in the mail when their disability case has come up for review. A person on disability may or may not wish to engage the services of an attorney during this process.

How Cases Get Reviewed

  • The disability examiner or the administrative law judge who made the initial favorable decision to approve Social Security benefits does the case review. Medical treatment that took place after the client received benefits gets reviewed during this process.

Possibility of Losing Benefits

  • The original disability examiner or administrative law judge only takes a person receiving Social Security off disability if the medical record shows improvement in the case. If a patient's medical condition remains the same, the disability examiner or the administrative law judge making a decision about the case sets a new date for the next case review.

What to Expect from SSA

  • The Social Security Administration requests medical records and schedules new appointments when it needs more information about a person's condition. It also requests that a person receiving disability send in updated medical records to help with the decision-making process. A person on disability must attend all appointments that Social Security makes for him or he will lose his benefits.

Guidelines for Review Times

  • People older than 50 usually have their disability cases reviewed less frequently than people under the age of 50. All disability cases get reviewed periodically, even if a doctor does not expect a patient's condition to improve. Mental illness cases often have their review dates set 3 years apart. Disability cases where a doctor does not expect a patient to get better have their review time set at 7 years.

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